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New Copy Right Levy Increases Prices of Apple Products in Germany

Jan 04, 2016 04:13 AM EST

Apple Inc., the Cupertino, California based iPhone and iPad maker, has raised prices for hand held devices in Germany, effecting from January 1. The price hike decision has been made following a deal with German Trade Association, Bitkom and ZPÜ collecting societies in December 2015.

The price increase, affecting iPhones and iPads, is linked to the new copyright levy that will benefit a range of creative professionals including musicians, actors and pornographic filmmakers. Many other European countries charge similar private copying levies on recordable media devices.

The industry aims to add a fixed surcharge on devices that renders subscription services. The move has been designed to introduce a pay-per-use model where consumers only pay for what they actually download.

As per the new deal, Apple, a Bitkom member, needs to pay in a reduced rate of surcharge amounting to 5 euros for mobile phones and 7 euros for tablets. Non-members are required to charge fees for 6.25 euros per mobile phone and 8.75 euros per tablet, reports MacRumors.

Consequently, the entry-level iPhone 6s 16GB model now costs €744.95 as opposed to its previous selling price of €739 on the German Apple Online Store, while the iPad Pro is now selling at €907.33 instead of €899 for the entry-level model, reports the International Business Times quoting apfelpage.de.

The agreement also matches similar arrangements already in place for other consumer electronics and consumables such as blank CDs. It is based on a 1965 German law that allows consumers to make private copies of sound, images or texts in return for a small surcharge when they buy the device.

The consumers always find ways to copy materials for free. 'Downloading without payment' has been driven away fairly through imposing surcharge on devices, reports Tech 2 quoting Juergen Becker, a spokesman for the umbrella organization ZPUe that negotiated the deal on behalf of content producers.

All forms of content are covered by the deal. Thus the proceeds from the new levy become available with a group representing "creators, producers and acting artists of erotic and pornographic films."

Apple has been paying a similar private copy levy of 10.55 euros on Macs in Germany since 2010. However, the tech giant has confirmed to The Associated Press that the price increase is linked to the new copyright levy.

Unlike other European countries, Germany has slapped a new copy right levy on devices that renders subscription services. The price hike decision has been made following a deal with German Trade Association, Bitkom and ZPÜ collecting societies in December 2015. However, the levy proceed will be shared by the musicians, actors and even by those of the pornographic films.

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