An MU (Musicians’ Union) motion demanding that musicians receive fair compensation for private copying has today (Monday, September 9th) received backing from the TUC Congress.
With the government looking to introduce a private copying exception that would make it legal to copy CDs and/or DVDs onto an iPod or computer, the MU motion is demanding that the exception is accompanied with fair compensation; something that the government is obliged to acknowledge under EU directives.
Artists in almost all other EU member states currently benefit from a levy system imposed on the manufacturers of MP3 players and other similar devices, which, according to the MU, have not encumbered market penetration of such devices and haven’t led to increased prices for consumers.
John Smith, MU General Secretary, commented: “The MU is not proposing an ‘iPod tax’ on consumers. What we are asking for is fair compensation for creators from the device manufacturers. These manufacturers are already paying patent and software licences for each device sold, and yet, under the UK proposal, the act of copying music onto these devices - the content the consumer is most interested in - will not generate any income for musicians.
“Despite an outstanding international reputation for British musicians, more than half of MU members still earn less than £20,000 a year from their profession,” he continued. “We have one of the best music industries in the world. The Government should be making it easier to survive as a musician – not harder. I am delighted that the TUC have agreed to support us in this battle.”