EU ruling to rack up print costs

ECJPrinters and related accessories could rocket in price following a European court ruling that print giants such as HP, Canon and Fujitsu must pay a levy to copyright holders for selling devices which allow such works to be reproduced.
The European Court of Justice ruling, which could be seen as right up there with bendy bananas and curved cucumbers, means that all printers which allow the reproduction of copyrighted works – simply by being connected to a computer – are liable for financial levies.
The case was brought by the German Court of Justice after publisher VG Wort sued Canon, Epson, Fujitsu, HP and Xerox for payments for its copyright works that their printers allow to be reproduced in private.
The ruling reads: “It is open to the member states to put in place a system in which the fair compensation is paid by the persons in possession of a device contributing, in a non-autonomous manner, to the single process of reproduction of the protected work or other subject-matter on the given medium.”
In reality, this means printer companies will add the levy into their pricing at the point of sale, increasing the cost of printers and printer ink, and hitting both consumers and businesses in the pocket.
Experts say that as the decision has been handed down from the ECJ and is binding across all member states, it could open up the possibility of all copyright holders demanding levies from printer companies. The potential costs to the affected IT firms could be huge, forcing printer prices to rise significantly.

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