Statement on copyright levies on multifunctional printers and multifunctional printers

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.

This includes a fair compensation of authors and rights holders according to the Directive 2001/29 Copyright in the Information Society. Unfortunately the Directive does not include any concrete guidance on the interpretation of fair compensation leading to diverse results in parts of the Internal Market.

Further, in contradiction of the intention of the EU Directive, the Printing Group observes that copyright legislation in several member states does not pursue the aim of harmonizing and modernizing legislation in Europe but follows the individual national views. New copyright levies for Printing and other IT devices under discussion in the member states will erect new barriers for free trade in Europe and will distort the internal market.

The Printing Group concentrates its efforts on explaining and the appropriateness of adopting copyright legislation to the digital environment through individual remuneration of rights holders via Digital Rights Management (DRM) and other direct licensing systems to political decision makers and further stakeholders. This ensures that the basis of the private copying “fair compensation” copyright levy is the actual harm caused to rightholders as a result of such permissible private copying acts and takes into account any other payments received by rightholders.