New private copying levy as of next year
As of 1 January 2013, a private copying levy of at most 5 euros will be imposed on smartphones, telephones with mp3 players, tablets, hdd recorders and set-top boxes. The amount of the levy will depend on the storage capacity of the device. A maximum levy of 2 euros will be imposed on audio/video players. A standard amount of 5 euros will apply for PCs and laptops. The amount for external hdd drives will be 1 euro. The lowest rate of 3 eurocents will apply to the purchase of a CD-ROM or a DVD. The regulation will be temporary and have a term of one year. This is evident from an order in council State Secretary Teeven of Security and Justice sent to the Lower House today.
The levies on analogue and video cassettes and minidisks will disappear, because these are hardly used anymore in practice. Memory cards, usb sticks and gaming consoles with a hard drive also fall outside the scope of the regulation, because these devices are used to a very limited extent (less than 10%) for making private copies.
The Cabinet initially intended to abolish the private copying levies as of 1 January 2013 and to replace it with a system that is better suited to deal with technological developments. The Lower House rejected that change resulting in the fact that the system of private copying levies has to be maintained for the time being while awaiting new decision-making. European rules provide that authors are entitled to a reasonable compensation of damage that arises because a Member State allows private copying.
In order to continue to comply with the requirement of reasonable compensation, it is necessary to designate new devices with related levies. The state of the art is taken into account in this connection. Private copies are increasingly often made on carriers other than blank CDs and DVDs that are currently subject to the levy.
The established levies are based on a recommendation from the SONT. The Private Copying Levy Agency (SONT) is a consultative body in which the persons obliged to pay and the Home Copy Association are represented. The SONT parties are best able to judge what levies are appropriate. The temporary regulation offers room to further strengthen the legal offer of works protected by copyright on the Internet, for example by means of music services or video on demand.