HL Deb 15 July 1992 vol 539 cc25-6WA
Lord Carter

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they support the proposal from the European Commission to impose a levy on blank audio and video tapes and recording equipment; and, if such a levy were imposed, what exemptions would be available for visually handicapped people and others who rely on home taping.

Baroness Denton of Wakefield

During the passage of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, the Government rejected the idea of a levy on blank tapes and recording equipment for a number of reasons, among which was the difficulty caused for those such as the visually handicapped, and the position has not changed. The European Commission proposal has not as yet been published and the details, such as any exemptions, are therefore not known. However, it is understood that the Commission intend that their proposal will take due account of the special interests of the visually handicapped. The Government will give careful attention to this aspect when the proposal is discussed.