Home Copy The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled to collect tax from the manufacturers of printers because of possible copyright infringement

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled to collect tax from the manufacturers of printers because of possible copyright infringement

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A certain group Verwertungsgesellschaft Wort, which collects secondary royalties from copyrighted works in Germany, has filed in the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg suit against printer manufacturers such as Canon, Epson, Fujitsu and HP, pointing to the fact that the printers they produce can be used to make legal products – simply put, printing. Thus, it is logical to collect some sort of tax from the companies listed in the lawsuit.
The court found Verwertungsgesellschaft Wort right and issued a ruling yesterday " The levy for the reproduction of protected works can be imposed on the sale of a printer or a computer The levy for the reproduction of copyrighted works can be imposed on the manufacturers of printers or computers.
A little more specifically, the court’s position is characterized by the following statement ( free translation ):

According to the law of the European Union, its members must ensure that authors and holders of the rights concerned have the exclusive right to authorize or prohibit the reproduction of works or other objects belonging to them. However, members of the Union may provide for exceptions or limitations to this exclusive right. Accordingly, they may permit copies of a work to be made privately on paper or other similar medium, using any form of photocopying or the like. Members of the Union permitting this, however, must ensure that owners of rights in a work can obtain "just compensation" intended to pay to its authors for reproducing their work without permission.

Original
According to EU law1, Member States should grant, in principle, to authors and the holders of related rights, the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit reproduction of their protected works or other subject matter. However, Member States may provide for exceptions or limitations to that exclusive right. Accordingly, they may permit, in particular (i) the making of private copies and (ii) reproductions on paper or any similar medium, using any kind of photographic technique or by some other process having similar effects. A Member State which avails itself of this option must, however, provide that the copyright holders receive ‘fair compensation’. That compensation is to compensate authors for the reproduction, without their authorisation, of their protected works.
Another interesting point is that the defendants must provide the plaintiff with information about the number of printers sold since 2001, and that companies such as Kyocera, Epson and Xerox must pay appropriate compensation to Verwertungsgesellschaft Wort for not only the printers sold from 2001 to 2007, but also the personal computers and plotters.
[ Source ]

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