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Refurbished smartphones: the National Assembly validates the private copying levy

Refurbished smartphones and tablets will now have to pay a private copying royalty when they are put back on sale. A decision criticized, even though they are already hit by the same tax at the time of their new sale.

7 to 8 € additional, this is the amount that the French will now have to pay for the private copying levy, when they want to buy a refurbished smartphone or tablet. This Thursday, June 10, the National Assembly adopted the principle as part of its bill aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of digital technology. The text has yet to be validated by the Senate, but the latter, if adopted, should mark the arrival of a specific fee for refurbished electronic devices.

Double penalty for the reconditioned

Voted in 1985 with the aim of remunerating artists despite the authorization for individuals to make copies of musical works, the private copying levy has taken technological developments into account for several years. It applies in particular to hard disks, USB keys, but above all to tablets and smartphones sold new. So today, when you buy an electronic device, the Copie France organization automatically levies a tax (included in the final price). The latter varies according to the storage capacities of the terminal (12 € for 32 GB of storage, 14 € for 64 GB or more).

Yes but there you go. At the end of May, many artists had signed a column in the Journal du Dimanche for defend the extension of this tax to refurbished devices. If the bill is adopted, smartphones will be subject to the levy twice: a first time when they are purchased new, and a second time when they are sold as refurbished. Second-hand devices will, however, benefit from a “discount” since the private copying tax for a second-hand device cannot exceed € 8.40 for a smartphone of 64 GB or more.

If the law is adopted, this could represent a significant additional financial windfall for Copie France. According to the organization’s latest report, the smartphone market alone would represent 172 million euros in 209, i.e. 70% of the revenue generated by the private copying tax. However, this fee is no longer unanimous. Many criticize the very existence of the tax, considered obsolete since the arrival of music streaming.

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