The German collection societies united in the ZPÜ (Central Organization for Private Copying Rights) have reached an agreement with the Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM) on the levy for USB-sticks and memory cards.

For 2010 and 2011, a levy of €0.10 (13 cents) has to be paid by the producers per stick or card. Companies that are BITKOM members pay a reduced license of €0.08 (11 cents). The levy is intended to compensate rights holders for private copying of content.

According to BITKOM, the collection societies can expect payments for USB-sticks and memory-cards of about €5 million ($6.7 million) in the next two years. But the organization says government and rights holders should also look to address infringement of copyright online, rather than rely on compensation from media storage manufacturers.

"BITKOM still believes that the German copyright law must be improved," says BITKOM manager for copyrights, Judith Lammers. "It is necessary that the possibilities of the Internet must be considered. In the era of Web 2.0, lump-sump remunerations are not practicable. There must be new laws for the Internet."

BITCOM refused retroactive payments for 2008 and 2009. She added: "Rising prices and the strong competition on the USB market did not allow additional licenses."

If the negotiations between ZPÜ and BITKOM about retroactive payments for 2008 and 2009 are not settled there will be a legal case at the arbitration court in Munich.

The ZPÜ has the task of collecting royalties from hardware manufacturers and importers as well as from blank tape manufacturers and importers and distributing these royalties to its members.