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Ruling of the ECJ clarifies extent of private copying levy

Pressmeddelande   •   Okt 23, 2010 17:00 CEST

Different interpretations of the extent of private copying levy has been subject of discussion in Sweden as well as the rest of the EU in recent times. Now the ECJ clarifies how private copying levy rules are to be interpreted and implemented in national law, following a ruling involving a case in Spain.


The Spanish case primarily concerned the purpose for which the equipment will be used, private or professional use. According to the ECJ a private copying levy is incompatible with the underlying directive when equipment is purchased by persons other than natural persons for purposes clearly unrelated to private copying.

– This confirms that the Swedish practical implementation of a private copying levy system is well in line with harmonization within the EU. In Sweden there is a regulation on the so-called professional exemption, which means that importers and retailers can sell products that are used professionally, without paying compensation, says Mattias Åkerlind, CEO of Copyswede, the administrator of private copying remuneration in Sweden.

The ECJ also states that where the equipment at issue has been made available to natural persons for private purposes it is unnecessary to determine the extent to which they have in fact made private copies. The fact that it is possible to use the equipment for the making of private copies is in itself sufficient to justify the application of the private copying levy.

– It is with satisfaction we note that the ECJ has clarified the extent of the private copying levy, says Mattias Åkerlind. This clarification should in the implementation in Swedish law lead to a reasonable compensation for the creators whose work is copied - whatever technology is used.

Copyswede manages the rights of authors, performers, TV- and radio corporations and producers in agreements for, among other areas, simultaneous and unaltered retransmission of certain TV-and radio channels. Copyswede operates in Sweden.