The EC Started a Discussion On Taxation of Production Copies

Author: Erikas Saukalas, an Associate Partner, Head of International Relations Division in METIDA

cdAs requested by the European Commission (EC) a research on the opportunities for taxation on the copying of media into empty storage devices as well as the reproduction of media using reprography method in the European Union (EU) has been made. Lately this has been one of the problematic issues in the intellectual property field. This can also be confirmed by a fact that the most influential representatives of the producers of information storage devices and equipment producers (Apple, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, and other) as well as their creators (Warner Bros, Universal Music Publishing Group, and others) participated in the research.

On 31st January, 2013 the announced recommendations recommended the following actions:

  • To encourage licensing and commercial agreements in aspiration to assure that the investments of proprietors’ copyrights as well as their creative work are appropriately paid for. In the process of developing this new business model the final copies for user’s private usage purposes would not inflict any loss on the proprietors of copyrights, due to which additional payment would be required.
  • To establish harmonization tools for different systems of selections of works of art which are in the EU. In this way the effect systems of royalty payments will be established and a free movement of goods and services would be guaranteed.

After having considered the latest recommendation, it was suggested that in cases when agreements are made between foreign countries the payment should be taken from an EU member state where the end consumer resides. The latter should be introduced with the payment in order to know which part of the paid sum comprises the taxable part.

Also, in aspiration to simplify taxation tariff system and to obligate producers as well as importers to inform the community about their made agreements on taxable goods, the responsibility for taxes payment is recommended to transfer onto retail market representatives. As an alternative, transparent and due in advance tax incentive schemes could be established.

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