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1993 SNA Update Information - AEG recommendations for issue:
Originals and copies

Issue description
Issue description in [English] | [French] | [Russian] | [Spanish]
Following the 1993 SNA’s introduction of computer software as capital formation, it became more evident that the SNA does not provide guidance on the treatment of originals and copies as distinct products. Should expenditures on originals and copies both be recorded as expenditure (on new goods) on the basis that originals are distinct from copies, or should originals be considered as being analogous to a ‘stock’ of copies, and so expenditure on a copy partly (or mostly) reflects a sale of an existing good? How should the transactions in copies be recorded?
AEG recommendations
Number of AEG recommendations for selected issue:2
  Corresponding meetingDate postedRecommendation
 July 200512/09/2005The AEG did not accept that annual licence fees for software without a long-term contract should be treated as fixed capital; the payments should be treated as rentals.
In general, software should be treated in a similar way to any other asset. As a result, a long-term lease of software can be treated as a financial lease.
If a large initial payment is followed by a series of smaller annual fees, the initial payment is treated as fixed capital formation and the annual fees as a service charge.
 December 200411/01/2005The AEG agreed that copies generated for issue under licenses to use represent new production.
The AEG agreed that when they display the characteristics of fixed assets, copies issued under license to use should be recorded as gross fixed capital formation.
The Canberra II group is asked to recommend in which cases when payments for a license to use are made over several years represent the acquisition of an asset rather than a series of payments for services and the consequence for recording other transactions.
When a license to reproduce is issued under terms similar to an operational lease, the payments made are treated as payments for services.
When the holder of an original divests itself of part or all of the responsibility to issue and service copies under licenses to use by means of a license to reproduce, this constitutes the sale of the corresponding part of the asset. Having two possible treatments for licenses to reproduce could affect the classification of assets (to be considered by Canberra II) and the borderline between goods and services in trade figures. This should be brought to the attention of BOPCOM.
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