German court adds royality levy to PCs

A German Court has ordered Fujitsu Siemens to pay a royalty of €12 for every computer it sells.

The royalty, which aims to work in the same way as Germany's levy on blank CDs has been designed to pay up front for any pirated activity should it fall into the hands of pirates.

The Munich District Court, which ordered the royalty fee, believed that like blank media the computer “tax” would compensate rights holders for lost royalties from pirates.

The suit was brought by VG Wort rights society and is the first company that the society has targeted - it plans to go after all the PC vendors in Germany.

The landmark case means that Germany will become the first European country to impose a copyright levy on new PCs.

Fujitsu Siemens is considering appealing.