Comparative study of copyright levies to reward creative assets in EU

Lead Research Organisation: Bournemouth University
Department Name: The Business School

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description • There are dramatic differences between countries in the methodology used for identifying leviable devices, setting tariffs, and allocating beneficiaries of the levy. There are levies on blank media in 22 EU countries, on MP3 players in 18 countries, on printers in 12 countries, on personal computers in four countries. Revenues collected per capita vary between €0.02 (Romania) and €2.6 (France). The distribution of levy revenues to recording artists is less than €0.01 per album.

• These variations cannot be explained by an underlying concept of economic harm to rightholders from private copying.

• The scope of consumer permissions under the statutory exceptions for private copying within the EU vary, and generally do not match with what consumers ordinarily understand as private activities.

• In levy countries, the costs of levies as an indirect tax are not always passed on to the consumer. In competitive markets, such as those for printers, manufacturers of levied goods appear to absorb the levy. There appears to be a pan-European retail price range for many consumer devices regardless of levy schemes (with the exception of Scandinavia).

• In non-levy countries, such as the UK, a certain amount of private copying is already priced into retail purchases. For example, right holders have either explicitly permitted acts of format shifting, or decided not to enforce their exclusive rights. Commercial practice will not change as a result of introducing a narrowly conceived private copying exception.

• A more widely conceived exception that would cover private activities that take place in digital networks (such as downloading for personal use, or non-commercial adaptation and distribution within networks of friends) may be best understood not as an exception but as a statutory licence. Such a licence could include state regulated payments with levy characteristics as part of a wider overhaul of the copyright system, facilitating the growth of new digital services.
Exploitation Route Influencing UK and EU copyright policy. The Report "Private Copying and Fair Compensation: An empirical study of copyright levies in Europe" is cited in the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth (2011, p. 116), in the government's response to Hargreaves and in the 2011/12 copyright consultation.



Interestingly, the report is cited by both proponents and opponents of copyright levies. The opponents focus on one part of the report's Conclusion: "Within the current constraints of EU, the UK's economically efficient option appears to be the de minimis argument: a certain amount of copying is already priced into the first retail purchase."



For an example of this reading, see Nokia's discussion paper: Recent Trends in Alternatives to Copyright Levies (7 March 2012): "Just before Christmas 2011 the UK government published proposals to introduce a statutory private copying exception for the digital age, while at the same time rejecting copyright levies, following the Recommendations in Professor Martin Kretschmer's report on 'Private Copying and Fair Compensation' (Annex, Reference 4), commissioned by the UK-IPO, claimed to be the first official empirical study of copyright levies in Europe which concluded that the levies system across Europe is 'deeply irrational'."



The proponents report on a different part of the Conclusion: "Users should be able to buy a licence that allows them to download and pass on copyright material in a way that would currently break the law." (Report by Out-law.com, 20 October 2011)



Below is a list of events where I have spoken about the Report (each time with ESRC credits).



9 September 2011, Brussels: Conference paper at European Policy for IP



18 October 2011, Houses of Parliament: Panel organized by Picftor (Parliamentary Group on Internet, Communications and Technology)

Panellist in discussion chaired by Jim Dowd MP. Other panel members included Martin Brennan, founder and CEO of 3GA Ltd, Richard Brousson, legal counsel at the British Film Institute (BFI) and James Sadri, digital producer at Greenpeace UK.



19 October 2011, London, 'Informing Copyright Policy in the UK'

IPO in partnership with The Big Innovation Centre.



5 December 2011, Brunel University: one-day workshop

Copyright exceptions in the UK: time for reform?



15 February 2012, Geneva: World Intellectual Property Organization

Video available here:

http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meeting_id=25670



28 March 2012, Brussels: Bruegel think tank seminar: Intellectual property for growth in digital markets

http://www.bruegel.org/events/event-detail/event/295-intellectual-property-for-growth-in-digital-markets/
Sectors Creative Economy

URL https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/310183/ipresearch-faircomp-201110.pdf
 
Description Citation in European Court of Justice
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact Burden of levy borne by the private user.
URL http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.jsf?num=C-110/15
 
Description Citation in High Court (EW)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
 
Description "Authors' earnings and contracts" study (Kretschmer et al 2019), cited in Guardian "Writing at risk of becoming an 'elitist' profession, report warns" (7 May 2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact "Authors' earnings and contracts" study (Kretschmer et al 2019), cited in Guardian newspaper "Writing at risk of becoming an 'elitist' profession, report warns" (7 May 2019),
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/may/07/writing-risk-becoming-elitist-profession-alcs-report-u...
 
Description Court citation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Court citations

M. Kretschmer (2011). 'Private Copying and Fair Compensation', cited in BASCA v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills [2015] EWHC 1723 19 June 2015; in AG Opinion in ECJ Case C-110/15 Nokia Italy at 63, 4 May 2016]
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
 
Description Peer-reviewed submission: A Survey of UK Authors' Earnings and Contracts, Society for Economic Research on Copyright (SERCI), Annual Congress, Montpellier (France) 8-9 July 2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact peer reviewed submission paper for annual Society for Economic Research on Copyright (SERCI) annual congress presentation, increased interest and awareness of research which encouraged questions and discussion afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.serci.org/congress_documents.php
 
Description by Financial Times, "How do authors earn a living? It's a Catch-22 situation" (7 June 2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact increased interest and cited in other press publications
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ft.com/content/5c7c31b8-82e3-11e9-a7f0-77d3101896ec