Apple devices in Germany will now cost more. The rise in prices is the outcome of a deal between the tech industry and content producers and is bound to benefit a range of creative professionals including musicians, actors and pornographic filmmakers as well.
Apple’s iPhone, iPad to cost more
In a statement to the Associated Press on Sunday, Apple confirmed a link between the price hike of iPhones and iPads and the new copyright levy. A 1965 German law which forms the basis of such agreements allows consumers to make private copies of sound, images or texts in return for a small surcharge on the purchase of devices.
Similar arrangements already exist for other consumer electronics and consumables such as blank CDs. Similar private copying charges are also levied on recordable media devices in many other European countries. Apple has been paying a similar private copy levy of 10.55 euros on Macs in Germany since 2010.
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In an agreement last week, Apple, Samsung and other smartphone and tablets manufacturers agreed to make a payment of 5-7 euros ($5.50-$7.70) for each smartphone or tablet imported to Germany. The base model of the iPhone 6s, which was sold at a retail price of 739 euros last year, will now be available for 744.95 euros ($811.03).
To benefit all
Bitkom — a tech industry lobby group – said the deal includes back payments for phones sold after 2008 and tablets sold after 2012. The lobby group said the industry intends to do away with the practice of adding a fixed surcharge on devices for subscription services and pay-per-use models in which consumers are required to pay only for the downloading they do.
ZPUe — an umbrella organization that negotiated the deal on behalf of the content producers — said that from past experiences it has been learned that consumers would always find ways to copy material for free without making any payments for it, thus, an up-front surcharge on devices becomes fairer.
The deal covers all forms of content, indicating the levy amount will benefit all including “creators, producers and acting artists of erotic and pornographic films.”
“Since it’s assumed that these are copied too, they get a share,” said Juergen Becker, a spokesman for ZPUe.