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Wednesday, 28 June 2006


Spain introduces copyright levy

Slashdot reports that Spain is introducing a tax on all blank media, including cd-r, dvd-r, flash media, printers, scanners and mobile phones.

The IPKat reckons that, if a levy is being collected to recompense copyright holders, this should be reflected in a reduced royalty stream from other forms of copyright enforcement.

Prospective cost-capping in IP cases

Mann J has delivered what he states is, to his knowledge, the first case requesting a prospective cost-capping order in an IP case. The claimant in this passing off action (Andrew Knight v Beyond) is instructing his solicitors under a conditional fee agreement but does not have after-the-event insurance cover for any costs that he would have to pay the defendants if he were unsuccessful. The defendants sought an order which would prospectively limit the amount of costs which they would be liable for if the claimant succeeds in this action and get an order for costs against them.

The order was refused because Mann J found that the costs could be adequately dealt with through an after-trial costs assessment. Although there were certain ‘danger points’ identified with regard to proposed expenditure, the judge hearing any action regarding costs would be able to adequately police them ex post facto.

The IPKat notes that there’s a tricky balancing act to be performed here. While it would be undesirable for judges to interfere too closely in how litigants choose to run their cases, by the time it’s after the event, it may be too late for unreasonable costs to be recouped.


Anonymous said...

"The IPKat reckons that, if a levy is being collected to recompense copyright holders, this should be reflected in a reduced royalty stream from other forms of copyright enforcement."

Maybe you're right, but I don't see how to translate that in a concrete measure.

A more important problem with this measure is that it also taxes people like me (my Spanish alter ego that is) who only use cd-r's to make backups of my own data, to make copies of software for which I have a license to make copies, that uses flash media in my digital camera for making my own pictures and who uses his printer to print his own papers.

Why don't they tax blank paper as well?

The IP Dog said...

>>>Why don't they tax blank paper as well?

Some European countries actually do have a photocopier tax which is almost the same as taxing blank paper. . .

Ilanah said...

I don't disagree with you there. What I'm saying is a second best measure, but assuming that you're stuck with the blank media levy, I'm really offended by the idea of the copyright holder being paid what amounts to a licence fee AND getting full royalties on top of that.

Anonymous said...

Apart from the unfairness of individuals and business that don't infringe being expected to subsidize those who do, it seems to imply that, since you're paying for it anyway, you are now morally justified in copying whatever you want. Is that really the message the royalty collection agencies want to send?

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