Feeds

Fujitsu Siemens loses German PC levy case

€12 a pop

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

A German court has ordered PC maker Fujitsu Siemens to pay a royalty of €12 for every PC it sells in Germany. A Munich district court believes that as with blank media such as audio and video cassettes, the levy should compensate rights holders for lost royalties.

The suit was first brought in 2001 by VG Wort rights society, a copyright management organisation. It argued that Fujitsu Siemens hardware can be used for copying - and therefore infringes the rights of its members. Fujitsu Siemens is the first company targeted by the society. More PC vendors may follow later this year.

Although a landmark decision, the ruling isn't a full victory for VG Wort, which originally sought a levy of € 30 for each new PC sold.

More importantly, the judgment is highly controversial, as VG Wort represents creators of written content and not the recording industry, which loses millions of dollars a year to piracy.

The levy formally doesn't even compensate right holders for illegal copying, but for the amount of Fair Use copying that is already legal under German law. Some argue that if charges are levied on computers, there should be a similar fee on all printers, copiers and scanners, since using one of those may also be practicing fair use.

Fujitsu Siemens is considering appealing. It believes the tax will have a negative impact on sales to consumers. ®

Related stories

Canadian 'iPod tax' illegal, judge rules
Canadian ISPs not liable for content royalties
Blank media levies: record once, pay thrice
Free legal downloads for $6 a month. DRM free. The artists get paid. We explain how
Canada mulls blank CDR, MP3 player tax
Fujitsu Siemens faces German PC levy
UK rejects CD-R tax
France to tax recordable media
Germans hit HP with anti-piracy fine

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.