Apple to benefit as European Commission plans to slash copyright levies on iPods

“Consumer electronics companies such as Apple, Siemens, Nokia and Sony could save hundreds of millions of euros every year under plans by the European Commission to slash the copyright levies on products ranging from iPods to DVD players and mobile phones,” Tobias Buck reports for The Financial Times.

The paper says the levies were introduced in the 1960s to compensate artists for analog copying of their products. But governments have now extended the levies to digital players.

The Commission proposal would exempt all equipment that are secondary to copying content such as Apple iPods and mobile phones. Officials told the newspaper that the European Commission will issue formal recommendations on the issue by early next year.

Full article (subscription required, 15-day free trial available) here.

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  1. Tobias Buck must have flunked Economics 101 if he believes that such a cut in the levy will automatically result in increased profit to the manufacturers. The levies are passed on to the consumer now in the setting of prices; this is no different than the dropping of price in a component.

    If this contemplated change lingers in the news for a long period, though, it could diminish sales as the consumers (more savvy than Mr. Buck) wait for the retail price drop. What Apple could do to capitalize on this is offer to refund the difference in iTunes songs if the levy drops within 90 days of an iPod purchase. The goodwill and buzz generated by such an offer would more than offset the expense Apple would incur, and possibly get some people to try the iTMS who otherwise would have loaded their iPod with ripped or pirated tracks.

  2. When the same thing was done in Canada Apple lowered the iPod prices accordingly. The also refunded any levies that were collected but not required by the law change.

    The guy is just fostering resentment to the change amoungst the peasants. He must work for the labels.

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