Libraries Being Told To Cough Up The Cash If They Want To Read Aloud To Kids
On this side of the Atlantic we don’t know much about ‘collection societies’ as they are primarily a European group of entertainment organizations whose whole purpose to travel around and find businesses, and people, who are using copyrighted material in one way or another but have paid for a license to do so.
Some of the groups are a little more hardliner than others but as a whole these groups are proving to be nothing more than what amounts to extortion rackets that have tried to force ISPs and social networks to setup and enforce monitoring systems in order to combat copyright infringement.
One of their other popular past times is to harass small businesses and organization in to paying high fees for using, or playing, copyright material. We have seen in the past where they have gone after hairdressers for having a radio playing in the salon and owners of riding stables who play music in the background to help keep the animals calm.
The newest effort for extorting money comes to us via a post on The Next Web by Robin Wauters about the efforts of the Belgian collecting society for music royalties, SABAM, and his hometown library.
It seems that SABAM has decided that volunteers reading library books aloud to children is something that they should be getting money for. The library in question is in the town of Dilbeek and one of their regular events is that twice a month the library welcomes about 10 children to a reading session, the reason being is that it another way to encourage young children to take up reading.
Due to the fact that the library doesn’t have the funds to pay people to read the books to the kids they rely on volunteers to come in and give of their time to read the books aloud to the participating children. However according to SABAM this isn’t kosher and if the libraries want to continue to do this for the children the library needs to cough up $320 per year to SABAM.
There is no word yet on what the library is going to do but I seriously hope that there is enough of an uproar to make SABAM think twice.