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Music Hardware

Vendors Sue Dutch Government Over Media Levies 55

An anonymous reader writes with news that hardware vendors aren't too happy about expanded levies on media. From the article: "Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Dell, and Imation are suing the Dutch government over new levies on hard disks, smartphones, tablets, and MP3 players that are meant to compensate the music and movie industries for losses caused by home copying. The entertainment industry estimates lost income of €40 million, which is much too high, according to the hardware companies. 'That amount is excessive and completely unfounded,' they said. The €40 million also incorporates damages for illegally downloaded music and movies which, according to the companies, legally cannot be recovered by a levy on devices. Furthermore the Dutch government established a levy on all devices including devices for professional use that are not used for private copying, they said."
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Vendors Sue Dutch Government Over Media Levies

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  • Germany (Score:5, Informative)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @01:29PM (#42057263) Homepage

    Many people in the Netherlands now buy their electronics in Germany, where it's much cheaper thanks to less tax and the absence of this ridiculous levy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @01:30PM (#42057281)

    You can already download all you want in many non-americanized european countries, it was never illegal, only uploading was.

  • by tsa ( 15680 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @01:31PM (#42057295) Homepage

    Indeed, and that is what many people will do now. I hope this backfires tremendously. BREIN (the Dutch RIAA) is almost as bad as the American RIAA so they deserve it.

  • BREIN vs RIAA (Score:5, Informative)

    by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @02:19PM (#42057935)

    Actually, Stichting BREIN is a different kind of evil.

    Although it's difficult to say which is more bad, I'm inclined to say that the RIAA is certainly worse.

    Whereas the RIAA will happily target individuals and use their techniques to coerce people into paying a settlement fine rather than going through lengthy and very expensive litigation - and generally having the defendant end up paying great multiples of the settlement amounts... ...Stichting BREIN tends to target the entry points to distribution. I.e. TPB and various other torrent (indexing) sites, MasterNZB and various other usenet (indexing) sites.

    The reason it's difficult to say which is worse is that while the RIAA goes after dead people, old grannies without computers, cats, etc. they do tend to 'only' target those people and there's no great erosion of fundamental concepts of copyright and the internet.

    Stichting BREIN, on the other hand, has successfully managed to get courts to force ISPs to block sites, in one case even being allowed to add IPs to the list and the ISP must add those to the block list (though they can contest it if they feel the adding of an IP address is in err), has successfully managed to expand things from direct copyright infringement to the 'facilitating' argument (and continues to expand that), can happily get government officials to come along with them on 'raids' (no court order) making those they're raiding feel like they really have little choice but to allow e.g. computers to be taken, etc.

    That said, BREIN isn't really the one to be targeting in this case. They just tend to catch the most flak (for the reasons outlined above). Stichting de Thuiskopie, SONT and Buma/Stemra (on the side of wanting levies) and STOBI (on the side of blank media producers/etc.) are the main players here , along with then-minister Fred Teeven for actually getting things signed into law a long time ago (an zero Euro levy, which formed the bridge to making it a non-zero Euro levy - whereas going directly for a non-zero Euro levy would have met with great resistance).

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!