September 30, 2010, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (BVerfG) decided about a constitutional complaint of the Collecting Society regarding the copyright levies on printers. The decision of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) of December 6, 2007, is thereby obsolete and the claim is remanded. It hereby concerns the levies for devices sold up to December 31, 2007. For all devices sold since then, a new agreement is effective.
The Federal Constitutional Court considered the complaint by the Collecting Society as reasonable, because of procedural errors of the BGH. According to the verdict, the Federal Court of Justice ignored the obligation to refer to the European Court of Justice which means a violation of the right on a lawful verdict (Art. 101 I,2 GG).
Due to the lack of the interpretation of § 54a I (old version) in relation to the right on property (Art.14 GG), the Federal Constitutional Court repealed the judgment. In their decision, BVerfG deny the relevance of Art.14 I GG. The Federal Constitutional Court recommends in its decision lower tariffs.
Now the Federal Court of Justice has to pass a new verdict in respect of the complaint of the Constitutional Court. If they affirm an interpretation of § 54a I (old version) in relation with a violation of Art. 14 I GG, there is no necessity for a referal to the ECJ.