Authors, composers want 3.4% of every Belgian’s Internet bill

24 11 2013

Content owners in nearly every country have tried various strategies to get compensation for losses due to piracy. But copyright owners in Belgium have a bold new tactic: go after Internet service providers in court, demanding 3.4 percent of the fees their customers pay for Internet service.

The lawsuit has been brought by the Belgian Society of Authors, Composers, and Publishers, known as Sabam. The group’s claim is similar to the blank-media levy that exists in Canada. It seems to be based on the assumption that a particular medium is used to break copyright law, and therefore all the users of that media should rightly be required to pay a tax. However, Canada’s blank media tax was approved by its legislature. To get their 3.4 percent cut, Belgian authors, composers, and publishers are hoping to bypass the legislature with a lawsuit.


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