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France: Apple Distribution International, Conseil d’Etat, 358734, 19 November 2014

In this judgment, the French Supreme administrative Court, the Conseil d’Etat, confirms the validity of a decision taken on 9 February 2012 by the Commission in charge of setting the compensation for private copying. This decision adopted the new tariffs applicable for recording media subject to the remuneration for private copying, including portable media players, external hard drives, smartphones and tablet computers.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

Everything you always wanted to know about private copying but were afraid to ask (Case C-463/12 Copydan Båndkopi v Nokia Danmark A/S)


On March 5, 2015 the Court of Justice of the European Union (the ‘Court’ or ‘CJEU’) ruled on Case C-463/12 Copydan Båndkopi v Nokia Danmark A/S (‘Copydan’). The case marks the seventh occasion on which the Court has ruled on the issue of the private copying limitation under art. 5(2)(b) Directive 2001/29/EC (the ‘Directive’), following Padawan, Stichting de Thuiskopie, Luksan, VG Wort, and, most recently, ACI Adam. Currently, at least two more cases are pending: C-572/13 Hewlett-Packard and C-470/14 Egeda.

This blog post is structured as follows. Section 1 briefly discusses Copydan’s background and facts, while clarifying the issues examined by the Advocate Ge [...]

Private copying levy: The aftershocks of Padawan

thuiskopie“”The difficulty also lies in the fact that (to our knowledge) no levy system within the EU provided before Padawan for such a distinction and that the structure of the payment system did/does not lend itself easily to making such a distinction.”

There’s nothing wrong with a private copying levy, the CJEU decided in SGAE/Padawan, but “the indiscriminate application of the private copying levy to all types of digital reproduction equipment, devices and media, including cases in which such equipment is acquired by persons other than natural persons for purposes clearly unrelated to private copying, is incompatible with the directive.”

An interesting refinement of a controversial legal d [...]

France: Part of law on private copying levy is unconstitutional

jasserandOn 15 January 2013, the French Constitutional Council declared unconstitutional Article 6, paragraph II, of the law on private copying levy (Law No. 2011-1898).

This provision retroactively validated private copying levies that had been paid or claimed based on rates annulled by the French Council of State. To fully understand the ruling of the Constitutional Council, it is necessary to explain the background of this provision.

Back in 2008, the Private Copying Commission (Commission pour la rémunération de la copie privée) set new levy rates in its Decision No. 11. On 17 June 2011, the Council of State annulled that decision on the grounds that products acquired by professionals for a pu [...]

It never rains, but it pours: Spanish Private Copying Levy passes its cost to all taxpayers

Breaking news. More than a year after Congress repealed the private copying levy, the Spanish Government agreed yesterday to begin paying taxes on blank media such as DVDs, CDs, pen drives and camera phones through a budget allotment.

The Ministry of Culture would be in charged of determining each year how much should be allotted to cover the excise tax, which would be introduced to compensate artists who saw their royalties shrink due to the ease of online file sharing and downloads.

In 2011, Congress repealed the law, which had been severely criticized by the European Union Court of Justice, who said it was not in line with EU legislation.

By paying the tax through budget allotments, the c [...]

Private copy levies on multipurpose electronic devices?

An Italian administrative court says yes.

Directive 29/2001/EC on copyright and related rights in the information society introduced the principle that EU Member States may authorize individuals to make copies of copyrighted audio, visual and audio-visual works, for private use, without the need to request authorization to right holders, subject to the general condition that right holders receive a “fair compensation” for such use of their works.

Indeed, making a copy of protected works without the authorisation of the authors, although for private and not for commercial use, is considered an act of interference with the exclusive reproduction right of the right holder, which triggers th [...]

Hasty legislative amendment to correct French private copying levy

By Prof. Valérie-Laure Benabou, Université de Versailles (St-Quentin).

France is currently modifying, in emergency, its legislation on private copying levy and more generally on private copying after the ECJ decisions Padawan and ThuisKopie. The reason for this urgency is twofold: substantial and procedural. The French Council of State (Conseil d’Etat) has held in a decision rendered the 17th of June 2011 that the French system was not complying with the Padawan requirements as regards the scope of the copying levy, and consequently declared void the decision of the commission fixing the tariffs without considering any exemptions for the professionals. But the judgment of the Council of [...]

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