New Momentum for Culture Flat-Rate in NL and DE

Dutch artists unions and consumer association call for legalizing uploads in exchange for an Internet levy. A German study shows that half of Internet users favor a culture flat-rate.

Dutch for Flat-Rate

Another alliance of artists and consumers speaks out for legalizing file-sharing. In the Netherlands, the unions for musicians, dancers and actors Ntb and FNV Kiem together with the Consumentenbond in a joint declaration called for a legalization of non-commercial uploads. Currently, downloads are considered legal private copies in the Netherlands, as well as in Switzerland and in Spain. A parliamentary working group at the end of last year has proposed to change this. The joint statement opposes this plan. It would not help improve the decreasing remuneration of artists, create legal uncertainty and criminalize and threaten the privacy of consumers, the statement says. Instead the three associations propose to first replace the current private copying levy on recordable media with a levy on devices for recording and playback, such as harddisk recorders, MP3 and MP4 players and mobile telephones. And secondly, they suggest that this should be changed into a general Internet levy the moment that more than 70% of private copies are made from Internet content. Since the European Information Society Directive does not permit member states to introduce a private uploading exception, they call for negotiations of all parties involved in order to establish a voluntary collective management. The levy proceeds, they write, should be distributed based on the actual use made of individual works.

Germans for Flat-Rate

The long-awaited study on “Digital Mentality” has been published. The survey among the seven million most active Internet users in Germany showed that “we are on the way towards the information society whose values and practices are at odds with our current ideas,” as Hergen Wöbken, managing director of the Institute for Strategy Development (IFSE) at the University Witten/Herdecke, summerized their findings. Small surprise that the more than one thousand respondents rejected the three-strikes’ digital death sentence for file-sharers. In contrast, about half of them favor the legalization of non-commercial sharing and are ready to pay a flat levy for the permission.

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