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In Amazon dispute, EU Court of Justice rules that levies on blank CDs can be collected 'in some cases'

Sarah Silbert

Amazon's spent quite a bit of time in court as of late; in addition to a recently settled trademark dispute with Apple, a row with an Austrian copyright collection agency is keeping the e-tailer busy. Today, the European Court of Justice ruled that, in some cases, EU countries can collect a levy on blank recording media to ensure that musicians are compensated for their work.

The key phrase here is "in some cases," since establishing whether CDs, memory cards, cassette tapes and other media have been used for public consumption isn't exactly easy -- and it's not yet clear whether Amazon will have to pay the 1.9 million euros in question. The next step will be for the Austrian supreme court to decide whether it can even be determined whether Amazon customers used such blank media for anything other than home videos and mix tapes. After all, some would argue that burning a French-electro mix to torment your coworkers on a nine-hour drive is hardly a crime.

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