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Wednesday, April 05, 2006
European Alliance Seeking Changes in Copyright Levies

A coalition calling for a copyright levies reform was officially launched today in Europe. It is formed by various associations representing telecommunications technology, consumer electronics and digital media industries.

The copyright Levies Reform Alliance (CLRA) wants to improve fairness in the collection of copyright tariffs in the European Union and provide fair treatment for consumers and creators.

At today's launch in Brussels, the CLRA released an economic impact study detailing the extent of levies collection in nine European countries. Currently, the UK, Ireland, Luxembour, Cyprus and Malta do not impose copyright equipment.

The study found that levies will increase from &euros;1.57 billion in 2006 to reach &euros;2.12 billion in 2009. It also revealed that levies have more than tripled in Europe since 2001, going from &euros;545 million to &euros;1.57 billion in 2006.

The CLRA also pointed that consumers are charged for copyright when purchasing equipment to play the content such as CD recorders and also pay the copyright fees to copy, when buying blank media for instance, making it a multiple payment scenario.

"Copyright levies on digital products are an outdated form of taxation that penalizes consumers, artists and industry alike," says Mark MacGann, spokesperson for the CLRA and Director General of European Information and Communications Technology and Consumer Electronics and Consumer Electronics Association (EICTA).

"By making digital devices more affordable for consumers, we can further encourage the uptake of technology in Europe and free valuable resources for reinvestment in innovation and European comptetiveness," adds MacGann.

So far, the CLRA is comprised of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the European American Business Council (EABC), the European Digital Media Association (EDiMA), EICTA and the Recording-media Industry Association of Europe (RIAE).

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