Yeah, things truly appear out of touch of reality with a headline like that. Unfortunately, the headline does reside in reality. It seems the comparable agency to the RIAA/MPAA for music royalties in Belgium, SABAM, decided to try and ban local libraries from enlisting volunteers to read books to kids. Yes, people reading books to kids in the libraries. Let me say that one more time–people reading books to kids in a library. I wish I could make these things up. So apparently SABAM wants to charge libraries about 250 euros a year to allow this.
This definitely scares me, but then I hope this will bring a lot of attention to Copyright. We already suffered through the whole SOPA debacle and that showed our US Congress that we will not go silently. If this type of thing would happen in the US, I think things would escalate quite quickly again. Here in Raleigh, we have a GREAT library system. My girls benefited from many, many visits to story time. It’s a rite of passage for kids. Really, they want libraries to pay for the right to allow volunteers to read? Very sad. How long then until they target school libraries and classrooms? Some of my fondest memories post classroom are of times I was invited back into classrooms to read. Dr. Seuss, The Polar Express, and so much more. So school pay to allow that right? Yeah, people, be prepared. If they can squeeze even a few dollars out, their greed knows no limit.
Image Source: used under Creative Commons license by http://photoblog.dinghome.net/2010/06/library-time/