New tariffs for private copying, balanced and adapted to technological change
Agoria, the Belgian federation of technology companies and Auvibel, the Belgian collective management organisation in charge of collecting and distributing the private copying remuneration in Belgium, are very pleased with the approval of a new Royal Decree on private copying, which takes into account the interests of the different categories of rightholders from the Belgian creative sector and the rapid evolution of the technology sector.
The Royal Decree on the new private copying tariffs should soon be published in the Belgian Official Gazette after advice from the Council of State. The new system should be implemented in the first quarter of 2022. The new tariffs are based on a simple, flat-rate and transparent tariff system with, one single tariff per type of device or storage medium and a wider range of products subjected to the levy.
Agoria and Auvibel are pleased to announce that “this new agreement takes into account both the interests of the rightholders from the Belgian creative sector and the rapid development of the technology sector. It also takes into account the selling price of the devices and storage media concerned, in order to ensure that the new tariffs represent a reasonable amount of the selling price”.
More specifically, the remuneration is extended to consumer computers, consumer printers (stand-alone and/or MFD) and e-readers.
In terms of tariffs, new flat-rate tariffs have been set for smartphones, tablets, set top boxes, consumer computers, devices with an integrated hard drive such as a Hi-Fi system, a DVD recorder, etc., consumer printers, MP3/MP4 players, e-readers, external hard disk drives, USB sticks, memory cards, DVDs and CDs. You can consult the provisional list with the new tariffs on the Auvibel website.
Private copying constitutes an exception to copyright, on the basis of a European Directive and of Belgian legislation. This exception allows the copying for strictly private purposes by consumers of protected works , without the prior consent of the rightholders. In exchange, rightholders are entitled to “fair compensation” due by consumers, and collected by means of a fee that is applied to the different devices and storage media that allow private copying.
The new tariffs are the result of a long process of exchange and cooperation between Agoria, Auvibel and other stakeholders, about the most transparent and balanced way to spread the collection of the remuneration, taking into account, among others, the affordability for consumers, the selling price of the relevant devices and storage media, the administrative simplification of the existing system, the Belgian legal framework and similar systems in other European countries. Agoria and Auvibel come to the conclusion that they “are pleased with this new Royal Decree, that was achieved thanks to constructive collaboration from all of the parties concerned (rightholders, technology sector, consumers and the government). In this dossier, Agoria and Auvibel acted within the framework provided for by the federal government.”