Copyright outfit goes nuts in Belgium

Loony Belgian copyright outfit Sabam is telling truck drivers to pay for music that they listen to when driving.

Truck drivers already pay a contribution to Sabam through the radio stations. But the copyright society considers the cab of the truck a workplace and therefore they need to be charged again.

MP Maggie De Block (Open VLD) said that the copyright outfit is talking nonsense and her colleague Enterprise Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open VLD) agrees saying that radio is essential for truckers.

Sabam is furious that people do not see the problem its way. It said that it had worked out a deal with industry, which provides that all companies for the music in the workplace pay a contribution depending on the number of staff. Those with less than nine of them are exempt.

It said that under the deal, personnel now in a truck sitting in an office or a studio, makes no real difference they still have to cough up.

What is perhaps surprising is that Dutch companies did a deal with the copyright group in the first place. It appears that they negotiated a deal which involved them paying the outfit money for playing music at work. Truckers seem to be calling a foul, but it seems that the industry and government are to blame for doing a stupid deal to make Big Content go away.

Sabam is right. The truckers should pay up just like everyone else. However who was dumb enough to negotiate a deal where people pay for music heard in the work place?