The constant technical developments in the sector of consumer electronics force the Collecting Societies to adapt their scope of levies products. Especially mobile phones and so called Smart Phones are part of this progress. Because of their meanwhile enormous storage capacity (and thus the use of the phones as a multifunctional entertainment tool) mobile phones are for some time and in numerous European countries in the focus of attention of the collecting societies.
In Germany the competent Collecting Society ZPÜ (Zentralstelle für private Überspielungsrechte) surprisingly published new tariffs on mobile phones in the month of July. In the press release they declared to publish these tariffs in the German Federal Gazette (Bundesanzeiger).
Until then the ZPÜ only claimed copyright levies on mobile phones according to the “old law”. The press release was the first occasion that they named a concrete amount of those levies under the “new law”. Furthermore they changed the calculation basis. With regard to the putative results of an empirical study, the new tariffs are separated into Mobile phones with and without touch screens. This calculation is based on the fact that all Mobile phones will include a MP3-functionality.
– Mobile phones with touch screen: 11 € (excl. VAT)
– Mobile phones without touch screen: 4 € (excl. VAT)
In addition, the ZPÜ deviates from the common interpretation of the transitional rules. Previously they argued the “old law” should be valid until the end of 2009. In the press release ZPÜ made the new tariffs retroactively effective as of 2008.
However, these tariffs are only claims by the Collecting Society, the Industry Associations still have the opportunity to dispute these claims and negotiate with the ZPÜ. This is ongoing, K&L keeps you informed.