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Business News (more headlines) 08-20-2003

Germany - Agreement On Royalties For DVD Writers

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This month the collecting societies joined together in the Central Organisation for Private Copying Rights, Munich - Zentralstelle für private Überspielungsrechte (ZPÜ) - came to an arrangement with the German Federation of the Information Industry, Telecommunications and the New Media - Bundesverband Informationswirtschaft, Telekommunikation und neue Medien e.V. (BITKOM) - on the payment of royalties on DVD writers. After the agreement on the royalty on CD writers in July 2002 this regulation by general agreement on the payment of royalties for DVD writers is a further step towards enforcing authors' rights in the sphere of digital copies made for private use. The amount of payment on DVD writers and combined CD and DVD writers which can be installed in, or connected to, a PC, and which can be used to write DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW and/or DVD-RAM system disks, has been agreed at EUR 9.21 as a standard royalty for all rights holders, and will take effect retroactively from 1.1.2003. The ZPÜ will grant the rebate of 20% provided for in the general agreement to manufacturers and importers who are members of the partners to a general agreement such as BITKOM. The agreement between the ZPÜ and BITKOM runs until 31.12.2004 and will be extended from one year to the next unless it is terminated by one of the parties three months before it is due to expire.

In a first statement Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kreile, President and Chief Executive Officer of GEMA, the society that manages the ZPÜ, emphasised that, as with the previous agreement on royalties for CD writers in the summer of 2002, the agreement arrived at on DVD writers is a further breakthrough in safeguarding authors' rights in the sphere of private copying in the digital age, which must also respect the right of intellectual property.

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