The Swedish Supreme Court has in a judgment of 10 June 2016 established that iPhones are subject to private copying levies under the Copyright Act.

The case concerned a dispute between the right holders’ organization Copyswede ek. för. and TeliaSonera Sverige Aktiebolag, in its capacity as the leading importer of iPhones to Sweden. The issue at dispute was whether or not iPhones are subject to private copying levies in accordance with the requirements set out in the Swedish Copyright Act.

Based on an account of Swedish national law and EU law, the Supreme Court concluded that a device meets the requirements in the Copyright Act when it has properties that render it highly suitable for private copying and the device can be expected to be used for that purpose to a non-insignificant extent. When making this assessment the storage capacity, user friendliness, price and other similar circumstances shall be taken into account.

The Supreme Court finds that iPhones have the technical capacity, user friendliness and other properties that render them highly suitable for private copying. Further, market surveys were considered to support that iPhones also are used for this purpose to a non-insignificant extent.

Hence, the Supreme Court concludes that TeliaSonera Sverige Aktiebolag is liable to pay compensation to Copyswede ek. for having  imported iPhones to Sweden.