Technology

Private copy: MEPs do not exempt refurbished smartphones

The deputies agree with the beneficiaries. Despite criticism from civil society and consumer associations, the deputies adopted this Thursday the application of a private copying levy on refurbished smartphones, as part of the discussions around the bill aimed paradoxically to reduce the digital environmental footprint. If the decision is now up to senators, it is a big blow for second-hand smartphone resellers, and the entire repackaged industry.

On the side of rights holders, on the other hand, there is a smile on the face of this new windfall which is offered to collective management organizations. If they collected no less than 273 million euros in 2020, under the private copying levy, the sum will inevitably be more substantial in the future, given that rights holders will now be able to collect this a second time. royalty on the same device resold second-hand.

To look good, Copie France, the body responsible for collecting the license fee, however announced that it had found “a compromise”. Hear, a discount of the royalty for private copying when it will be applied to refurbished smartphones. This new scale, adopted at the beginning of June, envisages by way of example that the tax applied to a refurbished smartphone with a memory greater than 32 GB and less than or equal to 64 GB is of the order of 7.20 euros, against 12 euros for a new device. For a refurbished phone with a memory greater than 64 GB, the addition would amount to 8.40 euros (against 14 euros for a new device).

Still stubborn opposition

If the Minister of Culture, favorable to the extension of the base of the royalty for private copying, welcomed a “win-win solution” for the repackaged industry and the beneficiaries, the measure also has its share of critics. If deputies denounced in session the aggressive “lobbying” of collection organizations, the consumer defense association UFC-Que Choisir for its part announced on Monday the filing of an appeal before the Council of State, to challenge the merits of the measure pushed by the government.

And to recall that “the scales applied to new mobile phones and tablets are already in France among the highest in Europe”. “More broadly, the price increases on all reconditioned mobile phones and multimedia tablets would undermine the development of the circular economy”, we know from the association for the defense of consumers, which also denounces the composition “Hand sewn” of the Commission for private copying, made according to it to “defend the interests of rights holders”.

As a reminder, the private copying levy constitutes a levy levied on any recording medium (USB key, smartphone, tablet, CD, etc.), intended to finance the remuneration of artists for the opportunity given to everyone. to reproduce all or part of their works for private use.

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