What is private copying?

Private Copying in Europe

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In the European Union, 26 member States apply the principle of an exception for private copying. Only Ireland and the United Kingdom have not provided for this system. In both these countries, consumers do not have the right, in principle, to make private copies. Of the 26 member States providing for the exception, only four –Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta and Luxembourg– have not yet organized a compensation system for rights holders. In the 22 countries where such compensation exists, the remuneration right is subject to mandatory collective management.

According to each country, the private copy levy applies to recording equipment, blank media, or both. The amount of the levy may be fixed, proportional to recording capacity, or calculated as a percentage of the retail price of the equipment or media.

The private copy levy has repeatedly been recognized as legitimate both in principle and in practice, in particular by the Court of Justice of the European Union on 11 July 2013.