Amazon‘s decade-long battle with Austrian copyright administrator Austro-Mechana, who sued the American online retailer for failing to collect the “blank cassette levy” in 2002 to 2004, has resurfaced after the EU Court of Justice ruled that Austria had every right to the more than $2.4 million claim demanded from Amazon.
This tax levy falls under EU law that allows consumers to makes personal copies of purchased music and film, as long as each member state ensures a way for artists to receive “fair compensation” for the reproduced material. Austria’s way of “ensuring” compensation is through taxing all blank CDs, DVDs, memory cards, and MP3 players sold in the country.
Amazon challenged this levy because such as system could lead to indiscriminate taxing of people who utilize blank media for purposes other than copying music and film.
Regardless, the EU court has approved of Austria’s motion against Amazon, even approving the right to use half of the money collected through the tax for social and cultural funds for artists.
Image by Alan Cleaver, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 (CC by 2.0).