EU Court Of Justice Says Private Copying Levy On Device Maker Violates EU Law

from the no-ipod-tax dept

Thanks to David Hammerstein and Glyn Moody for pointing us to the news that the European Court of Justice has rejected an attempt to collect a private copying levy in Spain that was being disputed by a consumer electronics firm, Padawan. The Spanish collection society SGAE demanded that Padawan, which made CD, DVD and MP3 players, pay up for the typical "you must be a criminal" private copying levy.

However, the court had some problems with this. You can read the ruling (in English) to get the details -- though, it's a little opaque. The court did say that, in general, private copying levies can be okay, but that the law requires the levies be based on "fair compensation," meaning that they're tied to actual harm. And, the court concludes, that means it should only apply to end-user purchases, where the assumption can be made that private copying may be going on. Trying to force businesses to pay is unreasonable, and contradicts EU law.

While I still have issues with the general concept of private copying levies (a tax presuming you are breaking the law), it's at least good to see the EU not let it expand even further.
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Filed Under: private copying levy, spain

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2010 @ 1:37am


    As long as these levies are reasonably small, I'm OK with them.

    Good for you.

    I don't care how small the levy is I am not okay with paying for something I'm not doing. There is no justifiable reason for forcing me to pay a levy so I can copy things I produce myself e.g. family photos and video.

    How's about we introduce a levy to subsidise my gym membership? Surely, if it's small enough you won't mind paying even if you don't use my gym. Right?

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