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Awful Spanish Copyright Law May Be Stalled Waiting For EU Court Ruling On Plans To Change Spain’s Copyright Levy System

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Techdirt has written about Spain’s new copyright law a couple of times. There, we concentrated on the “Google tax” that threatens the digital commons and open access in that country. But alongside this extremely foolish idea, there was another good one: getting rid of the anachronistic levy on recording devices that was supposed to “compensate” for private copying (as if any such compensation were needed), and paying collecting societies directly out of Spain’s state budget. Needless to say, it is such a good idea that the collecting societies hate it, and have appealed against the new system. As a result, the Spanish Supreme Court has referred two questions to the European Union Court of Justice (EUCJ), given here in the translation on the IPKat blog:
A — Is a copyright levy system, that — taking as a basis the estimation of the actual damage — is financed through the State budget thus not making possible to guarantee that the costs of this compensation are only supported by the users of the private copies (as opposed to the non-users), compliant with Article 5(2)(b)b) of [EU] Directive 2001/29?

B — If the answer is in the affirmative, is it compliant with Article 5(2)(b) of Directive 2001/29 that the total quantity set aside by the government for this compensation, which is calculated in view of the estimation of the actual damage, is set within [or conditioned by] the budget restrictions for each financial year?
So it looks like we will get another copyright judgment from the EUCJ, which has been increasingly called upon to give definitive rulings in this area. The IPKat notes that until the EUCJ decision is handed down, all of Spain’s new copyright law may be put on hold — no bad thing considering how awful much of it is.(Techdirt)

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