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Copyright Levies Imposed on Production and Import of Reprographic Equipment not Due where Analogous Levies have been Already Paid in Another EU Member State: Polish Court of Appeal Judgment in Wrocław of February 21, 2012 (I ACa 11/12)

Under art. 20 of the Polish Copyright Act, producers and importers of certain data carriers and reprographic equipment are obliged to pay fees to collective management organisations which act on behalf of creators (authors, performers, producers, publishers). These fees are in an amount not exceeding 3 per cent of the sales price. Collective management organisations redistribute them to the right holders. The authors of this article analyse a new and revolutionary Polish court decision that has changed the to-date jurisprudence in similar cases. The court decided that the said copyright levies are not due once analogous charges have already been paid in another EU Member State and regarding the same goods (data carriers, reprographic equipment). By generally sharing the view of the Polish Court of Appeal in Wrocław, that the multiplication of levies is not compatible with the relevant EU law, the authors point out at some controversies in that respect, especially in relation to the territoriality principle under copyright law and freedoms related to EU single market.