After one decade of disputes, Austria’s Supreme Court has ruled against Amazon.com and confirmed the current system of levies on media storage devices on 15th March 2017. The decision obliges Amazon to pay to Austrian Copyright Collecting Societies for each media storage device imported and placed on the Austrian market.
Back in 2004, the claimant Austro Mechana presented a bill of 1.9 million euro to Amazon for the sale of blank media storage devices. Following the Court decision, Amazon now needs to report the number and type of media storage devices that were sold in Austria since 2002 and then pay the corresponding levy. A final sum will be determined after their sales report.
It is important to highlight that Austro Mechana distributes half of the collected levies to individual artists including musicians, authors and film producers, while the other half is used for Austrian cultural projects.
More information on this case is available here, while the Supreme Court decisions (in German) can be found here.