European Commission Announces Ink Levy
The European Commission is set to impose a levy on printers and consumables following a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
It comes after a case in the German Court of Justice, where publisher VG Wort took action against Canon, Epson, Fujitsu, HP, Kyocera and Xerox after it found that published works were printed on the manufacturers’ equipment.
The German Court of Justice also requested the ECJ to clarify points of European Union (EU) law in the case.
A European Council Meeting in June 1994 was partially used as the basis to justify the decision, with the gathering relating to the fostering of the internal market for new products and services.
In addition, the ECJ has suggested that the decision was influenced by the need for new laws to tackle the ways that copyrights can be broken.
“While no new concepts for the protection of intellectual property are needed, the current law on copyright and related rights should be adapted and supplemented to respond adequately to economic realities such as new forms of exploitation.
“In certain cases of exceptions or limitations, rights holders should receive fair compensation to compensate them adequately for the use made of their protected works or other subject-matter,” the judgement read.
The ECJ’s decision will be binding across the European Union and could leave printer companies open to a range of compensation claims from individuals who claim copyright.
What will this mean for consumers?
As a result of the ruling, more companies could make copyright claims against printer manufacturers, potentially leading to large payouts.
To tackle this, printer firms may need to up their prices in the long run, increasing the price of affording and running a printer.
Furthermore, buyers may look to purchase machines from outside of the EU in order to avoid the copyright levy.
How can buyers save money?
Even if printers and consumables increase markedly in the coming years, there are many ways that consumers can still save money.
Reserving colour ink cartridges for only the most important documents will help to conserve cash and will guarantee that colours are available when external articles need to be delivered.
For businesses, when it comes to impressing new clients, it is imperative that colour ink is used to convey a professional feel. On top of this, marketing materials should be created with colour, or people could be left with a negative impression of a firm.
With regard to consumers, preserving colour cartridges can also pay dividends. For example, while colour ink may not be required for homework, it would be needed for any birthday or Christmas cards made on computers.
Most importantly, money can be saved by selecting the right printer. Even though a model may have a cheap RRP, it does not mean that its running costs will follow suit.
With this in mind, ahead of a purchase, consumers should look at the prices of both black and colour ink cartridges, along with any paper required for their prospective system.
If these checks are made, buyers will be more likely to be left with a machine that will be affordable in the long run.
Posted by Canzil Ahmed.