Temporary scheme for private copying levies
There will be a temporary measure for private copying levies, which means that the private copying system will remain in place for the time being. This is evident from a letter from State Secretary Teeven of Security and Justice that was sent to the Lower House, also on behalf of State Secretary Zijlstra (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science) and Minister Verhagen (Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation).
The Cabinet intended to abolish the levy on carriers such as blank CDs and DVDs and replace it with a system that is more in line with technological developments. The Lower House is not in favour of this change. A temporary scheme has become unavoidable, because the European rules provide that authors are entitled to a reasonable compensation of loss that arises from a Member State allowing private copying. In practice, this means a review of the levies on carriers as of 1 January 2013.
By abolishing the private copying levies, the Cabinet also intended to offer a solution for the period after the private copying system had been frozen. That period of freezing was intended to enable debate and decision-making with respect to the future of the system and to implement the measures arising therefrom.
The Cabinet furthermore calls on the Private Copying Levy Agency (SONT) to issue advice on the review of the private copying levies. SONT is a consultative body that represents the persons obliged to pay and the Home Copy Association. The Home Copy Association collects and distributes the private copying levies among the entitled parties, such as authors, musicians and actors. The SONT parties are best able to judge what levies are appropriate. Teeven will take a SONT decision into account in the formation of an order in council to be handled in autumn with the aim of laying down the private copying levies formally.
And finally, the State has submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision of the Court of Appeal of The Hague in a case of the Foundation for Neighbouring Rights for Musicians and Actors (Norma) against the State, following the freezing of the private copying system in 2007. In its ruling, the Court of Appeal takes the position that no reasonable compensation for the authors will be realised, unless all carriers that are suitable for making private copies are made subject to a levy. The State disputes that position.