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Apple Raises iPad Prices in Germany to Cover a New “You Must be a Pirate” Tax

4 January 2016

From The Digital Reader:

I hope German consumers got their iPad last year, because Apple raised the prices in Germany for its iDevices on Friday.

The gadget maker told the AP today that it had increased the prices to cover the cost of newly assessed private copyright levy. According to Bitkom, the new levy, or more correctly the new tax, adds between five and six euros to the price of smartphones sold in Germany, and between seven and nine euros to the price of a tablet like the iPad.

. . . .

The private copyright levy is a tax charged to consumers when they buy media and electronics capable of making copies. The idea was pioneered in Germany in 1965, and has since spread to most of Europe, Canada, and other parts of the world. It originally applied to cassette tapes, but has since been expanded to include external hard disks, storage media like flash drives, CD-Rs, computers (in Germany, at least), and now mobile devices.

. . . .

Also known as the “you must be a pirate” tax, in many countries the private copyright levy is paid to collection societies with the ostensible goal of compensating creators for the piracy copying that is assumed to be going on.

Link to the rest at The Digital Reader


13 Comments to “Apple Raises iPad Prices in Germany to Cover a New “You Must be a Pirate” Tax”

  1. I’m sure the money goes directly to the artists who create the works, right?

  2. Feel free to copy anything you like in these places; after all, you’ve already paid for the privilege! Movie: Minority Report.

    The only system I’ve heard of that I like is the one where libraries in Scandinavia (which ?) pay authors a small fee depending on how many times their books are borrowed. Kind of like Kindle Unlimited, except without an actual page count.

    For those who worry they are missing sales because of libraries.

    • Nope, it’s not bootleg, I paid tax on it!

      And they then wonder why the consumer sees no reason to pay for music/movies/stories — they’ve already paid for the privilege …

      • I am reminded of an incident years ago where some teenager was punished because she brought fake Jell-O shots to school and shared them with her friends. A blogger observed that the lesson here was to bring in real Jell-O shots, because you may as well should do the crime if you must do the time for it.

      • That’s exactly my feeling.

        If they are taxing me on my computer backup media to cover the cost of piracy, then piracy isn’t really stealing money, I’ve already paid.

        P.S. I’m not an Apple fan, but Good For Them in passing this cost on to the consumer

  3. In France, the “private copying” tariffs is recomputed regularly, by asking people what content they have on their medias (CDs, DVDs, Had Drives etc.) and use that as a basis. At some point, some judgement decided that “pirate copies” were NOT to be considered when doing the computation, as that would be akin to “recel”(benefitting from illegal activities).

    Strangely, the tariff was unchanged, since the mathematical formula was adapted to take “compression” into account…

    Still, the official position is that since piracy is excluded from the tax, the tax is NOT encouragement to pirate…

    • What is the process by which they ask people about their content? How do they do it?

      • I have to say that I am French and I have never been asked, nor did I even know there was such a process. SFreader, do you have references ? So I can fulfill my duty as a citizen.

        • In French http://www.copieprivee.org/
          In English http://www.copieprivee.org/en/

          MarqueJaune c’est à partir de sondages…

          (All b******* anyway, they’re just making sure the “business” gets their due…)

          Oh, and forgot to mention that the law provides for businesses to be exempted from the tax, except that the process to be reimbursed is so complicated / time costly it’s almost never used…

  4. Sounds like guilty till proven innocent, a paradigm my grandparents moved to this country to escape.

  5. Well if I’m already paying for this (I’m in Canada) then I’m done with waiting for the price of GOT season three to come down.
    Evidently I’m a Pirate, so…

    They should call it the ‘You might as well be a pirate because you’re already paying for it’ tax.

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