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France: Government and Senate support proposal to extend private copying levies to some cloud services

Submitted by veraliah on Tue, 02/09/2016 - 10:43
In France, private copy levies have existed since 1985 as a mean of compensating rightholders, including authors and publishers, for their loss of revenue due to the copying of their works. Levies are paid by importers and manufacturers of devices and media used for private copying to a central organisation called Copie France, which then distributes 75% of the monies to rightholders and use the remaining 25% to fund over 5,000 cultural initiatives and projects every year.
In the context of the discussion on a new law on the freedom of creation, the Committee on Cultural Affairs of the Senate, the Upper House of the French Parliament, has adopted an amendment proposing to extend the scope of private copying levies to partly cover cloud services: only audiovisual and radio content recorded and filed on the cloud through the use of Network Personal Video Recorders (NPVR) would be subject to it. In practice, this would mean that when someone is making use of a NPVR to record, for instance, a TV show or a movie, the file being then automatically stored in the cloud, such content will be subject to private copying levies, the amount of the fair compensation to be paid depending on the size of the content stored and the number of people using it. 
According to the French press, a number of audiovisual media services and Internet service providers are supporting this amendment as a way of legally safeguarding the online communication to the public of protected content that they offer. The debate on the draft law and amendments to it will start on 9 February 2016. 
Find more information here on private copying in France, and read here the amendment and here an article in Le Monde on the proposed amendment (both in French).