Apple raises iPhone, iPad prices in Germany to account for copyright levy

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2016
Apple raised iPhone and iPad pricing in Germany over the weekend to account for a new copyright levy agreement inked by tech industry importers and creative professionals in December.




Last month, Apple and other tech companies agreed to pay 5 to 7 euros ($5.50 to $7.70) per smartphone and tablet in a deal designed to benefit musicians, producers and other content producers. The Cupertino, Calif., company confirmed to the Associated Press on Sunday that the price hike is connected to Germany's new levies.

As it applies to Apple's product lineup, the price adjustment adds just under 6 euros to current iPhone models, while iPad prices jump about 7 euros.

According to the AP, money gained by the levies will be meted out to creative professionals, including "creators, producers and acting artists of erotic and pornographic films." The new levy is based on a 1965 German law granting consumers the right to make personal copies of sounds, images and text in exchange for a small fee applied to the purchase price of a new device, the report said.

German trade association Bitkom said in a statement last year that the treaty, which runs through 2018, incorporates back compensation for iPhones sold from 2008 and iPads sold from 2012.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,019member

    German trade association Bitkom said in a statement last year that the treaty, which runs through 2018, incorporates back compensation for iPhones sold from 2008 and iPads sold from 2012.
    Apple will be sending these owners an invoice...
  • Reply 2 of 33
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,648member
    Price increase in Italy in 3...2...1...
  • Reply 3 of 33

    According to the AP, money gained by the levies will be meted out to creative professionals, including "creators, producers and acting artists of erotic and pornographic films." 
    Um...what?
  • Reply 4 of 33
    What the crap? Did time suddenly speed up and it's April?
  • Reply 5 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,032member

    According to the AP, money gained by the levies will be meted out to creative professionals, including "creators, producers and acting artists of erotic and pornographic films." 
    Um...what?
    What doesn't read properly to you? I would have used "...meted to creative professionals…," since out is either implied or redundant, depending on slant.
    lord amhran
  • Reply 6 of 33
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,193member
    I struggle to understand the logic of such levies on hardware.  How does the government know the devices would be used for this purpose? Should device owner A pay or even though they never consume that content, while device owner B consumes 24//7? Customer C only uses fully paid for content, but both customer A and C gets hit with the levy anyway.

    And how does the government fairly distribute the funds raised? A whole bureaucracy has to be established, content owners and developers would have to be registered with the new authority, hardware sellers in Germany would have to be registered and a system established to collect the levy funds, and bureaucrats employed to decide how much producer X gets instead of producer Y. Meanwhile producer Z slips through the cracks and gets nothing. Of course after all that civil service massaging and long lunches the amount left would be token to the producer anyway. 

     Then there are the changes induced to consumer behaviour.  Content consumers can regard themselves as having already paid for the content.  Even though they are now charging you a second time for content you have already purchased, unofficial downloads are encouraged by this policy.  Why pay a second time when actually accessing the content?

     Bad policy would be a good summary.  

    What it really is is an attempted shakedown of the hardware companies. The legislators thought that companies like Apple would just absorb the cost, and no doubt most do. So good on Apple. The only thing it has done wrong is instead of just adding the levy into the price of the iPhone, it should have made the levy a separate line item on the list price and the invoice just for German purchasers, so they can see exactly what their government has done to them.

    if the German government actually wanted to do something about illegal downloads, it could perhaps consider something old fashioned such as basic police work and enforcing the law. I guess that wouldn't be popular. They should have done absolutely nothing if hans blogmeister ripped his cd so he can listen to Aha on his iPhone. In fact, copyingfrom something like a CD you have purchased To your owned devices should be legal, like it is in other jurisdictions.  Hans has after all already paid for it.
    edited January 2016 jz1492planetary pauljbdragoncornchip
  • Reply 7 of 33
    ksecksec Posts: 1,568member
    @entropys exactly my thoughts, I really wish someone living in Germany could try to explain the notion behind it. As i too fail to understand the logic.
    cornchip
  • Reply 8 of 33
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,193member
    Their logic is that they want consumers to pay more for the content. If you have bought a CD, Europeans for some reason think it alright to charge you again when you rip that CD to play on your iPhone.  The weird part is the way they have chosen to enforce this thievery, adding a levy to hardware, rather than including it in the price of the content.

    Other counties, including mine, regard ripping a CD you have purchased to listen on your own hardware is 'fair use' and don't try to charge a second time. The Australian Govenrment only gets antsy if you distribute the content to others.

    edited January 2016
  • Reply 9 of 33
    It's hard to blow a gasket over a 6 Euro price increase but Apple was perfectly right to pass on this ridiculous 'levy'.  
    jackansi
  • Reply 10 of 33
    Soli said:
    Um...what?
    What doesn't read properly to you? I would have used "...meted to creative professionals…," since out is either implied or redundant, depending on slant.
    I don't think it takes a genius to understand why one might question...." including "creators, producers and acting artists of erotic and pornographic films." 
    As far as I know, porn in Deutschland is not considered an art form, although many 
    films that are erotic in nature certainly are and have been so considered. 
    Your grammar lesson doesn't bear weight on that issue.
    latifbp
  • Reply 11 of 33
    copelandcopeland Posts: 298member
    entropys said:
    ...
    if the German government actually wanted to do something about illegal downloads, it could perhaps consider something old fashioned such as basic police work and enforcing the law. I guess that wouldn't be popular. They should have done absolutely nothing if hans blogmeister ripped his cd so he can listen to Aha on his iPhone. In fact, copyingfrom something like a CD you have purchased To your owned devices should be legal, like it is in other jurisdictions.  Hans has after all already paid for it.
    I don't know if this is similar to Austria, but if it is, it is as old as tapes and VHS. In that time industry bullied their greedy hands into our cash (thanks to lobbying). Industry argued that with tapes and VHS people could make a copy of everything that was broadcasted over radio and TV and they don't get compensated.

    This was then extended to copiers (you could copy a book), then cd/dvd-recorders and blank cds/dvds (I don't know if we pay this levy on blank sheets of paper also :s).
    The same goes for hard disks and SSDs. What we see know is just and expansion of the ruling to popular devices that include some type of storage.

    This ruling wasn't thought out by the government, they just let the industry squeeze some more euros from the consumers for no service in return.
    cornchip
  • Reply 12 of 33
    entropys said:
    I struggle to understand the logic of such levies on hardware.  
    In fact these levies are nonsense if you use logic reasoning.

    When music and movies were sold on physical support, it was easy for association to collect money. Now that digital purchase is the main channel and streaming is the future, associations are collecting much less money (at least much less than they suppose to collect). The actual reason is that they were not able to innovate their business model, but in europe they told governments that it is due to piracy and new devices that allows to copy content and play it anywhere. So they obtained from government a tax to support "arts" (music and movies) based on size of memory in GB.

    So there is no logic, it is just a tax like that proportional to area (in square meters or feet) of your house, to refund recording associations which are collecting less money because of they very old business model.

    Regarding redistribution, at least in italy the rule is quite arbitrary and foggy, basically money is shared proportionally to money collected by other means. So, no logic also in this case, just another source of money to increase the collected total.

  • Reply 13 of 33
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    So, does it mean any content can be copied? If not, what is this for?
  • Reply 14 of 33
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,415member
    entropys said:
    I struggle to understand the logic of such levies on hardware.  
    At first I thought this sounded ridiculous. But after reading through the article I now think this is a pretty good compromise for consumers compared to the mess we have in the US.

    Copyright law has been distorted and abused to the point where consumers don't have the right to make copies of content that they have legally purchased for their own personal use. So technically when you buy a DVD movie and rip it to make a digital copy for convenient playback on different devices you are guilty of infringement. Granted, it's dead simple to make such copies and good luck to any copyright owner who thinks they can detect and prosecute consumers for such activity. But it's outrageous that consumers are turned into criminals for this perfectly reasonable activity. Additionally, these restrictions prevent software developers in many legal jurisdictions from designing software to make such copies and to circumvent copy-protection technologies for such purposes.

    In Germany, however, they've reached an agreement with content owners that grants consumers the explicit legal right to make such personal copies in exchange for a modest levy on related products, the proceeds from which are then distributed to content owners. With this in mind, a $6-7 fee added to the price of a $600-800 phone seems like a perfectly reasonable compromise, short of actually reversing the ridiculous copyright laws themselves.
    edited January 2016 Soli
  • Reply 15 of 33
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    So Apple is now being forced to subsidize the German porn industry...
    entropys
  • Reply 16 of 33
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,022member
    So Apple is now being forced to subsidize the German porn industry...


    Exactly what I was thinking...

    On another note, Germany and France required a company who makes DVR to tack on similar fee for each HDD in the DVR. The fee is based on the size of the HDD, 160GB was $10, a 250GB as $25 and 500GB was $60 and it goes up from there. At least they made it clear these were pirating taxes, these were fees paid to the government as a fine for people pirating content. The only issue is a DVR can not pirate content but they seem to think that DVR would be used for this purpose. Also the fee only went to content owner in the EU not elsewhere. The big question, I would like to see the accounting of these fees and who actually got a pay out from them.

    cornchip
  • Reply 17 of 33
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    entropys said:
    Their logic is that they want consumers to pay more for the content. If you have bought a CD, Europeans for some reason think it alright to charge you again when you rip that CD to play on your iPhone.  The weird part is the way they have chosen to enforce this thievery, adding a levy to hardware, rather than including it in the price of the content.

    Other counties, including mine, regard ripping a CD you have purchased to listen on your own hardware is 'fair use' and don't try to charge a second time. The Australian Govenrment only gets antsy if you distribute the content to others.

    The problem is, for example me, I don't even keep Music on my phone.  I've been streaming Music for years which I pay for.  Why should I get charged for a fee like this?  This really is such a huge scam.   To me all this makes me want to do is Pirate.  This is the go ahead and Pirate fee for all I care.  If I'm forced to pay this fee, well then I should be allowed to pirate.  I really no longer feel wrong about doing such a thing.  

  • Reply 18 of 33
    entropys said:
    I struggle to understand the logic of such levies on hardware.  How does the government know the devices would be used for this purpose? Should device owner A pay or even though they never consume that content, while device owner B consumes 24//7? Customer C only uses fully paid for content, but both customer A and C gets hit with the levy anyway.

    And how does the government fairly distribute the funds raised?
    Congrats. You just taught yourself Socialism in a single paragraph.
    cornchipentropys
  • Reply 19 of 33
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    Be aware, the media companies in Europe have managed to convince the politicos that it's the hardware makers who are at fault whilst smothering the evidence of their singular failure to reward artists fairly. 
    Of course the normal government infrastructure incompetence will ensure that there is no redistribution to artists of this bizzarro tax, which will need an incremental levy increase on a regular basis to cover ineptitude with zero oversight or accountability.
    I'm not sure the retroactive aspect will stand under EU rules. It's sure to be tested in court.
    I'ts another 'window tax' - UK circa early 18C which resulted in many bricked-up windows. :/ Kinda weirdly similar.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    alruialrui Posts: 29member
    Just another glowing example of when government gets involved in ANYTHING the public gets screwed!
    SpamSandwichcornchip
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