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Re: Stallman calls for an end to file sharing war

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Stallman calls for an end to file sharing war
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 16:02:58 -0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
>> Alexander Terekhov <> writes:
>> > Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>> > [...]
>> >> I do understand the objection; in Germany, I'm required to pay for a
>> >> radio license on account of possessing a net-connected computer.
>> >
>> > The point is that neither GEZ broadcast fee nor GEMA fee on empty media
>> > (and other things) replace the system of copyrights and capitalist
>> > market of exclusive rights in intangibles. GEZ/GEMA fee payer gets *NO*
>> > rights reserved to copyright owners in exchange for paying a fee at
>> > all.
>> Making private copies of broadcast recordings is legal in Germany.
> Yes because it is not an exclusive right, silly.

Making private copies of material with unspecified origin is not legal
in Germany.  So yes, the GEZ fee payer gets a right reserved to
copyright owners in exchange for paying his fee.

Private radio stations also pay for broadcasting of GEMA material.  They
don't get fees in return.  In this case, the radio listener pays for the
right to make a private copy by enduring copious paid advertisements.

> This exemption is actually why GEMA successfully lobbied the law
> makers to impose a GEMA fee on empty media (and other things). The
> argument was that since GEMA is a licensing agent regarding the
> biggest chunk of works broadcasted in Germany and folks are making
> private copies of them and it is very had to police that the use is
> really private (make sure that folks don't exchange private copies) it
> is unfair not to be compensated for private copying. The solution was
> to impose a fee on empty media (media for making private copies) and
> other things such as iPods with GEMA-fee providing additional income
> to GEMA.

Sure.  The Gema tries to lobby both for stopping private copying (and
campaigns in order to make people believe it is prohibited), with public
"education", and legal and technical means (copying protection etc), as
well as maintaining a copying levy on empty media and "recording
equipment" including computers and hard disks.

IIRC, public broadcasting is explicitly mentioned in the German
copyright laws as a legitimate source of private copies, in contrast to
public performances.

David Kastrup

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