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The Industry Representatives collectively resigned from the French Private Copy Commission

Date

15 Nov 2012

Sections

EU Priorities 2020
InfoSociety
Innovation & Enterprise

Angered by the repeated excesses of the French Private Copy Commission (PCC), the French professional organizations of the industrials’ college (Fevad, Secimavi, SFIB, Simavelec, SNSII) decided not to be taken hostage anymore of the decisions made by the Commission, leading to a continuous increase of prices of electronic devices for consumers. Even the annulment of these decisions by the FrenchState Council did not stop the surge of the private copy levies. In order to alert public authorities and to go back to a legitimate situation acceptable to all, the French industrials collectively resigned from the PCC. They are however committed to contribute to discussions to solve the crisis.

 

According to European law, the only purpose of the Private Copy Levy (PCL) should be to compensate harm from the act of private copying. However, the amount of the French PCL is today completely disconnected from the earning loss of the right holders. In 2010, the PCL generated about 190 M€ of revenues in France, whereas the real harm suffered by right holders has been assessed to only 52 M€ (according to a study carried out by 8Advisory).

  

 

The PCL tariffs are four times higher in France than elsewhere in Europe, and they keep increasing while usage studies clearly show a decrease of the number of private copies made by consumers. This increase seriously penalizes the purchasing power of consumers who, in the end, pay more for their digital devices than their European counterparts. Moreover, the amount of the PCL in France may soar for the Christmas holidays. According to the newly proposed tariff presented by right holders, French consumers would have to pay a PCL of 60 Euros for tablets for example.

 

 

The industrials’ college is powerless in view of these aberrations. It has no weight within the PCC, which is led by right holders’ representatives who impose their views without debate. The unbalanced composition of the commission, in which stakeholders are not equally represented, leads to a grotesque situation where collecting societies decide of their own earnings.

 

 

In these circumstances, the industry representatives are tired of playing the role of tax collectors, at the expense of consumers.

 

 

The French professional organizations of the industrials’ college have therefore no other choice than to resign from a commission with unbalanced governance protecting only the interests of collecting societies.

 

 

The French professional organizations of the industrials’ college consider that it is nevertheless possible to solve the crisis by reforming the PCL system, based on the compensation of a proven harm, as required by the European law. However, it is ready to engage discussions only if public authorities commit to a more balanced system and not a reform which would lead to even more taxes on a sector that creates thousands of direct jobs in France and that boosts economic growth. The reform will have to take into particular account the distortion of tariffs generated by the PCL in the European single market.

 

 

The Fevad, Gitep Tics, Secimavi, SFIB, Simavelec and the SNSII call for a full review of an anachronistic, unbalanced and opaque system that cannot, in the interest of consumers, legitimately and rationally go on any further.

 

 

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