PRESS RELEASE: Creators object to tech companies’ suggestion to replace private copying levies by state fund systems

Recently Digital Europe, representing some of the world’s largest technology and ICT companies, announced proposals to shift their private copying responsibilities and suggests that private copying compensation be moved to governments and other public funds.

European creators, represented by the organisations below, strongly oppose this suggestion which has no legal or other justification and is an attempt to shift the burden and ask public funds to pick up the bill.

It is difficult to see how such a move could be justified, especially in times of austerity and considering that most European countries already have functioning private copying schemes in place.

The disastrous effects of a “state-fund” system can be seen in Spain, where €5 million from the public budget is replacing the previous private copying scheme, slashing creators’ remuneration by over €110 million, while the prices of devices have not gone down.

The alternatives proposed by Digital Europe would cut the link between the act of making private copies and the payment of remuneration to rightholders, in contradiction with EU law and case-law, according to which it is for the natural persons benefitting from the exception to finally compensate rightholders for the private use made of their works.

The proposal comes at a time when former Commissioner Mr Vitorino is busy at work on a dialogue designed to improve how private copying works. Creators’ organisations are involved in this dialogue, alongside technology and ICT companies.

Creators’ organisations are concerned that this latest development could be a sign that the whole mediation process is being hijacked and that technology and ICT companies seem to be walking away from improving the system.


AEPO ARTIS – Association of European Performers’ Organisations

Eurocopya – Federation of Producers’ Societies for Audiovisual Private CopyingGESAC – European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers – Independent Music Companies Association

SAA – Society of Audiovisual Authors

Press contact: Véronique Desbrosses,+32 2 511 44 54,


According to the Copyright Directive (Directive 2001/29/EC), the exclusive right to reproduce sound, visual or audiovisual material belongs to authors, performers and producers. However, Member States may authorise private copying on condition that the rightholders receive ‘fair compensation’. Fair compensation must help to ensure that rightholders receive appropriate remuneration for the use of their works or other protected subject-matter.

Private copying remuneration are amounts paid on different types of devices and media to provide compensation to creators and rightholders for the private copying of their works for personal use. While the European Court of Justice has recently clarified provisions of national private copying legislation it underlined that authors have a right to be fairly compensated for such reproductions.



The Association of European Performers’ Organisations, AEPO, was founded in Brussels on 20 May 1994. AEPO-ARTIS represents 30 European performers’ collective rights management societies from 23 countries. Combined, these societies have in excess of 350,000 performing artists (such as musicians, singers, dancers, actors) as members and manage the rights of some 400.000 performers in Europe.

About Eurocopya

EUROCOPYA is the European organisation of movie and television producers’ collecting societies in charge of private copy (blank media & equipment) rights management. Our statutory members are the societies representing producers from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.


Created in December 1990 in the form of an EEIG (European Economic Interest Grouping), GESAC groups 34 of the largest authors’ societies in the European Union, Norway and Switzerland. As such, GESAC represents around 700.000 authors or right holders in the area of music, graphic and plastic arts, literary and dramatic works, and audiovisual as well as music publishers.


IMPALA was established in 2000 at the initiative of prominent independent labels and national trade associations. IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector, promote cultural diversity and cultural entrepreneurship, and modernise the perception of the music industry. IMPALA has over 4,000 members including top independents and national associations across Europe.

About SAA

The Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) is an association of European Collective Management Societies representing audiovisual authors. Through its members (25 societies in 18 countries) SAA represents over 120,000 film and television European screenwriters and directors. More information