Customers & Obligations

You are manufacturer, importer or trader of products subject to payment of remuneration?

Then you will find in this section an overview of your legal obligations to report or provide information as well as the corresponding obligation to pay remuneration according to §§ 54 et seqq. Copyright Act (UrhG).

You will find all information on products subject to remuneration and provision of information or reporting in the "Products & Tariffs" section.

Products & Tariffs

Background Information

On January 1, 2008, the reform of the German Copyright Act came into force.

According to the legal regulation of § 54 (1) UrhG, which has been in force since then and was last amended on March 1, 2018, all devices and storage media whose type is used to make copies for private or other personal use or for use within the scope of legally permitted uses for teaching, science and institutions (§ 53 (1) or (2) or §§ 60a to 60f53 (1) to (3) UrhG) are subject to remuneration.

It is the task of the Central Organisation for Private Copying Rights (ZPÜ) to satisfy the claims of information, reporting and remuneration according to §§ 54 et seqq. UrhG against manufacturers, importers and traders of devices and storage media.

  • According to § 54(1)UrhG the author of a work - if the nature of the work allows the expectation of a reproduction permitted under § 53(1)or (2) or §§ 60a - 60f UrhG - shall be entitled to payment of equitable remuneration from the manufacturer of devices and of storage mediums, where the type of device or storage medium is used solely or together with other devices, storage mediums or accessories, for the making of such reproductions.

    Further information on the reproductions permitted under § 53 (1) or (2) or §§ 60a - 60f UrhG can be found in the section "Legal Background" and "the Private Copies".

    54b (1) UrhG stipulates that anyone who imports devices or storage media commercially (importer) or trades in them (trader) is also jointly and severally liable for payment of remuneration alongside the manufacturer. However, the joint and several liability of the trader can be waived under certain circumstances (see the section "Trader").

    The obligation to pay remuneration arises when devices or storage media are sold or put into circulation in Germany.

  • According to § 54 et seq. in conjunction with §§ 54 Abs. 1, 54b Abs.1 UrhG, manufacturers, importers and traders are obliged to provide the ZPÜ, upon request, with information on the type and number of devices and storage media sold or put into circulation in Germany. In addition, the importer is subject to an upstream statutory obligation to report (see § 54e (1) UrhG).

    If devices and storage media are purchased in Germany, the duty to provide information also extends to naming the sources of supply, including the complete company name and address (trader information).

    More detailed information can be found in the sections "Manufacturers and Importers" and "Traders".


Manufacturers & Importers

All information regarding obligations of manufacturers & importers.


All information regarding obligations of traders.

Further Information

Priority of General-Agreement Provisions

Should inclusive contracts regulating remuneration payment obligations apply to the devices and storage media in question, their provisions shall have priority over relevant statutory regulations.

Please also note the published tariffs even if you have not joined an inclusive contract. If an inclusive contract has been concluded for a device or storage medium, the remuneration rates agreed therein shall apply as the tariff (see §38 VGG).

Incomplete or Incorrect Reports and Information

If the obligation to report or provide information is not fulfilled, or is only incomplete or otherwise incorrect, ZPÜ may demand double the remuneration rate (§ 54e (2) UrhG and § 54f (3) UrhG). If there are reasonable doubts as to the correctness or completeness of the information provided, the party obliged to provide information must, at the request of ZPÜ, allow either ZPÜ or an auditor or certified public accountant to inspect the books and records to the extent necessary to determine the correctness or completeness of the information (§ 54f (1) sentence 3 UrhG in conjunction with § 26 (7) UrhG).

Agreements with Foreign Manufacturers and Distributors

We would like to point out that agreements between foreign manufacturers or distributors and domestic importers, according to which the manufacturer or distributor domiciled abroad assumes the obligation to provide information and remuneration for the products subject to remuneration imported into Germany, do not take effect without the involvement and consent of the ZPÜ. The importer located in Germany always remains liable to the ZPÜ for the statutory obligation to provide information and the obligation to pay remunerations (§ 54b (2) sentence 2 UrhG).

Past Periods

If you have not or not fully complied with your reports or information obligations pursuant to §§ 54e (1), 54f (1) UrhG for past periods for products subject to remuneration, we request - as we will do in the future - that you provide us with information per calendar quarter on the type and number of products subject to remuneration that were imported or manufactured and put into circulation in Germany. In addition, we request information from traders for products subject to remuneration purchased in Germany and put into circulation for each calendar half-year.

Obligation to Indicate

Invoices to entrepreneurs and legal entities must refer to the copyright remunerations attributable to the devices or storage media (§ 54d UrhG).

Do you still have questions?

First of all, please refer to our FAQs. If these do not answer your questions either, our colleagues at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will be happy to help you.