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Sweden's EUCD proposal online

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 18 Jun 2003 15:02 User comments (3)

Now once the EUCD legislation is starting to get implemented in various different European Union countries, people are beginning to wake up and oppose the changes. Unfortunately this is too late now. The EUCD, European Union Copyright Directive was approved by the EU parliament already in 2001 without virtually anyone noticing it.
EUCD simply states that all European Union member countries (and those joining to EU next year) need to implement the directive into their national laws. The original deadline for doing so was in December, 2002 but as always, all countries missed the deadline. Now, the EUCD legislation is active in handful of EU member countries -- and once again, most of those living in these countries don't even know about it. Some of the countries that have -- as far as we know -- implemented the legislation already are Germany and Denmark.

So, what EUCD requires? It very clearly states that all tools and software that allow circumventing copy protection mechanisms (whether built by programming or by mechanical means) will be banned within the European Union. The directive doesn't specifically make it illegal to use such tools, but makes it illegal to distribute, sell and advertise such tools. Prime example of such tools are DVD rippers. So, if a site is located within the European Union, it can't distribute DVD rippers (if its national country has already implemented the EUCD).

As a direct result of Germany's EUCD legislation, the most popular DVD ripping pack for Linux, dvd::rip had to be modified so that it doesn't include any parts that allow circumventing the CSS copy protection.

Now Sweden has announced its proposal for implementing the EUCD into its own legislation. Sweden has obviously decided to take things a bit further than EUCD would require. In addition to banning distribution of copy protection circumvention tools, Sweden's proposal makes it also illegal to download copyrighted material from P2P networks (traditionally within the EU, downloading illegal material is perfectly legal, but distributing it -- such as sharing the material via P2P networks -- is illegal) and also adds a levy to blank digital media to compensate copyright owners for lost revenue (such levy has existed years in various countries, such as Finland and Canada).

The most dramatic thing is probably the proposed rate for the media levy -- the levy (or stealth tax or whatever you want to call it) would add a decent SEK31 (appx. €3.4 or $4.0) to each blank DVD-RW or DVD+RW disc despite its existing retail price. The proposed levy for recordable discs (whether a CD-R or DVD-R or other digital medium) is SEK0.0025 per megabyte and SEK0.007 for re-recordable discs (such as DVD-RW, CD-RW or DVD+RW).

If the proposed law passes in Sweden's parliament, it will be implemented as a law by end of the year.

More information:

Proposed law, part 1 (Swedish only)
Proposed law, part 2 (Swedish only)

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3 user comments

119.6.2003 8:57

Sick! Stupid jävels!

220.6.2003 12:04

This is almost as bad as Hatch wanting to blow up our computers. That means of course we could blow up his right? Senators in my country should pay attention to business at hand and forget the issues that they can never control. Rodgers

322.6.2003 3:24

whoa! poor swedes!

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