Here is a new good reason to turn to refurbished devices

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From February 1, 2023, smartphones, tablets, PCs and any other refurbished device will no longer be subject to the private copying tax. Logic ? Obviously not that much.

Since November 2021, a measure has required sellers of refurbished devices to pay this private copying tax, yet already paid by manufacturers on the same device sold new. This rule had also caused an outcry, so much so that the file had been seized by the UFC-Que Choisir association.

The public rapporteur of the Council of State had also recommended in a report the abolition of this tax for reconditioned devices. The Council of State therefore followed this recommendation on the grounds of a formal defect.

More than the text itself, it’s the way it was voted that is the problem, explain the media the informed. The team in charge of applying the scales was in fact incomplete during the 2021 vote. Made up of 24 seats, this body brought together rights holders (12 seats), manufacturers and importers (6 seats) and consumer representatives ( 6 seats). However, the consumer representatives were not there during the vote.

As of February 1, 2023, the private copying tax will therefore no longer be applied to refurbished devices. Worth an average of 9 euros, this deletion should lower prices of these devices, unless market players take advantage of this to increase their margins.

Regarding devices already sold, the Council of State has decided not to apply retroactivity in order to avoid dozens of disputes with Copie France, the company responsible for collecting the private copying tax. Consumers cannot therefore claim any refund.

Private copying: the tax of another time

The very existence of the private copying tax raises questions. Originally, this royalty allowed rights holders to receive a few euros for each new device or storage medium (smartphone, tablet, PC, CD, DVD) allowing the copying of a cultural work (film, music, etc.). A kind of compensation for the loss of income related to pirating or reproducing a work for non-commercial purposes (basically, burning a film or an album on CD or DVD).

If this tax is so controversial, it is because it generates an additional cost for consumers when their uses have changed considerably. First, no one (or maybe a few resistance fighters living in a village west of Gaul) burns CDs or DVDs. In general, few consumers store cultural works.

A study by Arcom published in December 2022 confirms this trend. According to her, 86% of French people subscribe to at least one streaming platform (music or video). At the same time, piracy fell by 4%. Moreover, the proliferation of streaming platforms and the financial results of the giants of the sector clearly show that this market is booming.

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