Private copying levies: Fair compensation for creation- PCR Matters #2

At the end of November, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee will vote on an opinion on private copying levies, also known as private copying remuneration (PCR). Ahead of this vote, is writing a series of posts called ‘PCR matters’ that explains why you should care about private copying levies. This week we explain how private copying levies exist in order to complement artists’ income.

When you buy a song, or a film, or any other cultural product, part of the price you pay goes to remunerating the authors and artists who have contributed to creating the product you bought. When you make copies of the work(s) you have bought for your own private purposes, these copies fall under the so-called private copying exception to allow you enjoy this freedom, provided that artists and authors are getting compensated for the use of their work. The private copying levies system was put in place to effectively compensate authors while allowing consumers to make private copies of their own. Private copying levies are a small sum included in the price of electronic devices such as MP3 players and tablets, which is redistributed to authors to compensate for their works being copied for private use.

Key facts:
 Private copying levies represent 5% of authors’ revenues on average in Europe;  e.g. about 83 million EUR were distributed to authors in 2011 in France
 Over 600 million EUR of copyright levies have been collected in Europe since 2001, helping to fund cultural and artistic events

Private copying levies are not only fair, they are also an essential part of the income of authors and composers, who often struggle to make a living from their creations. When authors are properly remunerated for their work, it gives them an incentive to keep on creating new content. This is good for authors and this is good for us all. We all enjoy a rich and diverse cultural scene. And we all benefit from the contribution culture makes to our economies, and our lives.

But private copying levies are not only used to help authors have a proper income, they are also used for social and cultural activities. More on this in our next post… stay tuned!

More about our views on private copying remuneration:

PCR matters #1- Private copying remuneration: More relevant in today’s digital world than ever

Why you should care about private copying remuneration

What author societies want for private copying remuneration

How it is an essential source of income for European creators