Position papers


BRUSSELS (November 12th, 2015) - Eurimag, the association representing the European imaging and printing industry, welcomes the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the case C-572/13 Hewlett-Packard Belgium vs. Reprobel, which ruled that the Belgian reprography levy collection system is incompatible with the EU Copyright Directive.

The intention of the current EU framework is to compensate authors for the legitimate reproduction of their works. On top of that, the Belgian system also compensated publishers with the same amount which is paid to authors. This has led to a situation where  Belgian consumers have paid at least twice the amount than they should have in levies. The Court has declared that no compensation is payable to publishers, but only to authors.

Furthermore, the Court also ruled that the Belgian system, which uses printer speed as the calculating factor for the levy, is not in line with EU law. The CJEU recognizes that the maximum speed or technical capacity of the device is not a valid criterion to determine the amount of the compensation, and that a proper distinction must be made between copying by consumers and by business users.

The Court also provides that authors must not be “overcompensated” and that no levy can be imposed in case an additional system of compensation by mean of operator fees is available.

Eurimag is confident that today’s CJEU ruling is a first step towards building a modernised Belgian reprography system which is fully aligned with EU law and provides a fair balance between the interests of Belgian consumers and companies on the one hand, and authors on the other hand.

 Under the current Belgium system, when a customer buys a multifunctional printer, there is a contribution for the reproduction of copyright-protected works included in the price (levy). When you compare this contribution with other EU countries, the Belgian users  pay more than 3 times the EU average. And on top of that, they are requested to pay operator fees. So definitively, this judgment is good news for consumers and business users in Belgium. 


The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) acknowledges that the application of the 'private copying levy' to reproduction media acquired by undertakings and professionals for purposes other than private copying is not compatible with EU law.


October 21st 2010, Brussels – CJEU ruled in the Padawan Case that the concept of fair compensation is a Community concept that must be interpreted uniformly in all Member States.

Irena Bednarich, President of the European Imaging Association (EURIMAG) declared:

"Today's ruling is a landmark: it clearly states that copyright levies claims on devices used by businesses are illegal.

We at EURIMAG do not challenge the fact that right holders should be compensated when consumers make legal private copies of their works, but we firmly believe that the amounts claimed by Collecting Societies should reflect reality.

Finally, the Court clarified that tariffs should be fair. European consumers cannot be asked to pay for copies they are not making.

We urge the European Commission and Members of the European Parliament to seize the opportunity provided by the forthcoming Collective Rights Management Directive (CRM) to address the shortcomings of the current copyright levy systems.

This ruling is a first step towards the long awaited free circulation of ICT products within the EU."



EURIMAG, l’Association Européenne de groupes d’Imagerie, soutient le principe selon lequel les détenteurs de droits se doivent d’être équitablement indemnisés pour l’utilisation de leurs oeuvres.


EURIMAG, de European Imaging Association, onderschrijft het principe waardoor aan de rechthebbenden een billijke vergoeding dient toegekend te worden voor het gebruik van hun werken.


EURIMAG, the European Imaging Association, fully supports the principle that rightsholders need to be fairly compensated for the use of their works. Fair compensation of rightsholders should however:

  • not weaken the competitiveness of the Belgian market
  • not penalise Belgian consumers by limiting their choice in available products and technology
  • not prevent products from freely circulating within the European Internal Market

The Printing Group, a coalition of the leading European manufacturers ofprinting devices consisting of Epson, Konica Minolta, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Canon, Lexmark and Brother, has been founded to support a modern copyright legislation in the EU member states.


Berlin, 17. Januar 2007 - Deutschland braucht ein zukunftsgerichtetes, modernes und faires Urheberrecht, das den Interessen der Anwender, den Anbietern von IT-Geräten wie auch denen der Urheber Rechnung trägt. Dazu zählt eine für alle Beteiligten befriedigende Neuregelung der Vergütung von Privatkopien, also von Vervielfältigungen, die ausschließlich zu privaten Zwecken angefertigt werden. Die führenden Anbieter von PCs, Druckern und Multifunktionsgeräten in Deutschland, Acer, Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, Kyocera Mita, Lexmark, Lenovo, Oki, Sharp, Toshiba und für Intel, haben sich zu einer Initiative für eine rasche, zeitgemäße und vernünftige Reform des Urheberrechts zusammen geschlossen.

  • What are copyright levies?
  • Who administers copyright levies?
  • Distribution of copyright levies
  • Digital rights management and digital music sales
  • Copyright levies and the notion of harm based on private copying
  • The criteria for establishing whether a levy is imposed on particular equipment or media
  • Copyright levies and convergence
  • The internal market and differences in copyright levy systems
  • Transparency for stakeholders
  • Stakeholder opinions

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