“Say what??” Was pretty much my initial reaction when I first read this article on Techdirt. Then I thought that this must be some sort of misunderstanding as no one can be dumb enough to want to charge libraries extra for each time volunteers read their books (Not books they have written mind you, but books that they manage copywrite for… basically they are making money off other people’s work.) to kids. But unfortunately that was not the case. These idiots actually want to charge libraries extra because unpaid volunteers read books to kids.
Twice a month, the library in [the Belgian town of] Dilbeek welcomes about 10 children to introduce them to the magical world of books. A representative of the library in question is quoted in the De Morgen report as saying there’s no budget to compensate people who read to the kids, relying instead on volunteers (bless them).
SABAM got in touch with the library to let them know that it thinks this is unacceptable, however, and that they should start coughing up cash for reading stories from copyrighted books out loud. The library rep calculates that it could cost them roughly 250 euros (which is about $328) per year to pay SABAM for the right to — again — READ BOOKS TO KIDS.
Is it a requirement for people getting hired into such firms to be brain dead and lacking all common sense? How dumb can you get? Actually don’t answer that… I am sure they can stoop lower. These are the same upstanding folks who were Charged With Copyright Fraud, Embezzlement, Money Laundering and are waiting for the court date to be set for this.
All these organizations need to be banned and/or charged a heavy fine for every false complaint they make for copyright violation. At present it costs them almost nothing to send out these notices and if someone objects they can just withdraw the complaint without any downside/fines. If they had to pay every time they did stupid stuff then the number of false/stupid copyright infringement claims would go down a lot.
Actually… Now that I think about it, we should all send them money immediately before they start charging parents who read night time stories to their kids.