Jens of Sweden, a company which produces mp3 players, is facing legal proceedings for after flatly refusing to pay a controversial ‘copying charge’ on its products.
“It’s not our problem that the record industry hasn’t come up with its own solution,” said the company’s owner, Jens Nylander.
The charge, known as ‘cassette compensation’, was introduced in Sweden in 1999 and was designed to compensate copyright owners whose music or films were copied to a different format for private use.
Last year, 85 million kronor in cassette compensation was collected and redistributed by the copyright organisation Copyswede.
The law also applies to mp3 players but Jens Nylander told Svenska Dagbladet that it was outdated and unjust. He said that there are several large companies which do not pay the charge, including Apple with its iPod, but Copyswede is only taking legal action against his company and one other.
“The system is unreasonable,” said Nylander, whose company has refused to pay the charge for the last two years.
“In my opinion the compensation should be built into the price. To be able to transfer a song to an mp3 player should be included in the purchase of the music.”
But Hans-Olov Dahlén at Copyswede told Svenska Dagbladet that his organisation wants a good relationship with the industry and that they are not picking on Jens of Sweden.
“They have clearly stated that they will not consider paying, so we’re going to court. We’re in discussions with the other companies,” he said.
“As the law stands, people have the right to make copies for private use, so the copyright owners should be fairly compensated.”