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LEGISLATION Germany / Europe

Netflix forced to pay the German film levy

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- The streaming service’s lawsuit has been thrown out by the European Court of Justice

Netflix forced to pay the German film levy

The European Court of Justice has rejected the lawsuit from Netflix after it filed a complaint regarding the payment of a fee to the Federal Film Board (FFA) in Germany. According to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), the streaming provider is obliged to contribute financially to the film fund, even though Netflix’s headquarters are not located in Germany. Due to the fact that the video-on-demand service transmits its content to Germany, Netflix is thus obliged to pay the German film levy.

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Netflix’s lawsuit has been rejected as an estoppel by the European Court of Justice. The streaming provider could not plausibly explain how the service offered by the VoD platform will be substantially affected when it has to pay the fee.

German producers welcomed the decision by the European Court of Justice as a “strengthening of the principle of solidary film financing”. “The big players that are located abroad occupy a key position in the German VoD market,” comments Alexander Thies, chairman of the German Producers’ Alliance. “The films that are supported by the FFA are contributing to this success. Therefore, it is more than logical that the international streaming services should also participate in the financing of films.”

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