[pp.int.general] levies consultation

Reinier Bakels r.bakels at planet.nl
Sat Mar 29 11:00:20 CET 2008

This cross-post is an emergency. I see lots of thoughts about the EU levies consultation, but what should we do now? We only have three weeks (until 18/4), and the questionaire contains many factual questions definitely not directed at information freedom activists such as ourselves. Fortunately the invitation on http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/copyright/levy_reform/index_en.htm says "All stakeholders are invited to comment on the issues in the attached second call for comments. Answers and comments, which may cover all or only a limited number of the issues mentioned in the background document, should reach the e-mail address markt-d1 at ec.europa.eu by 18 April 2008." (Underscores added). I think we MUST not answer those factual questions, because they will wonder why we did that at all.

I think it is time to draft a "table of contents". Imho it should start with an explanation to turn the Commission 180 degrees. They apparently enivisage a harmonisation on the executive level, assuming as a given that there is definitely a reason for levies - only the tariffs must not be out of step (perhaps I am slightly exaggerating but not much). We must explain 1) why a levy system can not work (no proper measure, no basis for a fair distribution, huge transaction cost, a police state needed for enforcement, no restoration of market failure) 2) and more fundamentally, why the present copyright system principles are unsound, in particular the idea that all and any copy is due a copyright, with only a few exceptions that actually "confirm the rule". After such an introduction, obviously there is no reason whatsoever anymore to spend any word on "fair" levy collection and distribution systems!

Hasn't such a document been written by any of you? How about the EFF in the US? I heard the Swedish PP website has lots of documents that "only" have to be transated from the Swedish? Or should we rework the "Jeroen Hellingman" letter written to the Dutch parliament a few months ago?

In sum: 1. Could we reuse an existing document? 2. Or: what could be a "table of contents" for a new document?
Groeten, Grüße, Regards, Cordialement, Hälsningar, Ciao, Saygilar, Üdvözlettel, Pozdrowienia, Kumusta, Adios, Oan't sjen, Ave, Doei, Yassou, Yoroshiku
private: Johan Willem Frisostraat 149, 2713 CC Zoetermeer, The Netherlands telephone: +31 79 316 3126, GSM ("Handy") +31 6 4988 6490,  fax +31 79 316 7221
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