First of all, levies don't achieve their stated purpose. Let's say you've just forked out a couple of hundred Euros extra on an MP3 player over and above what folks in other countries pay. What would you think? You would think, "I've paid all this money to recompense the music industry for piracy. Therefore, I'm bloody well going to download every damn thing I can, because I've already paid for it." That's just great for the collection societies, whose revenues and importance increase, and the artists who show up on their radar are perfectly happy to be paid extra money they weren't expecting. Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, and Elvis Presley's heirs don't have a problem. Our friend David Mallett is lucky if he gets two more cents. And the many artists whose music is released onto the Net but who aren't members of the collection societies...get nothing.Link
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.