An alternative arrangement for the copyright levy
- An alternative arrangement for the copyright levy
- Arne Wessberg
- Series of publications
- Reports of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland
- Number of pages
- 978-952-263-061-2 (Online)
- -L 1799-0327, 1799-0335 (Online)
- Ministry of Education and Culture
On 3 March 2011 Minister of Culture and Sport, Mr Stefan Wallin appointed an expert reviewer to investigate and propose an alternative to the present device-based compensation scheme in view of the right of authors and other right holders to reasonable compensation for legal private copying, consumers’ just interests and possibilities to develop electronic commerce. According to section 12 in the Copyright Act (404/1961), anyone may make single copies for his private use of a work that has been made public.
I the 1980s a device-based copyright levy scheme was introduced to alleviate the harmful effects of private copying on the com-mercial interests of the authors. Today legal private copying is increasingly done on multi-purpose devices, which may have been made for a purpose other than copying. Similarly, licensed private copying has increased. Electronic commerce and technological advances constitute a challenge to the effectiveness of the current scheme and the principles on which it is based. Among other things, price-setting is more complicated as a result of combined and multi-purpose devices. The accumulation of compensation payments has declined in recent years owing to the developments taking place in the device market.
The points of departure for the development of the compensation scheme in this study are
- more stable and predictable compensation earnings,
- a temporally more sustainable solution regardless of the constant change in the operating environment,
- a simpler collection system,
- a balance between the interests of copyright holders, consumers and device manufacturers and importers, and
- promotion of the creative economy and electronic commerce.
The idea underpinning the suggested reform of the compensation scheme is to determine a suitable compensation level as a primarily societal process. The eventual decision on the level of compensation must be informed both by the damage caused by private copying to authors and by the possibility to use technological measures to limit reproduction.
The EU Copyright Directive permits the details of the compensation scheme to be determined at the national level: the application of the law is societal discretion.
It is proposed that the device-based compensation be renounced and the compensation collection scheme be linked to a com-munications fund to be instituted on the basis of the current State Television and Radio Fund into which income from the auction of frequency domains to be taken into use in the future as well as the television fees would be channelled. The purpose of the fund would be expanded to enable funds to be reserved for copyright compensations in the budget allocation table.
The view of society as to a suitable level of compensation would be determined through the Government’s confirmation of the budget allocation table of the new fund.