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CNET News.com/AP: Hewlett-Packard To pay German fees under anti-piracy law for making CD burners

Nov 25, 2000, 13:08 (10 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Larry Nguyen and George Mitchell for this link. ]

"Computer giant Hewlett-Packard has become the first company to be snagged by a German law requiring firms to pay fees for making CD burners that are being used to illegally copy the latest hits off the Web. The case sets the stage for other European countries to possibly adopt similar rules to stem an epidemic that cost the music industry an estimated $5 billion last year. But analysts blasted the agreement reached Thursday as another example of Germany's notorious thatch of regulations."

"The manufacturers are scapegoats," said Robert Labatt, a new media analyst at research group Gartner. "It's the individual works of art, books, songs, videos, that need to be protected."

"Many of Germany's neighbors, including France, Italy and Greece, have similar laws meant to protect authors and musicians by nailing makers of equipment used to violate copyright laws. But the laws date back decades and focus on devices like tape recorders and video players.

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