The Swedish government is in the process of working out how best to implement the EU InfoSoc Copyright Harmonisation Directive into national law. In June 2003 the minister of justice published a long-awaited report on its proposed implementation (available in Swedish on the Ministry of Justice's website), recommending a number of changes.
The report describes the ways in which the Swedish Copyright Act should be amended in order to facilitate implementation. The main features of interest include the following:
The right of communication to the public would be extended to cover those situations where the work is made available at a distance, by wire or wireless means and including on-demand services. The existing right of public performance would be narrowed to cover only those situations where the making available of a work takes place in front of a group that is physically present, regardless of whether technical means are used. These changes would not alter the broad authorial right of making a work available to the public.
Article 5.2(b) of the directive requires substantive changes be made to limit the scope of the existing private copying exception. First, copying for private purposes (at present given a broad interpretation, including some copying done at work) would be limited to "purely" private purposes (although in some cases copying for private use at work may be permitted). Second, the number of permitted copies would change from "single", a concept that permits a number of copies to be made, to "a few", which is much narrower.
Levies would be imposed on the types of recording device on which copies of sound and film can be made and which are "especially suited" for the reproduction of works for private use (eg, audio and video cassettes, CDs and DVDs). The levy system would not extend to computers, personal digital assistants, CD burners, video players or works published on the Internet. MP3 players would be covered, at least as long as they are deemed as devices "especially suited" for the reproduction of works for private use. Levies for analogue recordings would be calculated as they are now, but a new method would apply to digital devices, based on capacity for single or multiple recording.
Article 4 of the directive would be implemented to introduce regional exhaustion of rights into Section 19 of the act.
Section 2 of the act would be amended to provide explicitly that temporary copies are covered by the exclusive right of reproduction (as per Article 2 of the directive).
First published in in the March 2004 issue of World Copyright Law Report.
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. The law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly.