Industry mulls German CD-RW drive fee

Germany’s IT industry is taking a wait-and-see attitude on a new fee to be charged on CD burners, which is meant to compensate artists and authors whose work is duplicated without their permission.

Hewlett-Packard GmbH (HP) agreed in a settlement Thursday to pay 3.60 marks (US$1.54) per CD burner, retroactively to February 1998. New drives sold will be subject to a fee of 12 marks.

The agreement applies only to HP, but other manufacturers could agree to pay the fees, Iris K