A European Commission Cloud Computing Strategy document leaked on Monday says that "questions arise on the possible collection of
private copy levies for any private copying of content to, from or within the cloud."
Under the InfoSoc Directive, EU member states may introduce an exception to the reproduction right for
private copying accompanied by "fair compensation" for rightsholders. Currently most EU member states (notably not the ) permit such UK private copying. Legislation does not provide a method for the calculation of fair compensation. The approach adopted in the EU so far has been to impose private copying levies on sales of storage media such as blank CDs, memory sticks, hard disks and smartphones. The levies typically vary with the capacity of the medium.
It makes some sense that, in countries where the levy system is in place, the cloud should also be subject to such a levy, given that one use of the cloud is to store content. However arguably the cloud is primarily a storage place for legitimately acquired content. In that sense it is the original CD that is purchased, rather than being the blank CD onto which a copy is made.
The levy system is a controversial one. One the one hand the creative industry trade bodies have just signed a declaration calling on European politicians to ensure that
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