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EU pulls plans that could end copyright taxes

December 14, 2006|From the Associated Press

BRUSSELS — The European Commission said Wednesday that it had withdrawn plans that could end copyright levies on electronic equipment but denied it had done so under pressure from the French government.

Most European countries charge fees on music and video players and blank CDs to compensate artists and copyright holders for legal copying.

The Copyright Levies Reform Alliance, which represents companies from the technology and recording industries, said outdated and unjust levies should be phased out where alternative compensation exists, to bring the sector in line with EU copyright law.

The levies are collected by artists' rights groups who distribute them to music and film copyright holders, performers and record companies. In some countries, a portion of the money also supports cultural projects. The fees do not cover illegal copies a CD owner makes for others.

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