EU device tax under review

Hardware makers are meeting politicians and copyright societies to discuss introducing a Europe-wide levy on media devices, offsetting revenue apparently lost from personal copying. Since 2001, 22 of Europe's 27 countries have made technology manufacturers pay the surcharge on products that allow music, books, movies and other copyrighted content to be copied.

Now the European Commission's internal market and services directorate is hosting a public hearing on the topic and the FT reports that after years of resistance several makers, including Nokia, Motorola and Apple, are ready to compromise: “They are thought to be willing to accept surcharges if they are harmonised in Europe.”

Currently countries exempt from the levy law are Ireland, UK, Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg. In the UK, the Music Business Group (MBG) last month called on the UK government to let it introduce the so-called ‘iPod tax’, rather than follow an earlier recommendation to legalise format-shifting

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