On 15, Jan 2015 | In Copyright Levies, News @en | By Alisa Maier
While some countries around the world have created or expanded on their existing copyright levy systems, another European country has abolished its system as of January 1, 2015: Finland repealed the legal basis of the copyright levies on blank media & recording devices. Instead, the authors will be compensated via a fund paid out of the state budget. After the Finnish levy tariffs have remained unchanged for the last two years, the parliament voted in December to replace the Copyright Levy system by a government fund. From now on, no copyright levies should be paid anymore in Finland. In 2012 the Spanish Government decided to abolish its copyright levy system, establishing and replacing it by a different one, comparable to the Norwegian system, where levies are calculated into the state budget. In Estonia, a similar system is now in the planning phase.
Basically, device- and media-based copyright levy systems are a matter of fervent controversies in all countries in which they are implemented. Nevertheless, their abolishment can be considered critical: The question of (the estimated) harm for right holders caused by private copying remains and, with it, the question of its compensation. A state budget being nothing but tax revenue, every author would rely on government aid. In fact, the harm is to be taken into account and, in the absence of a copyright levy system, he will simply be financed from other sources. The authorities will raise their claims elsewhere. Does it have anything to do with the fact that the Spanish authority tried to claim excessive fees for licensing recently? It seems as if the controversy just shifted somewhere else.