With the strict copyright protection mandates that many national governments are currently working to enact, you would think there would be widespread support of these acts by the artists themselves. After all, the artists are the ones that these antipiracy measures are created for.
As it turns out, artists are not merely content creators, but are also citizens who value their current rights and freedoms. Many of them have enough sense to see the darker side of the “protections” their governments are pushing for.
A group of members from the Dutch Artists Union are now speaking out against the copyright infringement laws their government is trying to pass. Instead, they have submitted a counter-proposal which would legalize the acts of uploading and downloading shared files for personal use, and would instead place a levy on devices used to do the recording. Such devices would include MP3 players, mobile phones, televisions, and more.
“The parties find it essential to protect the freedom of consumers on the Internet and to ensure that the rights of artists are respected. A necessary condition for the adoption of the proposal is that the technologies used will not infringe on the rights of consumers,” the Artists Union’s press statement says.
The proposed average levy is a mere 5 Euros per device, and the proceeds would be divided among artists and others who hold rights on copyrighted content. Commercial infringement would still be a punishable offense under the proposal.
This is one of the most compelling solutions to piracy issues I’ve personally seen to date, and I find the fact that it’s coming from artists themselves quite refreshing. Up until now, most of the legal battles being waged seem to be between the governments and the file-sharers, with the occasional artist chiming in against piracy. Unfortunately, I think it will likely end up being quashed by the movie and music production companies in the end. It would be nice, however, to see the artists’ wishes triumph over corporate greed.