Private copy: back to the future for refurbished smartphones and tablets?09/06/2021
“Let’s not pit the 200,000 beneficiaries of private copy levies against buyers of refurbished products,“  say the 1661 artists, authors, filmmakers and illustrators who signed the Journal du Dimanche’s tribune in defense of private copy.
As a reminder, private copy is an exception to copyright governed by articles L122-5 2° and L311-1 of the Intellectual Property Code. It is a compensatory remuneration received by creators on media with a storage capacity (smartphone, tablet, hard drive …). It allows a balance between the rights of creators and the freedom of the consumer.
A new scale for reconditioned devices
The Private Copying Commission voted on June 1, 2021 to adopt a new scale: an abatement is now possible for smartphones (40%) and tablets (35%) when they are repackaged. This would represent a loss of revenue of between 10 and 15 million euros for the cultural sector, but these new scales will help the reconditioning sector in difficulty: “2,500 jobs and 20 companies in the sector are threatened” according to Benoît Varin, the co-founder of Recommerce. The Commission adopts these new provisions in anticipation of the future debates of the Assembly on private copy but, for some, this is far from being sufficient.
A scale that will soon be obsolete?
Private copy has been in the spotlight since the bill to reduce the environmental footprint of digital technology, currently under review, includes an article proposing to amend Article L.311-8 of the Intellectual Property Code. Article 14 bis B suggests removing from the scope of private copy “the recording media are derived from activities of preparation for reuse and reemployment of products that have already given rise to such remuneration“. This bill will be examined by the National Assembly in plenary session on June 10.
While some, such as the Minister of Culture and many performers, are strongly opposed to an exemption from the private copy levy, others, such as deputies Philippe Latombe and Éric Bothorel, want to fully exempt reconditioned devices from private copy and call for a global reform of private copy, including its governance. It will be up to the MPs to decide on June 10.
By the IP/IT team of UGGC Avocats
Source : Contexte