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Government puts home copy tax on smartphones, tablets

Thursday 25 October 2012

Everyone who buys a smartphone, tablet or set-top box will pay a levy of up to €5 from next year to cover the cost of home copying.

The exact size of the charge largely depends on the storage capacity, junior justice minister Fred Teeven said in a briefing to MPs.

Video players will have a fixed levy of €2, computers and laptops €5.

The cabinet had wanted to scrap the levy but has decided to press ahead until an alternative is found. The new fees will run for one year.

At the moment, consumers pay a home copying charge on empty cds and dvds. The money raised will go to a special foundation which will divide up the cash between the various interest groups.

A fair move? Have your say using the comment box below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

I'm sorry - a tax for WHAT?!

By radu | 25 October 2012 12:15 PM

Ultimately, a very STUPID move. While the price is almost negligible in relation to the actual product cost, I don't like to give money to some copyright leech that feels is entitled to everything. People vote with your wallet! Buy things off amazon and let the dutchies come up with yet another surcharge.

By Neo | 25 October 2012 12:28 PM

Gosh! what more can the cabinet find to charge us for. NO! its not fair to use that only use personal use and don't copy things off web.

By dee | 25 October 2012 12:30 PM

a very stupid move from a very stupid government

By dork | 25 October 2012 1:29 PM

I take this as permission to download as much as I want off the internet for free.

By Devin | 25 October 2012 1:37 PM

Apparently some people don't know that this tax already exists for years. Every time you buy a (re)writable CD or DVD you pay a certain amount to Stiching de Thuiskopie.

By pepe | 25 October 2012 1:38 PM

Once I paid this tax, can I copy everything I want legally ?

By rapid | 25 October 2012 1:47 PM

...oh, I forgot: and will they teach me how to copy things by means of a video game?

By rapid | 25 October 2012 1:51 PM

Amazon.de usually has free shipping to NL. Their VAT is lower too...

By Patrick | 25 October 2012 1:53 PM

Tax? No it's another word for stealing more money, a way of bullying & getting away with it because you have power..and the rest not. :P

'Money wars' again?

By The visitor | 25 October 2012 2:23 PM

Video players?? VHS?? Sounds about where this law belongs. in 1985.

If you buy a new macbook air or imac which does not have an optical drive, do you still have to pay the levy?

By Craig | 25 October 2012 2:51 PM

Is crazy. I prefer to go twice a year to another country like Germany or US to buy my electronics....

By Nancy | 25 October 2012 3:01 PM

So, this means I can copy whatever I want?

By Chris V | 25 October 2012 3:14 PM

Come again?! Ridiculous.

By E | 25 October 2012 3:19 PM

Nothing surprise me in this country. I'm just waiting for the TAX from the TAX!

By Jack | 25 October 2012 3:24 PM

How do I get myself on this list for free money?

I could theoretically create something that could be copied, so I think I'm entitled to my cut.

By H. | 25 October 2012 3:27 PM

Absolutely bonkers. I wouldn't mind paying a euro extra at the cinema to support the industry. I am already taxed for public broadcasting here. And we all seem to have forgotten the corruption that went on at the BUMA last year.

By Jonathan Marks | 25 October 2012 3:29 PM

Excellent. So I guess this means all pirate websites will now be legal?

By DH | 25 October 2012 4:13 PM

Well this is still preferable to the US system where the oppressiveness of copyright law stifles all innovation and creativity. Fines here can amount to life-changing, crippling debt - this regime of treating petty crimes as attacks on the "American way of life" does tremendous damage to artists, businesses, and end-users alike.

By Marie Nubia-Feliciano | 25 October 2012 4:38 PM

Notice the term "various interest groups"- not authors ,composers or artists..that's because virtually none of this money makes it to the people who actually do the creating.
The leeches are especially fat in The Netherlands.

By Edward Ka-Spel | 25 October 2012 5:00 PM

@Devin @rapid, yes downloading music and movies has never been illegal in the Netherlands. And it still isn't.

By pepe | 25 October 2012 5:26 PM

In Germany and the US, unlike the Netherlands, it is illegal to download music and movies. People are actually prosecuted there for downloading. So go rant all you want, threat to buy in Germany or America. But at least in the Netherlands you won't fear any prosecution for downloading a song.

By pepe | 25 October 2012 5:45 PM

Well, if I'm labelled as a pirate and fined for it (despite the amount), then I just guess I have to put this new label to use, won't I?

In the end I have to thank our government, as I save alot more money than I spend thanks to this.

By Someone | 25 October 2012 5:46 PM

Government puts home copy tax on smartphones, tablets. This is a “watering can“ solution for whatever it is. To tax an individual phone bill for doing whatever they claim would be better.

By Terence Hale | 25 October 2012 6:21 PM

Another poorly thought-out, self-serving tax disguised as a compensation for so-called "various interest groups". Ha! I would like to see a published list of these "interest groups" for us all to see. I think the "interest group" is actually the the government. Just another effort for finding ways to raise money...at our expense.

By Quince | 25 October 2012 6:25 PM

what's sad is this money is not even spent on people who may need some life support.

this goes to make fat cats even fatter.

By dork | 25 October 2012 6:34 PM

if I pay this tax, then they can unblock The Pirate Bay do that I can download my Hollywood blockbusters again...

By Me | 25 October 2012 7:12 PM

I'm pretty sure downloading is not legal here. I remember there being a sort of test case a few years ago, to prove prosecution was possible.

Having said that, indeed, there's not a lot to worry about here...yet. I don't think the recording industry wants to go there.

As I recall, it was also made clear in this case that the punishment had to fit the crime, and a small time down loader could not be held liable for ridiculous damages.

By Patrick | 25 October 2012 7:29 PM

Ok so BTW has been increased, idiot taxes for the fat copywhat vampires.

Time to buy products online elsewhere, that is the only way you will get the message.

By Alberto | 25 October 2012 11:05 PM

Good idea in principle. I thought it was common knowledge NL is one of the worst countries for content theft. Pity that most of the money collected from this tax will go on administration and not to the artists. At the same time it gives Dutch people the green light to download. It's like dog owners who don't pick up dog shit because they say they pay dog tax.

By Anne Onymous | 26 October 2012 12:10 AM

This kind of steal from the copyright industry will perhaps push me to recuperate my money through the pirate bay!

By Future TPB user | 26 October 2012 8:23 AM

@Pepe - you are only partially right. For example, if you live in TU Delft student housing they will cut off your internet and possibly ban you for using e.g. torrent sites. Maybe I should let them know I paid my tax already!

By Devin | 26 October 2012 8:53 AM

Actually Anne Onymous, the UK and the US are the worst offenders when it comes to illegal music downloads
But maybe you have a source for that common knowledge that the Dutch are the worst.

By pepe | 26 October 2012 10:35 AM

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