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Artists lose out as fans stop burning CDs

Artists lose out as fans stop burning CDs

Published: 18 Jul 2010 17:54 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Jul 2010 17:54 GMT+02:00

Musicians, actors and other artists have seen their revenues from blank CDs and DVDs plummet as file sharers adapt their habits and embrace a range of technologies.

Income generated from a copy fee built in to the price of recordable CDs and DVDs – and shared among artists and copyright holders – has almost halved over the last two years. In 2007, sales of blank discs generated 200 million kronor ($28 million) for artists, compared to just 113 million kronor in 2009.

Copyswede, the umbrella organisation for copyright groups that administers the fee, believes the plunge in revenue can be attributed to a shift in the ways music and films are now consumed.

“We’re seeing a technology shift whereby the discs in themselves are no longer of interest. File sharers and others have started using different technologies. Things can instead be stored on people’s computer hard drives or their telephones,” Copyswede’s managing director Mattias Åkerlind told news agency TT.

Copyswede distributes the funds generated from fees that are included in the prices of recordable hard drives, mp3 players, and blank discs. But as its members’ revenues shrink, the organization is pushing for legislation that will extend the fees to other technologies.

“We don’t currently receive any revenue from hard drives or telephones despite legislation decreeing that fees should apply to any products that are particularly suitable for piracy. The pattern we think we’re seeing is one of piracy moving to external hard drives and USB flash drives while telephones are being used for storage,” said Åkerlind.

Copyswede’s proposed fee would add around 100 kronor to the cost of a mobile phone with 32 gigabytes of memory. But negotiations have stalled of late, with the organisation enjoying scant support from electronics retailers opposed to price hikes on goods like telephones and hard disks.

“We’ll probably have to ask the legislator for help and we’ve already approached the justice ministry about this matter. We’re hoping for a reaction by autumn,” said Åkerlind.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

21:22 July 18, 2010 by byke
This is bullshit.

What are they going to do next, try and tax parents of new borns under the guise that they may remember a film later on in life that they have paid to see?

The logic behind such taxes is ludicrous and is a clear breach of our human rights as under this directive its a case of guilty before even doing anything.

Will they try and tax paper also ? what about pens or paint?
21:38 July 18, 2010 by AndreaGerak
...and piracy is a clear breach of human rights #27:

"(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author."

What about that? An artist asking...
21:53 July 18, 2010 by Sebastian_R
When is the music industry going to die already??? Seriously, I can't hear their complaints any longer. If your business model is broken, fix it. Don't sue your customers.

I don't file share. But I used to by a lot of blank DVDs, CDs etc. not any longer. Why? Right, a CD is way to small to backup my data. And BluRays just won't work for me (thank music industry for making this format unusable!). So I backup my data (my own photos to be precise) differently. So now the music industry is not making money any longer of my private photos. And now these guys complain... GIVE US A BREAK Music Industry - adapt your model or please please just go away. But spare us your stupid complaints about that technology evolves...
22:09 July 18, 2010 by byke
Article 27 of the human rights law is there to protect freedom of expression and integrity BUT bears no relation to your unfounded claim trying to relate piracy to it directly.

That being said, I am sure you may find other articles clearly defined under the human rights act which clearly contradicts the use of means to enforce unfounded crimes that have yet to maybe happen by the introduction of such measures.

If this was to be enforced then it would ad quite arguably should pave the way to make piracy legal since its already be pre subsidized by such atrocities.
22:52 July 18, 2010 by norcalNisse
A *built-in tax* for blank CDs that benefits the music industry? That is the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard. Whoever came up with that should lose their job.

True artists do not whine over the fact that they're "losing" a few pennies worth for every copy of their latest album that's not sold due to piracy -- they're happy that people are enjoying their music, regardless of how it's done.
23:20 July 18, 2010 by byke
So should people who use iTunes get a double bill? (one to buy the music, and one to store the music)
00:02 July 19, 2010 by Beavis
Just type in CCR and wiki as an example. The more of these record industy people out of a job the better. They have destroyed music with their greed.
00:08 July 19, 2010 by Da Goat
looks like it's way past time to kill off this tax

the younger people don't use optical disks any-more (too small and scratch-able)

and older people who do use them don't pirate so they need to kill this tax and i was gonna say think of something different BUT don't do that I don't like your thinking music industry it stinks!

because we also use the other storage media for everything else !

I do like the above idea to double charge ITune users for being silly enough to use ITunes (it is nothing but trouble) I am a IT guy and it is the poxiest software known to man! (I should bill Apple for the time I spend disabling it from disabling good computers)
00:29 July 19, 2010 by jazzIIIlove
too small and scratchable and one more thing, I have most probably thousands of DVDs but I don't know where to look even I archived them very thoroughyh and used some archiving sw. So, what I am doing is obvious;

1) storing them in portable.

2) for visual media; watch then delete.

3) for audio, online streaming as grooveshark.

I concur the itunes crapness and I use some ripper programs for extracting the media from it and really itunes is failing in 7-64 bit, as an IT guy, I need to edit the installer to work it in 7-64 bit.

00:41 July 19, 2010 by rabbemos
Media is fragmenting and rightly so as most traditional media companies have been spoonfeeding people with recycled and unoriginal content for decades.

I rather watch content that is produced and distributed directly by the producer rather than having to go through middle men such as record companies, news papers, and so on and so forth....Technology allows people to do that by subscribing to blogs, informative people on twitter and so forth..it takes a little investment to configure everything to get the newsfeed and entertainment right but it ends up being a whole lot more interesting, relevant, and with more integrity than traditional media.
02:54 July 19, 2010 by AussieAndy
The music industry claim they were losing money because of piracy.

Now they are claiming they losing money because music pirates are not using CD's/DVD's

Where is the logic
05:50 July 19, 2010 by Deffiz
The music industry is loosing money due to declining CD sales and they claim it is due to piracy. Now blank CD sales are down and they want the piracy-tax extended to other media - PUT TWO AND TWO TOGETHER: YOU'RE NOT RELEVANT ANY MORE!

Anyone working for a record company should get their parasiting *** down to arbetsförmedlingen and look for an honest job.
09:27 July 19, 2010 by space2
So, let me see if I get this right: by buying any cd/dvd (and soon harddrives, mobile phones, etc) I ALREADY pay for the music ... so then, why not download the music, if I'm already paying for it?!

Oh, and what about "Everybody is innocent until proven guilty"?. This tax is more like "Everybody is guilty. Period.".
10:35 July 19, 2010 by Beavis
If the record companies had any sense (which they dont!) They would stop charging radio stations to play their music. They will remember that when pirate radio was at its height, their record sales were also at their height. Radio should be used as free advertising for their product, that way the common conplaint (the station can only afford to have a 25 song play list) would cease, new artists would be no longer a risk to play, and everyones a winner, (artist,record company scum, radio station, music listener)
12:54 July 19, 2010 by AndreaGerak
@byke, #4:

Bravo! You sound like a very skilled administrator, trained well in writing for lawyers or politicians: with huge sentences, put together from big and know-it-all sounding words, you say something which sounds WOW! so in-the-know - but doesn't answer my simple question, which was:

how does piracy supports the basic human right of artists, authors in protecting their moral and financial interests?
13:00 July 19, 2010 by Sebastian_R
I never cared about the music industry. I bought my music, I shared cassets with my friends and things were fine. I didn't care about how much money the made.

But then they started to go after their customers and hamper technological progress everywhere. I now hate the music industry so much, that if someone would come and collect donations to abolish the music industry I would happily donate.
13:12 July 19, 2010 by Marc the Texan
The real misapplication of this law happens when they determine how much to pay which companies. No doubt some flawed number based on who sells the most music, movies, etc. The business of making big money off selling recorded music only existed for about 40 years. A historical gold rush. Now we're going back to how its been throughout history. Big government imposing penalties on the general population to make up for some perceived injustice is where Swedish government always gets it so, so wrong.
13:27 July 19, 2010 by eZee.se
This scam has been running a long time, they charge us a small percentage (which gets to be a very large sum based on volume) of each CD because it can be used to record pirated music. Then this money (hundreds of millions worldwide) goes into the coffers of the major music labels without them lifting a finger to actually earn it. Little to nothing trickles down to the indies or small artists.


With the cost of CDs so minimal, it was discovered this tax added upto 70% of the price for a box of CDs on retail


and here's the kicker:

They want money for blank media because of piracy FROM EVERYBODY who buys blank media, and still want the right to take you to court... for burning that pirated media onto your blank media.

Sadly, as Beatrice Ask (justice minister-Sweden) is the media industries pet wh0re, its quite possible they will get a few of their demands met, even though sane countries around the world have tossed those demands out the window for years.
14:02 July 19, 2010 by Mb 65
If they dropped their extortionate prices they charge for dvd's and cd's they would sell more. Most old people don't buy or pirate music as there is nothing out there for them. The so called music these days is mostly crap. Anything decent out there is The best of, or The very best of or, The very very best of. Why should an artist or a writer still get royalties 50-60 years after they first sung or wrote the song. Greedy Sony has ruined the music industry.
15:43 July 19, 2010 by eZee.se
Some interesting reading to further clarify what MB65 wrote:


which is why.... vote Pirate Party.
16:39 July 19, 2010 by Anon 1:50
Really, the solution is SO simple.

Just institute an "Ear Tax".

Say, 50 Kronor per ear, and subsidize the greedy and dying recording industry.

More than fair, right?
22:01 July 19, 2010 by kenny8076
last time i checked a CD in sweden cost about 149 SEK ($20), when they start offering music worth 20 bucks maybe people will start paying for it. these artist now a days make a 12 song album with one hit or good song and charge an arm and leg for it. sorry im not in the business for making people boat payments. i will steal as long as they keep stealing
13:06 July 20, 2010 by donutwallah
This is a scam. This greedy and outdated industry gets away with it because there is one thing that they're good at: they have a powerful lobbying machine with which to 'persuade' the legislators.
16:32 July 20, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
Wait for them to add a surtax on any kind of digital storage device, such as SD cards, mobile phones, external HDs.

I shouldn't give them any ideas.
21:45 July 20, 2010 by eZee.se

You're not giving them any ideas... the greedy b@stards have already tried, and for a while succeeded in Canada, but then the court ruled in the publics favor.

Google "canada apple returns piracy tax"
13:33 July 21, 2010 by Rick Methven
As I am deaf in one ear, can I get a 50% rebate?
15:44 July 23, 2010 by waggywow
Somehow I got a feeling they will be OK

02:04 July 30, 2010 by forqman
maybe all "true" artists should stop making music , then nobody has to pay for anything. Let the fan make their own music! LOL
22:56 August 6, 2010 by munched
copyright is to keep somebody from making money on my work. If they are just listening or watching, fine. Enjoy. if they're makiong money from it, I want my cut. Simple as that.
19:39 August 18, 2010 by eZee.se

Exactly what Pirate Party is advocating.

People who share with no financial gain at all would not be breaking the law - make money off it (eg bootleg CDs) and you go to jail.

But the media cartels want total control, and they want the world to follow the bad examples like they have set up in the US where you can be liable for upto 15000 USD *per song* shared.
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