Thursday, October 21, 2010

Private Copying Levies ("taxes") Dealt Blow by EU Court

The Third Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union has dealt a major blow to private copying levies in Europe, where the concept originated in the age when cassette tapes walked the earth, as it were. Here's the ruling.

Here's the gist of it:

53 Consequently, the indiscriminate application of the private copying levy to all types of digital reproduction equipment, devices and media, including in the case expressly mentioned by the national court in which they are acquired by persons other than natural persons for purposes clearly unrelated to private copying, does not comply with Article 5(2)(b) of Directive 2001/29.

...

On those grounds, the Court (Third Chamber) hereby rules:...

3. Article 5(2)(b) of Directive 2001/29 must be interpreted as meaning that a link is necessary between the application of the levy intended to finance fair compensation with respect to digital reproduction equipment, devices and media and the deemed use of them for the purposes of private copying. Consequently, the indiscriminate application of the private copying levy, in particular with respect to digital reproduction equipment, devices and media not made available to private users and clearly reserved for uses other than private copying, is incompatible with Directive 2001/29.

(emphasis added)

HK

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