BIEM, CISAC e GESAC: difendere la copia privata

Il BIEM (Bureau Internationale des Sociétés gérant les Droits d’Enregistrement et de Reproduction Mécanique), la CISAC (Confédération Internationale des Sociétés des Auteurs et Compositeurs) e il GESAC (Groupement Européen des Sociétés des Auteurs et Editeurs) in un comunicato congiunto manifestano la loro preoccupazione per il futuro del compenso per copia privata, alla luce delle numerose riflessioni di cui è oggetto sia da parte della Commissione europea che di altri Stati nazionali, non ultima la Francia la quale di recente ha approvato un emendamento alla legge di riforma sul diritto d’autore presentata all’Assemblea Nazionale.
Le tre organizzazioni internazionali sostengono che il sistema della copia privata è una soluzione semplice e vantaggiosa sia per il consumatore – che in questo modo conserva il diritto ad effettuare copie per uso personale – sia per gli aventi diritto, per i quali costituisce una giusta remunerazione per il lavoro creativo svolto e non rappresenta affatto un ostacolo allo sviluppo del mercato culturale, che, anzi non potrebbe esistere senza la presenza degli autori che hanno bisogno di ricevere delle giuste garanzie per lo sfruttamento economico delle loro opere.

Il testo del comunicato:

MIDEM, France – 22 January, 2005 – Authors’ rights organisations are deeply concerned about the future of private copying schemes that provide fair compensation to authors for the private copying of their works by consumers. Private copying is currently under review by the European Commission and other countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Japan and Mexico. The software industry and the manufacturers of recording devices and blank media are pushing for the abolition of private copying schemes in favour of DRMs. BIEM, CISAC and GESAC consider that such policy would seriously jeopardise the interests of authors and their publishers and would threaten cultural diversity. Analysis by BIEM, CISAC and GESAC shows that DRMs are far from being generally applied and allowing control over private copying of creators’ works. Furthermore, many products and/or services allowing private copying of the entire world repertoire will continue to exist in the future. BIEM, CISAC and GESAC therefore believe it is unjustified to consider any phasing out private copying schemes. They have expressed their concerns directly to EU Commissioner McCreevy and are closely involved in the development of the situation in other countries.

More EU legislation unnecessary

The European Commission recently began an investigation into the need to adapt the private copying remuneration schemes that 22 out of the 25 EU Member States use to ensure that authors receive a fair reward for their work.

Bernard Miyet, President of GESAC, said: “There is no economic or other imperative for European legislative intervention to modify current private copying remuneration schemes in Europe. DRMs are still under development and will not offer truly effective protection for rights holders in any foreseeable future. Moreover the consumers do have an interest in the perpetuation of the exception for private copying and it is inconceivable that they might be deprived of the possibility to continue to make private copies. Furthermore, private copying schemes are not hindering the growth of the European online market”.

DRMs do not render private copying schemes obsolete

Private copying remuneration schemes have become the subject of a worldwide lobbying campaign – led by the software industry and the manufacturers of recording devices and blank media – that is aiming to persuade legislators that so-called “private copy levies” are now superfluous and should be replaced with technical protection measures (TPMs) and Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology.

BIEM, CISAC and GESAC are fully supportive of TPMs and DRMs as they promise to be useful tools in developing a vibrant and legitimate online market. However this technology is at an early stage and does not actually prevent users from making unlimited copies. Furthermore, DRM systems currently enable consumers to circumvent the protection so that they can transfer their music onto other digital devices. Moreover, the development of DRMs does not imply that the exception for private copying will disappear.

Cees Vervoord, Chairman of CISAC Board of Directors, said: “Private copying schemes are a “win win” for everyone. They provide a simple and cheap solution for consumers; they enable manufacturers to use the copying features on their equipment as an attractive selling point and at the same time creators are remunerated for the copying of their works”.

In addition, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) concluded in a recent publication, DRM – Enabled Online Content Services in Europe and the USA – BSA, October 2005. that so-called “levies” are hampering the growth of the European online market. However, in support of its assertion that the US online market is some 8 times larger than the European one, they have ignored the all important and highly developed European mobile music delivery market. A true comparison of the two markets reveals that the European digital music market is in fact some 3 times larger than that of the US. They also predict that the European market will grow by 500% by 2008. Therefore it is highly questionable as to whether private copying schemes have any bearing on the size of the European online market.

Private Copying Remuneration is vital

Jürgen Becker, President of BIEM, says: “We have seen many exciting technological breakthroughs, enabling us to bring music and other forms of entertainment to more and more people around the globe, whether they are at home, at work or on the move. Ultimately the culturally diverse content which drives this market relies on creators who in turn depend on earning their living from fair remuneration for the use of their work. The protection of authors’ rights by effective means and their fair remuneration is more important than ever”.


In many countries throughout the world consumers are permitted under private copying schemes to reproduce protected works for private purposes without prior authorisation from right holders. For example, the EU Copyright Directive allows Member States to make an exemption for private copying in their national laws on condition that authors receive fair compensation in return. In most countries such compensation is allowed for in the price paid for recording equipment and/or blank media (MP3 players, CDs, DVDs, hard disks, etc), which is then channelled back to the authors through collective management societies

Private copying remuneration is fair. While manufacturers object to this remuneration, the multi-billion dollar consumer electronics market relies heavily on copying of copyright musical works. BIEM, CISAC and GESAC believe that these businesses should not derive their profits at the expense of creators and that they should contribute to upholding creators’ rights.

BIEM is the international organisation, representing 45 mechanical rights societies from 43 countries. BIEM negotiates in the name of its members a standard agreement with IFPI fixing the conditions for the use of the repertoire of the societies. BIEM is based in Paris (France) and has two regional offices in Budapest and Singapore.

CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, works towards the increased recognition and protection of creators’ rights and enhanced quality of collective administration of their rights. Through its 210 member societies in 109 countries, CISAC represents over 3 million authors and composers of all genres of artistic creation. CISAC has its headquarters in Paris and three regional offices in Budapest, Singapore and Buenos Aires.

GESAC, the European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers, groups 34 of the largest authors’ societies in the European Union, Norway and Switzerland. As such, GESAC represents nearly 500.000 authors or their successors in title in the area of music, graphic and plastic arts, literary and dramatic works, and audiovisual as well as music publishers. GESAC is a Brussels-based organization working to ensure that the interests of European authors and their collective management societies are heeded by the European institutions.