The European Court of Justice has issued an interesting decision on the so called “private copy levy” i.e. the EU Copyright Directive allows EU Member States to introduce an excepction to the exclusive right of authors, performers and producers to reproduce sound, visual or audiovisual material in relation to copies of such material performed for private purposes. However, the “private copying” can be authorised only if rightholders obtain a “fair compensation“.
As a consequence of such provision, a number of EU Member States including Italy (See “Private Copy Levy: Italian Government extends it to Mobile Phones”) have introduced a fee to be paid on the sale of equipment through which private copies are likely to be performed. However, the European Court of Justice in a decision relating to the Spanish private copy levy outlined a necessary link between the application of the private copying levy to the sale of equipment and its use for private copying i.e. the private copy levy can be applied only if the rightholders can suffer a damage because of the use of the relative equipment, devices and media for private purposes.
Therefore in case of sale of equipment to businesses and in general by entities other than natural persons the private copy levy cannot be applied since the private copy through such equipment cannot occur.
Do you want to discuss about the implications of this decision for your business? Feel free to contact me, Giulio Coraggio.