Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

German Court Sets Copyright Tax on New PCs

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the since-you're-paying-already,-might-as-well-fire-up-kazaa dept.

The Courts 428

graemee pastes: "The District Court of Munich has ordered Fujitsu Siemens Computers to pay a copyright levy on new PCs. The landmark decision, announced on Thursday, ends a nearly two-year dispute between the largely Germany-based computer maker and the country's VG Wort rights society, which has sought compensation for digital copying. VG Wort had filed a suit against Germany's largest PC maker, Fujitsu Siemens, seeking 30 euro (US$41) for each new computer sold in the country. The court agreed to a 12 euro copyright levy."

cancel ×

428 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Thank god for our capalist govt. (0, Troll)

achew22 (783804) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232916)

Thank god for the Bill Of Rights, what would we do if the prices at best buy went up!

Re:Thank god for our capalist govt. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233024)

In America we'd just whine quietly and fork over the extra bucks, like the weak little pussies we are.

Re:Thank god for our capalist govt. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233048)

Yeah--exactly like we did when gas prices went up. Oh wait--I guess Europe is where they pay outrageous prices for fuel.

May I be the first to... (4, Insightful)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232918)

... vomit in absolute disgust.

Unless of course this completely ligitimises copying c.f. Canada. somehow I doubt it though.

Re:May I be the first to... (4, Insightful)

sepluv (641107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232943)

May I be the first to do so regardless of whether anything is legitimised; that would make it even worse IMO--as I don't download non-free (as in freedom) music or software, and this would be very unfair to copyright holders who do not join the local German monopolistic protection racketeers.

Re:May I be the first to... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233061)

In Germany dogs pay tax (true), and TV and Radio receivers pay tax also (16EUR/month). There is a tax of 16% in just about everything you buy, including most food items, and there is also a solidarity tax that goes to rebuild east Germany. If you don't ask for it, you will get a deduction called "church tax" from your paycheck, and at the end of the year there will be even more tax deductions.
Those who live for creating new taxes will succeed on collecting them, and their money will be one legally collected, but somehow not really deserved, which will benefit them on the short run only. The problem is obviously an old set of laws that were not created with the new Digital World in mind. Hopefully governments will call young people to revise outdated schemes making impossible for old structures to predate on people's resources in such ominous ways.
For the rest of us, there is a law that says: "hecha la ley, hecha la trampa" ("done the law, done the trap" or, there is always a way around a stupid law). Hack your system.

Play the Insult Game! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232919)

To play, just reply to this thread and insult the previous person.

Re:Play the Insult Game! (-1, Troll)

daniil (775990) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232924)

You're a fucking moron and a retard. Only a retard could come up with an idea as stupid as this.

Re:Play the Insult Game! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232928)

you played the game! what a mong!

Re:Play the Insult Game! (1)

daniil (775990) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233000)

How about we take it a step further and try to be ontopic while still flinging shit? :7

I thought you would reply to my insult, as someone as stupid as you just can't keep away from a fight.

Anyway, i think it should be pointed out that Slashdot has already covered [slashdot.org] this story back when they originally started considering it about two years ago. The analysis [upi.com] linked to might still be relevant.

Free downloads in Germany.. (4, Insightful)

Cederic (9623) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232921)


They're already paid for.

(Sure the courts wont see it that way)

~cederic

Re:Free downloads in Germany.. (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232987)

Same thing in France with a tax on "blank media" like CDRs. The number of countries doing this is increasing. I know the courts won't see this as "a right to copy everything" since the tax is already paid, but I'll fell less guilty next time I download something illegally.

Re:Free downloads in Germany.. (2, Interesting)

dn15 (735502) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233029)

I know the courts won't see this as "a right to copy everything" since the tax is already paid, but I'll fell less guilty next time I download something illegally.
Exactly. I'd gladly pay a copyright tax if it gave me rights to legally download and copy whatever I want. The pessimist in my says this would never happen. But it would be interesting to see what happens if someone were taken to court and used that as a defense. If such a tax doesn't give you license to copy stuff, then is it really anything other than highway robbery by record/movie/software companies?

Re:Free downloads in Germany.. (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233079)

Exactly. I'd gladly pay a copyright tax if it gave me rights to legally download and copy whatever I want.

I wouldn't! Part of my interest in P2P is sticking it to the man, in this case the *AA. They've treated people (sorry, consumers) like cash cows, and like shit, for decades, so I download whatever I can and store it, and distribute anything widely and freely, as a giant finger to them. So if they started benefitting from the sales of blank CDs somehow, I'd get removable hard-disks and I'd stop using CDs at once.

Re:Free downloads in Germany.. (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233117)

In the Netherlands, many members of parliament have already stated that downloading is not prohibited, only uploading. How you can download without someone uploading is a bit of an issue though. It is the same policy with drugs though: you are free to buy or possess but are strictly prohibited to sell. If a cop catches you with small quantities of some really illegal dope he may be obliged to return it to you if you haven't committed a crime.

Add to that the fact that Britney Spears can recieve up to $0,50 per backup DVD that I make of my own written software, and the monkey circus is complete in Europia.

Re:Free downloads in Germany.. (4, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233038)

Yep, free downloads.

You've indeed paid royalties for the stuff you copy.

Yet this does not make it legal to offer someone else's work for copying.

Various European courts have already confirmed that the downloaders are not the infringers but the uploaders are.

Re:Free downloads in Germany.. (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233111)

How about if you limited the number of downloads?

It's about US$41 or so tax per PC. Given that songs are about US$0.99 on iTunes, simply advertise on your web site that you will give copies of some song to the first 41 downloaders, all paid for by you.

This sets up a nasty loop (4, Insightful)

Buran (150348) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232922)

By doing this, they're legitimizing the same activities they claim to be trying to stop. If you are going to pass a levy to compensate for something, you can't expect anyone to listen when you tell them to stop. They will (rightly) say "I paid an extra tax on this equipment to cover the cost of what I'm doing." They'll either have to stop charging a levy or fin that no one will listen.

Re:This sets up a nasty loop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232960)

What's more: I would feel *prompted* to copy mercilessly, even if it never crossed my mind before.

Re:This sets up a nasty loop (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232977)

This actually suggests two things.

First, it would seem to legitimize copying copyrighted material - since they are charging you a fee to cover that very thing.

Second, if they still prosecute people copying copyrighted material on a home computer, then how can they justify this? They are already penalizing people without due process and assuming that they are guilty of copyrighting (charging them for it whether they do it or not).

It could be the booze, but I think I had a thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233020)

Get together and have these same kinds of taxes imposed in the US with the same rational written into law. Get a few court decisions legitimizing the downloading of basically everything. Then let the anti-tax crusaders kill the taxes, for the children, or the manufactures, or people who incorporate in tax free Nevada, and giggle like school girls as the xxAA suck on sweaty hairy precedent as they're forced by the market to produce a superior product at reasonable prices. Muwahahaha. Hic. HAhahaha.

Re:This sets up a nasty loop (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233027)

Does German law have double jeopardy provisions? I assume so. If a German citizen has already been "fined" for digital copying upon purchasing the PC, can they even be legally prosecuted for digital copying of copywrighted materials in the future?

drugs tax (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233115)

you have to pay tax on coke in North Carolina [state.nc.us]

Marijuana stems & stalks that have
been separated from the plant.

$.40 for each gram
or fraction thereof

More than 42.5 grams

Marijuana other than
separated stems and stalks

$3.50 for each gram
or fraction thereof

More than 42.5 grams

Cocaine

$50.00 for each gram
or fraction thereof

7 or more grams

Any other controlled substance
that is sold by weight

$200.00 for each gram
or fraction thereof

7 or more grams

Re:This sets up a nasty loop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233051)

Or sue the crap out of everyone anyway. That makes people listen alot of the time.

Re:This sets up a nasty loop (1)

ishark (245915) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233081)

You are 100% right on it.
When France discussed a possible tax on storage media (including HDs!) the response was the same: since we pay a tax on copying, this means we can do it.

Taxing Illegal Things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233101)

It seems many of you say that if the govt. taxes something the legitimize it. That is not the case, govts often tax illegal things. For example, in around four states in the U.S. you can buy Cocaine or Pot "stamps" to pay the taxes on your illegal sales. And the IRS also goes after ANY income NO MATTER how you earn it.

What about pencils, etc? (3, Insightful)

basvdlei (844717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232925)

I could use a pencil to 'copy' a piece of art. And there should also be a copyright levy on the human voice for the ability to sing along with a song.

Re:What about pencils, etc? (1)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233118)

This argument has been done to death. If you copy a piece of artwork with a pencil, you're most likely not creating an EXACT replica. With digital media, it's trivial to produce copies that are indistinguishable from the original. And as for singing along with a song, as long as you're not recording yourself and distributing copies then you're not playing the same game, much less in the same ballpark, as the pirates these types of measures are intended to compensate for.

I support our digital freedoms as much as the next slashdot user, but I don't support digital piracy in any form. The music on my iPod is all from CDs and songs that I've obtained legally. However, if a tax like this were passed in the US, I think the implication would be that the government has accepted that piracy cannot be stopped and no effort to do so should be made. Of course, I doubt that the German equivalent of the RIAA and MPAA will start turning a blind eye to piracy just because of this tax. If this happens in the US, I'm sure the MPAA and RIAA will want to have their cake and eat it too.

Germany...SHH! (2, Funny)

ral315 (741081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232926)

Don't give Bush any ideas ;)

Re:Germany...SHH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233086)

over-taxing citizens? nah... that's a democrat thing.

I think that goes the other way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233114)

If a coal company dumps coal slurry on your property, your problem. The fact that it just kills everything and is a significant health risk isn't really something that worries the EPA now that they got rid of their ombudsman. Interestingly, if that coal slurry then destroys your neighbors property, or federal land from your property, you have to pay for the clean up. The Germans, are just nickle and dime'ing people. Our administration actually champions the destruction of people's homes, way of life, communities, and health. It's been a little while since Germany has been on that particular bandwagon as near as I can tell.

why not just accuse everyone as being a thief (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232929)

this assumes that everyone is a thief and makes the people who make the product pay for what people use their products for, even a legitimate use...which then gets passed onto the consumer. Such a stupid legal move IMO

Re:why not just accuse everyone as being a thief (1)

latroM (652152) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233054)

Nope, it compensates the "loss" of big media because of private copying.

Re:why not just accuse everyone as being a thief (0)

danila (69889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233119)

No, this doesn't assumes that everyone is a theif. Just like it doesn't assume that everyone who violates speed limits is a bad driver who risks the lives of others. It's just that sometime we enforce arbitrary blanket limits and rules when determining who exactly should be affected is too expensive.

This new law is simply a way for the economy to function better, like taxes. There is a belief that private copying happens and that it negatively impacts content producers. The state recognizes this and creates an economic mechanism to benefit the society (or so they believe). Just like the original copyright this is a conscious move to help the society. Creating a "just" system that doesn't tax those who don't download pirated works would be 100 times worse, because it would require DRM and monitoring of all private computers. That would be outright unethical and extremely expensive. This "stupid" system has low overhead, doesn't have significant negative impact on computer manufacturers, has no privacy implications and makes content producers happy.

Don't be silly.

Independent labels and copyright taxes (3, Interesting)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232931)

Do independent and alternative labels get any of the copyright taxes in countries like Germany and Canada, or does it all go to the RIAA equivalents?

Re:Independent labels and copyright taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232958)

use your imagination to answer yourself

Re:Independent labels and copyright taxes (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233018)

If the German agency for collecting royalties is anything like the Dutch one, the answer would be yes... and no. At a rough guess, half the money collected is used to pay for the collection agency itself (as is usually the case), perhaps 15% will find its way abroad (even though most music played here is foreign); the rest goes to Dutch artists (including independent ones) divided according to radio stations' playlists.

Nohtzis! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232932)

nT

Sounds like a bargain! (4, Interesting)

DrStrangeLug (799458) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232934)

You pay car tax and you're legally allowed to drive a car.

You pay tobacco tax and you're legally allowed to smoke it.

So if you pay a "digital copying tax" on a computer, you must be allowed to do digital copying on it, surely?

Out of curiosity, if you built a pc from scratch, which component gets this tax, or is it split up between all of them ?

Re:Sounds like a bargain! (1)

gmanic (761667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232950)

Devices under most attack are cd/dvd-burners, scanners, printers (copiers have this levy already). Of course, they try to embrace it for harddisks, as well, if I remember right. But I may mix it up with the other organisations for music, film etc.

To clarify: VG Wort, which was cited, is only doing its business for writers! Not anything to do with other organisations, which care about music, e.g.

And, this is just a levy for the so called "private copy" which is allowed in Germany under certain circumstances (e.g. it must be a copy of the original, not a copy of the copy).

Re:Sounds like a bargain! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233031)

"Private copy" does not mean a copy of an original copy, but a copy of a legal copy. Therefor a copy of a "private copy" still remains a "private copy" and is limited to private use.
Commercial use of a "private copy" and distributing it is not allowed. As distribution is not allowed a download is not a legal copy. As a result you haven't created a "private copy" either.

Re:Sounds like a bargain! (2, Interesting)

basvdlei (844717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232954)

Here in the Netherlands we have a right to make a "home copy" for personal or educational use. It is because of that right we have to pay 'copyright tax' on media. I think this allso applies in Germany but of that I'm not sure.
Stichting Thuiskopie (dutch) [cedar.nl]

Re:Sounds like a bargain! (1)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232962)

You pay car tax and you're legally allowed to drive a car.

No, you are legally allowed to own a car; to drive it you need a driver license.

So if you pay a "digital copying tax" on a computer, you must be allowed to do digital copying on it, surely?

Yes. You are legally allowed to make copies for yourself or to copy parts of a book, for non profit purposes.

Out of curiosity, if you built a pc from scratch, which component gets this tax, or is it split up between all of them?

Good question. AFAIK, there are taxes on CD/DVD drives and on printers. But it would be great to have the actual list.

Logically, yes... (2, Interesting)

lxt (724570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232963)

In order to drive a car, you have to pay a tax. It's the law.

However, in order to make a digital copy, or a copy of anything, you don't need to pay anything. Nothing, no tax, zilch. Assuming, of course, that you already own the source material you're copying.

I just don't see how you could justify a tax for copying, because you're either going to be copying illegally obtained material (in which case you can't really tax it, because it would legitimise the crime - you really can't tax something which is illegal to start with), or you're going to be copying something you own already (transferring an LP of yours to CD, recording your own work to a CD), or something that you have permission to copy (GPL files etc.)

It just doesn't work, and doesn't make sense. Perhaps somebody in Germany will follow Canada's example, and scrap it. Soon.

Re:Sounds like a bargain! (1)

dipipanone (570849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232970)

In 1937, the US Federal Government passed the Marijuana Tax Act.

Do let me know when I'll be free to start smoking marijuana, won't you?

Re:Sounds like a bargain! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232984)

In 1937, the US Federal Government passed the Marijuana Tax Act.

And they wouldn't issue tax stamps, effectively making it illegal. There was a very brief moment in the 70's when Marijuana was indeed legal, to a certain extent. However, today it is completely illegal according to the Federal gov't, and the 1937 tax is irrelevant.

Do let me know when I'll be free to start smoking marijuana, won't you?

Don't just wait, be an active part of pushing for legalization. You can start with making a donation to NORML [norml.org] , and there are other things you can do too, like write to your representatives.

Re:Sounds like a bargain! (2, Informative)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232993)

Do let me know when I'll be free to start smoking marijuana, won't you?

You were somewhat free to do so after they passed it. Except that the law required you have the marijuana to get the license and required a license to have the marijuana.

The Supreme Court didn't laugh and ruled it unconstitutional in 1969 on the grounds that it forced self-incrimination. In 1970, it was officially made illegal in the Controlled Substances Act.

Re:Sounds like a bargain! (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232974)

You often already pay such taxes on CD/DVD burners and media. Where will it all end? taxing hearing aids as these can enable someone to listen to pirate music?

Re:Sounds like a bargain! (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232981)

Don't give them any ideas... you don't want to know what mine cost as it is. (fortunately, I only need one)

Re:Sounds like a bargain! (4, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233004)

So if you pay a "digital copying tax" on a computer, you must be allowed to do digital copying on it, surely?

Yes, that's the point. In Germany, copying for private purposes is explicitly allowed by law. There are many court cases setting the limits, of course. However, the "Privatkopie" right is quite broad, and it does include making a few (the generally agreed limit is 5 or 6 in total) copies for friends.

Re:Sounds like a bargain! (4, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233030)

Yes, that's the point. In Germany, copying for private purposes is explicitly allowed by law.
If people are forced pay this hefty tax on blank media and even on computers, then private copying should become a right rather than a privilege. That means that publishers should be forbidden to add any DRM, region codes, Macrovision and whatnot to their content.

Of course that side of the bargain is always conveniently overlooked. I hope this 'success' won't mean similar arrangements in other European countries; but the movie industry would love to collect a tax for private copies we can't make.

Re:Sounds like a bargain! (1)

flynn_nrg (266463) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233103)

I don't think it works that way. Where I live (Spain) we pay a tax every time we buy a CD-R(W). This tax was put there to compensate the artists for private copies you could make with that CD. A private copy is a right you have, and it means you can copy a CD you've already purchased. In other words, if I buy the latest Prodigy album I'm allowed by law to make backup copies to e.g. use in my car. This doesn't allow me to borrow your copy and make a duplicate. This tax gives them money because, in their opinion, they're losing money since I didn't buy 2 copies of said album. Of course all these laws are bullshit because 99% of the CD-Rs I buy are used to store my own data, not music, but that's another issue.

Parts? (5, Interesting)

miyako (632510) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232936)

I wonder how this will effect people who build their own PCs. Does the tax only apply to people who buy a pre-fab machine, or will individual components also be taxed, or is it on the honor system where if you build a computer at home you are obligated to send in the ammount required by the tax.
As assinine as this is overall, I would much rather pay a $50 tax on any computer than have the media industries completely destroy or cripple beyond recognition the internet and anything remotely interesting that computers can do.

Re:Parts? (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232940)

>I would much rather pay a $50 tax on any computer than have the media industries completely destroy or cripple beyond recognition the internet and anything remotely interesting that computers can do.

I prefer the latter, since it would fail and be a wake up call for the public.

Re:Parts? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233042)

I wonder how this will effect people

"affect".

Wait a minute.. (3, Informative)

torako (532270) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232944)

Now, before anyone gets any wrong ideas here and stars complaining about music, independent labels etc:

VG Wort is not about music. VG Wort is responsible for collecting money on written documents / books and the rights associated with them. And they are right about wanting to get that levy on computers, because people who want to set up Xerox machines and use them commercialy have had to pay that levy since, eh, always (And thereby you have the right to copy material out of books without owning the books).

So yes, you have to pay the levy, but you are also allowed to make non-commercial copies of books / magazines etc because of that. Stop complaining.

Re:Wait a minute.. (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232949)

here in UK I get to make such copies without a tax thanks

Re:Wait a minute.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232961)

In that case they are illegal. He was pointing out that this tax granted a right to copy.
BTW, in UK or France, copy machines in libraries are involved in a tax scheme: you may copy the books freely on these machines for personal use. I think this is not a bad idea.
What would be good is to give people choice : they would pay a tax and then would be able to copy.

Re:Wait a minute.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232998)

has anyone noticed that the Net makes all this
obsolete anyway ?!?

what are these judges on ???

Re:Wait a minute.. (2)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232988)

So yes, you have to pay the levy, but you are also allowed to make non-commercial copies of books / magazines etc because of that.

Interesting, but weird. How am I supposed to copy a book or magazine with a computer? I see three ways:

  • Use a scanner. But in that case, the levy should be on the scanner, not on the computer, because by itself the computer can not be used for copying.
  • Type it all in. But besides the fact that that is so much work that (almost) nobody will do it, the same thing can be done with a pen. Is there such a levy on pens, too?
  • Copy the book or magazine from, for intance, the Internet. But isn't it an illegal activity to make copyrighted works available on the Internet? Does this mean that, by paying the levy, you are now allowed to profit from illegal activitities of other people? There seems to be an internal conflict here. Also, in this case the levy should be on the Internet connection, not on the computer.

Do you know more about this?

Re:Wait a minute.. (2, Informative)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233056)

"Efforts by the industries affected are under way to extend the levy to computer peripherals and, where not yet implemented, photocopying machines."
http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030312-12091 2-6894r [upi.com]

Re:Wait a minute.. (2, Informative)

tigress (48157) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233015)

Well, in Sweden (I don't know about other countries), you're allowed to make copies of extracts of books and magazines. It's called "Fair Use".

Under fair use, you're not allowed to copy entire books or magazines but an article or two is allowed.

Re:Wait a minute.. (1)

mousse-man (632412) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233062)

And do they pay such an onerous tax on every computer in Sweden?

This will be ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232945)

If there is an option to get your money back by filling out a form stating that you will not do any copying of copyrighted material and waiting 6-8 weeks for the form to be processed.

Some useful phrases in German (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232946)

Und was haben deine Grosseltern im Krieg gemacht?

Isn't it good that our countries are now friends?

Hor auf, so laut in dieser nervigen Sprache zu reden.

I'm sorry, could you repeat that in English.

Willst du Arger, Grossmaul?

Can you give me directions?

Dein Schwanz ist so klein, dass es 'ne Maus nicht merkt, wenn du sie fickst

Pleased to meet you

Re:Some useful phrases in German (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233002)

Sticking these into Google:

Und was haben deine Grosseltern im Krieg gemacht?
Isn't it good that our countries are now friends?
And which your grandparents in the war have made?

Hor auf, so laut in dieser nervigen Sprache zu reden.
I'm sorry, could you repeat that in English.

Hor up to talk so loud in this nervigen language.

Willst du Arger, Grossmaul?
Can you give me directions?

Do you want bad one, large muzzle?

Dein Schwanz ist so klein, dass es 'ne Maus nicht merkt, wenn du sie fickst
Pleased to meet you

Your tail is so small that it does not notice 'ne mouse, if you it fickst

I'm going to ask my penfriend Hans to make me a copy of his multimedia CD titled 'learning German for English speakers' now he can do it legitimately since he's going to pay the tax!

Re:Some useful phrases in German (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233033)

I dunno what the gp was trying to do, but his translations were all wrong. Google was closer, although incomprehencable.

Re:Some useful phrases in German (1)

Savage650 (654684) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233065)

Sticking these into Google: ... returns incomprehensible results.
Now for an actual translation:

Und was haben deine Grosseltern im Krieg gemacht?
Say, what did your grandparents do in the war?

Hör auf, so laut in dieser nervigen Sprache zu reden. (note the Umlaut!)
Stop talking in that annyoing language!

Willst du Ärger, Grossmaul? (Umlaut again ..)
You looking for trouble, Loudmouth?

Dein Schwanz ist so klein, dass es 'ne Maus nicht merkt, wenn du sie fickst
Your d*ck is so small that a mouse wouldn't notice you f*cking her.

All in all: not really useful advice.

Re:Some useful phrases in German (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233066)

That's a literal translation, not an idiomatic one
What did your grandparents do in the war?
Stop talking so loudly in that annoying language
Do you want a fight, big-mouth?
Your penis is so small, if you fucked a mouse it wouldn't notice

Re:Some useful phrases in German (1)

rifter (147452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233075)

I don't know German either. But based on your Google translations, they probably mean:
Sticking these into Google:

Und was haben deine Grosseltern im Krieg gemacht?
Isn't it good that our countries are now friends?
And which your grandparents in the war have made?

And what did your Grandparents do in the War?

Hor auf, so laut in dieser nervigen Sprache zu reden.
I'm sorry, could you repeat that in English.
Hor up to talk so loud in this nervigen language.

Hor auf must be an idiomatic expression. As for nervigen, it seems to eitehr mean "stupid" or be a mild curse. Searching for it shows usage to describe spammers, popups, and Windows XP, so it can't be a good thing. Clearly it means something like "you have to speak so loud in this crazy language!" (referring to German).

Willst du Arger, Grossmaul?
Can you give me directions?
Do you want bad one, large muzzle?

large muzzle should be "Big mouth" .. the rest is pretty obvious.

Dein Schwanz ist so klein, dass es 'ne Maus nicht merkt, wenn du sie fickst
Pleased to meet you
Your tail is so small that it does not notice 'ne mouse, if you it fickst

"Your dick is so small the mouse doesn't notice when you fuck it." pretty obvious really.


I'm going to ask my penfriend Hans to make me a copy of his multimedia CD titled 'learning German for English speakers' now he can do it legitimately since he's going to pay the tax!

Maybe you should ask Hans to look at this. He might be amused. I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that our troll was an english speaker who knows some German and wanted to make a joke. That makes it funny, though, not a troll. If you really said these things to a German it would probably result in a good pranging. If you were lucky you'd get a lesson in language.

Any Deutchlanders want to correct our ignorance on these fine phrases?

Re:Some useful phrases in German (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233087)

He was allowed to make that copy even before this tax was even considered.

And since your translation there is pretty much gibberish:

1) And what did your grandparents do during the war?
2) Stop talking that annoying language this loudly.
3) Want trouble, loudmouth?
4) Your dick is so small, not even a mouse would notice being fucked by you.

This is a hopeful sign (1)

prunesqualour (149818) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232951)

This -- or something like it -- is much the best hope for a reasonable copyright regime. Governments are going to have to fix copyright, because no one else will protect the interests of the people who create this stuff. The labels and corporations generally are not on the side of the creators, and most of the consumers of digital property will rip you off blind if they can.

If the problem is left to the untramelled market playing by American rules, you get nothing between free or monopoly, which is what has happened to the consumer software business.

A copyright levy is a political fix that is better than the more obviously technological ones, like DRM, since it will produce more of the music, software, and other digital goods which benefit society than any of the alternatives.

You may say this argument is unproven: how else to find out but encouraging the EU to have one regime, America another, and see which one works better?

Don't mention the war (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232953)

I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it

EU free trade (2, Insightful)

kin242 (789922) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232955)

This just means that german PC sales will drop and the countries surrounding it will benefit. How inane. But at least this semi-legitimizes piracy in Germany (pre-paid).

Re:EU free trade (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232965)

Completely offtopic, but why bother being in Camden if you're internet only?

Nigga please. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232957)

First Nazis, then this crap? Germany is going down fast...

Not A Rights Issue; Extension of Common Practice (1)

reallocate (142797) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232969)

Exactly which of my rights is this ruling violating?

Even if you aren't Eurepean, anyone who reads the article will know that this is an extension of a common European practice to mandate an additional levy on the price of any appliance that can be used to copy copyrighted material.

Seems to me that an attempt to convince the court that this levy shouldn't be applied would have to include an attack on all the other levies. Popular among those who don't believe in copyright, but unlikely to prove successful. (Fervency of belief is know substitute for logic and reality.)

Re:Not A Rights Issue; Extension of Common Practic (3, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233072)

...a common European practice to mandate an additional levy on the price of any appliance that can be used to copy copyrighted material.
The levy is generally not on equipment, but on blank media, which is the fairest way to collect it from a practical standpoint: the equipment is used for many other things besides copying and not everyone engages in that, whereas the blank media are used almost eclusively to store copyrighted content. I'm not sure how the German law is worded... in Holland, the law explicitly names the media to which the levy applies (tapes, cds, dvds).
Seems to me that an attempt to convince the court that this levy shouldn't be applied would have to include an attack on all the other levies.
No, courts only deal with the application of law to a particular case, never with the law itself (excluding courts which can throw out unconstitutional laws). If a judge would rule that the levy should not include computers, all the existing levies would still remain legal. And even if a judge finds this article of law so badly worded that a case can be made against all levies of this kind, the legislator would simply change the law so that it again accurately reflects the intent of the legislator. This can and does happen all the time. Even so, any ramificiations outside the case would never be taken into consideration by a judge. If his ruling completely screws up IP taxation, traffic regulations and the movements of the very planets, he'd still pronounce it, if it would be the correct application of the law to the case at hand. Politics doesn't enter into it.

By the way, if I remember correctly, Canada for one applies the levy also to hard disks (I'm not sure Germany does this). So Canadians already pay the IP tax on their computers.

Re:Not A Rights Issue; Extension of Common Practic (1)

seraphina (722336) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233122)

Levying a tax on blank media is not the fairest way to collect such a fee (if such a fee has to exist at all). I have never used a blank DVD or CD for storage of copyrighted material - I use such media for backups or for the transfer of my work between machines.

I suggest you get out into the real world, and not just teenagers' bedrooms, before you make pronouncements about what content is stored on recordable media. No doubt many people use recordable media for storing copyrighted material but this is by no means their only use.

Germanic vs. Roman law (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232973)

First they tax CD-R(W) media by default because they assume you will use them for copyright-protected content and now they're also making you pay an additional tax on computers because they assume you will illegally be using copyright-protected content on your computer. They just assume mens rea without proving it on an individual basis. Guilty until proven otherwise is the premise Germanic law is based on. The German legal system as well as all other modern legal systems are based on Roman law, which is based on the premise that you are innocent until proven guilty. How this decision could have come about is totally beyond me. What's next? An additional tax on eyeglasses because you might use them to view copyright-protected content?!

Just as a reminder, the four levels of mens rea set forth in the MPC (Model Penal Code) are:

(1) Purposely - Express purpose to commit a specific crime against a particular person

(2) Knowingly - Knowledge that one's actions would certainly result in a crime against someone, but did not specifically intend to commit that crime against the particular victim which one is accused of injuring

(3) Recklessly - Knew that one's actions had an unjustifiable risk of leading to a certain result, but did not care about that risk ("reckless disregard"), and acted anyway

(4) Negligently - Did not intend to cause the result that happened, but failed to exercise a reasonable duty of care to prevent that result (which includes failing to become aware of the risk of that result)

Some commentators like to add on a fifth uncodified level (technically applicable only in civil lawsuits and not criminal prosecutions):

(5) Strict liability - Did everything possible to prevent the result that happened, but will be held liable anyway as a matter of public policy, because the government wants to force all such similarly situated persons to always exercise the maximum reasonable duty of care under such circumstances.

Re:Germanic vs. Roman law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232999)

> Guilty until proven otherwise is the premise Germanic law is based on.

I'd rather say "Guilty is the premise Germanic law is based on".. as you don't even get your tax back when you prove you only run free software :-)

Re:Germanic vs. Roman law (3, Insightful)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233044)

> because they assume you will illegally be using copyright-protected content on your computer.

No, you misunderstood the intent of the law. The intent of the law is not to make you pay in advance for breaking the law, but for extending your rights as consument by compensating the producer.

The tax was levied on copying devices and media because you were allowed to make copies of music and films. Not just for you personally, but also for friends and family.

I speak in past tense, because AFAIK, the law has been somewhat modified.

Re:Germanic vs. Roman law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233080)

No, you misunderstood the intent of the law. The intent of the law is not to make you pay in advance for breaking the law, but for extending your rights as consument by compensating the producer.

How does it extend the consumer's rights when the consumer is allowed to make a certain number of copies for personal use under the copyright law as it is? This is just another way of squeezing more money from consumers so copyright-content producers can meet their profit projections.

The tax was levied on copying devices and media because you were allowed to make copies of music and films. Not just for you personally, but also for friends and family.

You cannot just assume what the media will be used for and levy the tax based on your assumption. You can levy the tax only once you can prove that the media was used to store copyright-protected content, otherwise you are enforcing Germanic law. Today they assume you make copies of copyright-protected CDs and tax you for it in advance, tomorrow they might assume you are a terrorist and charge you an additional tax until you prove you are not a terrorist. Except you can't prove that before you die and then it will be too late to demand the money back and other people (friends, relatives) won't be allowed to demand money back for you because they are also considered to be potential terrorists until they die. Do you see where this is leading?

Why charge the computer manufacturer? (1)

al912912 (835343) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232975)

I just dont understand why they are charging a computer manufacturer a tax for copyright issues? Copyright from whom? Who has the right to copy what? Integrated circuits? If they want to charge a tax for digital music copying (which I believe is wrong), then they should charge it to the CD writer manufacturer, not the computer retailer. It is equivalent to putting a tax on Toyota Motor Company because their cars come with CD players, and those CD's can have music the user did not paid for. You must charge the stereo maker and the digital meida distributor (if you want someone to pay), not the guys that paid for it because their buyer wanted it. Anyway, I never saw the industries go down with CD burners, cassete recordes, or VCRs. As they were in those times, I think they are being paranoid now.

Artikle text (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232979)

Ze landmark decision, announced on zursday, ends a nearly two-year dispute between ze largely Germany-based computer maker and ze country's VG Vort rights society, vich has sought compensation for digital copying.
VG Vort had filed a suit against Germany's largest PC maker, Fujitsu Siemens, seeking 30 (US$41) for each new computer sold in ze country. ze court agreed to a 12 copyright levy.
ze rights society plans to apply ze decision to all PC vendors in ze country.
Germany is one of several European countries zat, for decades, has been collecting special copyright levies on ze sale of analog copying devices, such as blank audio and video cassettes. ze levies are intended to compensate rights holders for lost royalties from private copying of music, images and moves.
ze country is now poised to become ze first on ze Continent to impose a copyright levy, similar to a royalty collection, on new PCs. Fujitsu Siemens is considering appealing ze case, ze company said.
ze computer manufacturer, a 50-50 joint-venture between Germany's Siemens AG and Japan's Fujitsu Ltd., has also called on ze German government, vich is currently debating its copyright laws, to review ze role of ze country's rights society in ze digital age.
Chief Executive Officer Bernd Bischoff called ze copyright levy "a de facto tax on PCs," which has a negative impact on sales to consumers.

I want this in Australia (1)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232985)

I'll gladly pay a $10 tax on the computers I buy, I'll make sure I get my moneys worth in music and movies though (although with todays music, I might have a hard time getting my full $10 worth..)

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232994)

Full cavity search authorised for agents of
the MPAA and RIAA and IDSA !!!

Bend over everyone and don't forget to pretend you enjoy !

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233073)

You laugh, but it's coming.

SCO v Linux (2, Funny)

AtomicSnarl (549626) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233003)

So... Will this replace my SCO Linux license, or do I need both? I'd really like to get my $699 back...

Re:SCO v Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233040)

You actually think SCO still exists? hahaha

Blazing idiocy (4, Insightful)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233017)

I hate bureaucracy.

Tax this, tax that, distort the market.

VG Wort have increased the price of PCs to *everyone*. Over the whole of the economy, anyone who uses a PC to create a product or offer a service will now have to charge that much more - which means the entire economy is that much less productive, because there is a fixed amount of money available for investment, and the price of buying a PC based service is now higher.

What's more, the knock on effect is huge, because PCs are vital to so many industries. It will now be that much more expensive to buy *food*, because all the PCs bought by food retailers and wholesalers are that much more expensive; and we ALL buy food!

This sort of ruling, the very fact is can occur, is a hallmark of the danger of concentrating economic power in the hands of political power.

This court has both political power - the right to make decisions - and economic power - the right to make decisions which influence, in this case, a form of taxation.

When political decisions are badly made in the political sphere, the consequences are things like national ID cards, or foreign countries becoming upset with us.

When political decisions are badly made in the economic sphere, there is less choice of goods to buy, they cost more, and everyone, to a greater or lesser extent, becomes poorer.

--
Toby

Give the corporate carpet-baggers some credit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233045)

Those computers installed at supermarkets will no longer be computers. They will be elements of a Point of Sale System. Now a mom and pop "shoppe" they might well be buying a computer. But rest assured Der Wal*Mart will not. This will only impact small businesses, or the children. Now be a good consumer and buy your new laptop in France. Or hell, buy it on a trip to the US. With the way the dollar is crashing, the tax savings may pay for your airfare and hotel.

No suprise here (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233035)

Just goes to show how tax-crazy these Europeans are.

Taxing crime? (1)

latroM (652152) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233047)

With the EUCD (EU's DMCA) and DRM in place laws of this type don't make any sense.

Tax vs Copy prof cd's (2, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233052)

So what happens when a record company release a cd that is "copy proof" in a country that has a media levy? Can the consumers then sue that record company as now they now took your money but are trying to stop you from using your right under law to make copies.

What? they forgot to tax Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233053)

Well, Germany forgot to tax Microsoft Window OS, Linux, whatever OS and CD/DVD copy software. Without the OS utilities, software and application program, end user can't actually make a perfect digital duplication.

Copyright Tax on PC's... (1)

winchester (265873) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233074)

... good thing I do all my work on a Mac.

Now all I need is that stupid CD-R tax to go away...

Pay up, but don't you dare make copies! (4, Interesting)

siljeal (841276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233076)

In Germany you need to pay copyright levies on virtually everything that would be suitable for creating copies, be it on CD/DVD writers, CD-R(W)/DVD-R(W) media, printers, etc. You would think that this copyright levy would entitle you to some fair use, such as private copies of, say, the latest audio cd you bought. And sure enough, even though the very people who get the money would like to abolish any notion of fair use and legal copies for private purposes, you may find that even now you are not allowed to make copies of things you paid for. Way too many audio CDs sold in Germany today have copy protections (I'd rather refer to them as play protections), and by law you may not attempt to overcome these protections, rendering any copy you make an illegal one.

I think this is really a fine display of greed. Make everyone pay but give nothing in return.

Monty Python...in German (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233078)

Deine Mutter war ein Hamster und dein Vater roch nach Holunderbeeren

Sure (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233100)

I'd gladly pay a small tax (1 or 2%) on PCs and CD-Rs if that ment I now had a free pass to copy/download whatever I wanted without fear of being sued. Whats that? they want all our money still?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?