Consumers purchasing iPods, iPhones, Macs and an array of similar consumer electronic devices, including VHS and DVD recorders, may soon be required to pay a Europe-wide levy on every sale.

Led by music industry groups, rights-holders in Europe have been pressing local lawmakers and consumer electronic device makers to agree to such a tax. They want money raised through this levy to be distributed to rights-holders.

Today’s news is that consumer electronic companies – after stiff resistance to such proposals – may now be willing to declare a truce in these negotiations, in order to find a mutually satisfactory solution.

Consumer electronics companies including Nokia, Apple and Sony have contacted regulators at the European Commission to that effect.

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, chief executive of Nokia, and Greg Brown, chief executive of Motorola, are among the signatories of a letter to the European Commission saying that they are willing to “explore new ways forward” in a dispute that has been in deadlock since the 1960s, reports the Financial Times.

The levy is intended to compensate content creators for losses they face as a result of private copying of their material. Apple, Nokia and Motorola now reportedly say they would be willing to accept such surcharges, so long as they are set at the same level across Europe. Differing levels of levy are applied on sales of such devices across the majority of the European Union states.

More here.



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