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Apple fighting Swiss levy on iPods

updated 11:55 am EDT, Fri May 16, 2008

Apple fighting Swiss levy

Apple is resisting a blank media levy imposed by the Swiss government, according to local newspaper Basler Zeitung. The levy is managed by SUISA, the Swiss Society for the Rights of Authors of Musical Works, and is intended to compensate labels and musicians for the effect of piracy. It applies to all media players sold in the country, but Apple is said to be arguing for exemption, on the basis that Swiss iPods sold online are actually shipped out of Ireland.

The levy may be having significant impact on both Apple and the public, as the fees on RAM-based players are said to be extremely high. It is currently set at 42 CHF per player, but until April 1st it was even greater, at a cost of 153 CHF for a 32GB iPod touch. Apple insists it has not passed the price difference on to shoppers, but anecdotes claim that a recent price drop was equivalent to the drop in the levy.

Apple will soon be launching the iPhone in Switzerland, but it is unclear whether the product will be classified as a media player.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And how much does 153 CHF = in American dolalrs. If its dollar thats massive, if 153 CHF is $5.00 US then who cares.

  1. Toyin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    153 swiss francs is 145 dollars

  1. JohnnyFive

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i suppose

    apple can't stay neutral on this one?

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Perfect Example

    Of the Government just not getting it.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not very smart

    Do they have a levy on CDR?
    Do they have a levy on VHS tapes or casette tapes?
    Do they have a levy on computer harddrives?

    It's the same flat rate no matter if it's 1gb shuffle or 160gb iPod classic? Not very smart.

    With such a high levy, people are just going to buy iPods from outside of the country and avoid the local tax and levy so the government will get zero instead os something.

  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Salaries here in Switzerland are very high - 45CHF (US$43) is for most people nothing, and not even worth thinking about. That said the amount charged is a sliding scale of sorts based on capacity, how the money is distributed I am not sure.

    That said, Apple shouldn't be trying to interfere in other countries politics just because they want to make more money.

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Apple shouldn't be trying to interfere in other countries politics just because they want to make more money."

    Maybe Apple is not trying to interfere with countries politics, just their corruption.

    If the music on those iPods is American artists, is that money going to go to the American artists or to Swiss artists or just to the Swiss government?????

    Just how does a govt official know what songs are being put on an iPod anyway??? Magic??

    A Question. Is it OK to copy songs from anywhere and anyone in Switzerland and not pay for them cause you are paying the government or is the govt double dipping???

    Maybe Apple is asking those same questions. Maybe the Swiss govt is going to pay the makers of the ZUNE $1 to pay to Universal cause MS admits that Zune users steal songs from Universal artists. ???

    Just some cranky thoughts for a friday. :-)

    Just a thought.


  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Let it go

    I think Apple doesn't need to fight this fight there. If everyone there is bound by the same (albeit dopey) rule, and the people of that country are apparently "okay" with it, then role with it.

  1. Mark Tilley

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Money, Money, Money


  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Swiss all criminals?

    Apparently, the Swiss Government thinks all of its population are criminals. "You must pay a fee because you will pirate music on your iPod." I guess once you pay the fee, you are assumed a criminal and might as well just download pirated music/video willy-nilly. You've already been judged and fined, so go get your booty.

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