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French Copyright Group Wants Apple To Pay Up For iPod

French Copyright Group Wants Apple To Pay Up For iPod

by , 11:00 AM EST, March 10th, 2004

The AP is reporting that a French association called the Society of Music Creators, Composers and Publishers, or Sacem, is threatening to sue Apple. Sacem is accusing Apple of not paying a levy leveled against various storage devices in France; that levy is designed to force everyone who buys such devices to cover the losses that copyright holders endure from piracy. The group says that Apple has heretofore refused to pay the levy, which would amount to as much as 20 Euros on the high-end 40 GB iPod. From the AP report:

A French association representing recorded music rights holders threatened Wednesday to take Apple Computer Inc. to court in a dispute over lost music royalties.

The argument centers on a fee levied in France on sales of blank CDs, tapes, hard disks and other hardware that can be used to copy music. The proceeds go to musicians and other rights holders who lose money to piracy.

The Society of Music Creators, Composers and Publishers, or Sacem, accuses Apple of consistently refusing to pay the levy on sales of its iPod music player, which contains a hard disk drive.

In a statement, Sacem said that unless Apple settles its growing account, the agency that collects the payments "will have no other option than to go immediately to court to make sure that the rights of artists, composers and producers are respected."

There's more information in the full article, which comes to us via The Ledger, a Lakeland, Florida Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

Speaking on behalf of those of us who don't pirate music, it's absolutely disgusting that we all pay the price for such schemes to remedy piracy. It's filthy, disgusting, and pathetic. Your mileage will vary, of course.

Note that while the manufacturer ostensibly is the one to have to pay the levy, it is the end consumer that ends up paying the price for all of these devices, as manufacturers will eventually recoup their losses.

In the meanwhile, Apple will have to follow the law in France. We might be philosophically offended at this idea, and not at all because Apple is involved, but that hardly makes a dent in the law. It will be very interesting to see how this works out, but our guess is that Apple will end up paying.

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