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UK ISPs Safe From P2P Royalty Tariff
By: MarkJ - 02 December, 2003 (2:30 PM)

Following the results from a Canadian court case, it had been feared that UK ISPs could have been forced into paying a royalty tariff from their profits. Thankfully it appears as if this is not the case, yet the story itself is worrying:

On Wednesday, the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) will be making its case to the Canadian Supreme Court. The organisation is attempting to make ISPs hand over 10% of their annual profits on top of a blanket charge of 25 cents per user per year, in order to pay for illegally downloaded music.

The UK's Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) says the judgement will not affect UK ISPs because the EU E-Commerce Directive, which was passed around two years ago, means that ISPs here are a "mere conduit of information" and not held responsible for the content they transport. However, an ISPA spokesman told ZDNet UK that music artists and other rights holders should be trying to improve their relationship with ISPs and Internet users instead of waging a legal war.

"There are many kinds of content that are charged for and ISPA would like to see rights holders like the film and music industry embracing the Internet and the opportunities it offers in order to sell their wares," said the spokesman, who cited MSN's music club and Apple's iTunes as examples that should be followed. "The Rolling Stones have embraced the Internet as a way to disseminate their music and there are ways the music industry can invest in to make music available via the Internet," he added.

More @ ZDNet.

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