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News @en


May 2011

Levies on PCs in Germany takes one step forwards, two steps back

On 17, May 2011 | In News @en | By KuL-Blog

In some countries like Belgium, Russia, France, Italy and Belgium, by implementing tariffs or planning to do so, the levy situation for PCs has already changed. In Germany, however, the situation is still not clear: On the one hand negotiations for PC levies are still in process, on the other hand the tariffs have already been negotiated with some companies. From the perspective of financial planning it is problematic that some companies do not pay at all, others just complain and some even pay anticipated payments. The main difference between the already existing tariffs is whether or not the PC has an integrated CD/DVD burner. Altogether it seems, however, clear that there will be levies on PCs – also in Germany.

Nevertheless, the ongoing proceeding VG WORT./.Fujitsu might change the whole levy situation in Germany again. VG WORT requests information about the amount of PCs which Fujitsu has brought into Germany since 2001. They claim 30 € plus VAT for every PC. The first decision about this case was made on the 2 October 2008, but the Federal Court of Justice of Germany (BGH) dismissed it. They stated that PCs are not to be levied according to § 54a UrhG, because they are only used for reprographic purposes in the interaction with a printer or scanner. This is the reason why only printers or scanners are levied. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (BVerfG), however, remanded the case for the reasons that the Federal Court of Justice did not deal with question whether this issue has to be brought to the European Court of Justice (ECJ/EuGH) or not. Therefore, the next oral hearing in the proceeding took place on 7 April 2011. Even though the final decision has not been made yet, it might be remarkable for Germany and especially for the reason how PCs are generally seen nowadays: are they just used in combination with a printer or a scanner for the purpose of reprography or are they a device in their own right? In regard to the existing tariffs under discussion, it is not clear which one it might be. The decision will probably be announced on 21 July 2011.