January 8, 2008 / 4:34 PM / 11 years ago

CORRECTED: Dutch group loses bid for MP3 player levy

Corrects day in lead to Tuesday

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch rights organization which compensates artists for the use of their copyrighted material on Tuesday lost its court bid to remove a government block on new levies on MP3 media players.

The Netherlands already has a levy on blank CDs and DVDs but the government says the musicians’ and actors’ group Norma was not distributing the cash efficiently and wanted the problems solved before new levies were created.

“You cannot give such a system the responsibility for a new levy if you know that it is not working properly,” a justice ministry spokesman said.

The court in The Hague upheld a government freeze on moves to impose new levies, a justice ministry spokesman said.

Norma was not immediately available to comment.

The government has delegated the setting copyright levies to a body of rights holders and industry participants, SONT, but the justice minister can take measures if there are problems, the ministry spokesman said.

The government wants to improve the whole system around compensation for infringing copyright and aims to reach conclusions before 2009, the ministry spokesman said.

Copyright levies vary enormously across the European Union.

The European Commission — which was forced to abandon a proposal to reform the levy on blank CDs, MP3 players, printers and other gadgets in 2006 — said in December it received a complaint that the levies distort the internal market.

Reporting by Niclas Mika

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