Vitorino-Abschlussbericht zu Copying Levies

Die EU-Binnenmarktkommission unter Binnenmarktkommissar Michel Barnier hat gestern durch den im Streit um die Urheberrechtsabgaben berufenen Vermittler António Vitorino ihren Abschlussbericht vorgelegt. Eine erste Zusammenfassung findet sich bei heise. Die Kernempfehlungen Vitorinos decken sich mit den Forderungen des ZItCo e.V. und den im ZItCo organisierten mittelständischen Computerherstellern nach objektiven und transparenten, der Höhe nach angemessenen Abgaben, die zu keiner Benachteiligung der heimischen Hersteller im hiesigen Wettbewerb und im Wettbewerb auf dem EU-Gemeinschaftsmarkt führen dürfen (Hervorhebungen nur hier); der ZItCo e.V. hatte durch uns im Levies Mediation Process Stellung genommen:

"EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

These are the core elements of my recommendations:

I) In order to favor the development of new and innovative business models in the digital single market, based on licensing agreements between service providers and rightholders, I recommend:

  • Clarifying that copies that are made by end users for private purposes in the context of a service that has been licensed by rightholders do not cause any harm that would require additional remuneration in the form of private copying levies.

II) In order to simplify the functioning of the levy systems and ensure the free movement of goods and services in the Internal Market, I recommend that:

  • Levies should be collected in cross-border transactions in the Member State in which the final customer resides;
  • The liability for paying levies should be shifted from the manufacturer's or importer's level to the retailer's level while simplifying the levy tariff system and obliging manufacturers and importers to inform collecting societies about their transactions concerning goods subject to a levy
    • Or alternatively, clear and predictable ex ante exemption schemes should be established;
  • In the field of reprography, more emphasis should be placed on operator levies than on hardware based levies;
  • Levies should be made visible for the final customer; and
  • More coherence with regard to the process of setting levies should be ensured by
    • Defining 'harm' uniformly across the EU as the value consumers attach to the additional copies in question (lost profit); and
    • Providing a procedural framework that would reduce complexity, guarantee objectiveness and ensure the observance of strict time-limits."