People must pay copyright tax: Supreme Court
The home copyright tax should never have been frozen, ruled the High Council, affirming the previous ruling of the court in 2012. European legislation compels the Netherlands to allow for a fair compensation for illegal downloads of movies and music to copyright holders. In addition to (re)writable CD's and DVD's, the tax also applies to external hard drives, PC's, smartphones and tablets since the last year and a half. A full summary of the charges follows this article.
Norma, an organization similar to Buma/Stemra, which defends the interests of artists, sued the State for only taxing CD's and DVD's and the taxes were frozen. Smartphones, tablets, PC's, and external hard drives are becoming increasingly more popular. The High Council dismissed the argument of the government as would it be unacceptable that a civil court could order a government to introduce new legislation. At the same time hardware manufacturers sued the Dutch government, because they want to be rid of home copyright tax. A broad ruling in that case could result in a nationwide download ban. The European court questions whether a home copyright ban is a fair compensation for allowing downloads from illegal sources. Consumers in the Netherlands now have to pay €6.05 for every desktop or laptop, tablet over 8GB, smartphone over 16GB and set top box with hard disk drives of more than 160GB. The cost is a bit over €3.00 for all other set top boxes, smartphones and tablets. Any audio/video player over 2GB costs an extra €2.42, while all others and all external hard drives run another €1.21. An additional €0.04 will be added to the price of all blank CDs and DVDs. These prices include sales tax. --additional reporting by Zack Newmark