As in most European countries, the Polish 1994 Copyright and Related Rights Act provides for an obligation by the producers and importers of reprographic equipment and media used for reproduction of copyright works to pay fees on sales of such equipment or media. Such fees are to compensate authors and producers for private copying. According to the above Act they are in the range of up to 3% of the sales price of such equipment and media. They are payable through organizations of collective management of copyrights and related rights, and subsequently such organizations allocate the collected amounts to the entitled right holders. Particular rules that apply to collection of such fees as well as rates applicable to particular types of equipment and media are regulated in the Ordinance of the Minister of Culture of June 2, 2003, on the specification of categories of equipment and media used for reproduction of works and fees on such equipment and media for sale by the producers and importers (Journal of Laws of 2003, no. 105, item 991) as amended.
Currently, legislative works are pending on the amendment of the above ordinance. Changes are aimed first of all at updating the list of equipment and media covered by the fees. Within the last five years, a lot of new types of equipment and media emerged on the market which are not covered by the current regulations, among others Blu-Ray Discs and HD DVDs, High Definition play-back equipment, equipment with FLASH memory, and equipment using USB port communication.
In addition to extension of the scope of regulation through adding new types of equipment and media, the draft ordinance aims at changing the level of fees. Reductions of percentage rates pertain to most types of equipment and media. By way of example, according to the Ministry proposal, the rate on CD players with recording function, which is currently 3%, may decrease to 0.94% of the sales price. The rate on CD/R discs, currently 3%, may drop to 1.72%. A rate on DVD players with recording function, currently 3%, may drop to 1.46%. The highest rates, amounting to 3% of sales price, will be collected on MP3 Single Function players, DAT tapes, MDs (MiniDisc), DVD RAM discs, tape recorder tapes and VHS and VHS/D tapes.
The draft Ordinance is currently in the phase of consultation. It is planned that the amended Ordinance will be effective as of January 1, 2009.