Apple accused of witholding $6.3 million ‘copy tax’ from French iPad sales

Apple accused of witholding $6.3 million ‘copy tax’ from French iPad sales

Whilst Apple has been collecting France’s “private copy tax” on sales of specific iPad models, the Cupertino-based company has been accused of witholding payments to French copyright association Copie France, which are thought to total €4.74 million ($6.3 million) in 2011.

French newspaper Les Echos reports that Copie France, which defends authors, artists and actors’ rights in the audiovisual sector, sued Apple in August 2011 but the iPad maker disputes that it must pay the tax on sales of its iPad even though it did raise prices in February.

The private copy tax is based on devices that are capable of recording audiovisual content, which could allow their owners to make copies of music videos and movies for their own use. For each device that has a 64GB storage or more, a company must pay €12. Apple is said to owe around €4.74 million on sales of 500,000 iPads sold in 2011.

Apple has been joined by Nokia, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson, RIM and several unions in protesting the tax on devices, which appears to have had the desired effect when France rejected the tax on tablets on January 1, with no tariffs set for 2012.

However, the private copy commission is set to meet on February 3 to discuss the impact of the copy tax on device makers and their operations in the country.

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