Economic Impact of Copyright Levies for Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has emerged as an important driver of the European economy promising double digit growth rates, job creation and an overarching boost to Europe’s aspiration to become a global innovation leader. The copyright levy system on the other side was born over fifty years ago out of a concern that private copies enabled by novel technologies (at the time these were blank cassettes) may cause harm to rightholders and erode their licensing opportunities. What would happen if the two concepts were married and cloud computing would be subject to copyright levies?

Our Contribution

In view of potential copyright reforms at the European level, this study undertook an investigation into the potential costs associated with expanding copyright levies to the cloud. In doing so, we forecasted the existing cloud computing markets up to 2020 and applied existing copyright levy tariffs, so to get a grasp of the potential costs of the levy system to cloud storage services.


We found that extra costs incurred by expanding the existing copyright levy system to Cloud computing would be substantial. The extra costs associated with expanding the copyright levy system to Cloud based storage service usage in eight EU countries alone could be in the next five years alone over 2.4 billion Euro. These findings are currently used by public policy advocates to approach European policy makers.

I find the study of great clarity and quality. This study was central to our public policy goals and Oxfirst did an amazing job in an exceedingly short time period. Thank you!
Feedback - European Director of Public Policy

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