Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Swedish MP3 Manufacturer Refuses to Pay Copying Charge

There must be some copyright cowboys working at MP3 manufacturer Jens of Sweden. First they reported the Swedish anti-piracy organisation AntipiratbyrÄ to the Swedish Data Inspection Board for collecting and storing IP addresses of file-sharers, and AntipiratbyrÄ was actually condemned. Now the company refuses to pay a "copying charge" on its products, and faces legal proceedings for doing so.

The charge, a levies known in many European countries, was introduced in 1999 to compensate for private copying, but the owner of Jens of Sweden thinks that "It's not our problem that the record industry hasn't come up with its own solution," and that "In my opinion the compensation should be built into the price. To be able to transfer a song to an mp3 player should be included in the purchase of the music.".

The collector of the charge, CopySwede, obviously has a different opinion and takes Jens of Sweden to court. It will be another small but interesting chapter in the European levies discussion, and the related issue of (European Commission level) proposals to phase out levies and rely on Digital rights Management in the future. An issue Jens has yet to cowboy around.
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Thru The Local

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