Press Release: EU Highest Court confirms copyright levies on devices sold to businesses are illegal

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."