April 29, 2005

Dutch plans for iPod tax

Posted at April 29, 2005 2:05 PM

From theregister.co.uk

Dutch plans for iPod tax could kill MP3 industry

The idea of all levy based legislation is that some form of copyright collections agency collects tax by imposing a surcharge at the point of sale for any storage devices that could possibly be used to store pirated works. This certainly extends to the iPod which has up to 60 GB of storage, and which can store MP3 files.

Because of the fact that the great bulk of iPods are used to store legitimate iTunes files which are Digital Rights Management (DRM) protected, this means that copyright is being purchased twice over for these devices if a levy is also paid.

The charge will be levied against every MP3 player, and is effectively a tax on the MP3 format. Some efforts to place MP3 files under DRM protection will also mean that these will pay copyright twice over.

Levies are an outmoded and unfair way of rewarding existing monopolies and are only ever put in place to keep ancient publishing copyright agencies in business.

In almost every case the organization itself that carries out the collection is lavish and well funded, the proceeds are distributed only to large multinational music publishers, bolstering their revenues unfairly. It is little more than a club of companies that "have a right" to make money.

If this legislation comes into play, the surcharge will be as much as 3.28 ($4.3) per gigabyte. This might put 180 ($235) to the price of a top end iPod.


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