Stupid 'iPod tax' threat

Discussion in 'iPod' started by geese, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. geese macrumors 6502a

    geese

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    #1
    Read is and gasp: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/050429/36/fhpa8.html

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    iPod tax 'could be on the way'
    By Jo Best, silicon.com


    With the music industry making a lot of noise of late about how music pirates are sending them towards poverty, record labels' coffers look set to receive a boost with the news that there could soon to be an anti-piracy tax on iPods.

    The Dutch government is being lobbied on the subject and a rights holders group, Stichting de ThuisKopie, has floated a plan that will see a 'tax' put on MP3 players and hard drives, to be paid to artists and producers.

    The Stichting de ThuisKopie foundation denies that it has set a limit for how much the tax will be but reports in the Dutch press put the tariff at €3.28 per gigabyte of storage.

    For a 60GB iPod Photo, such a tax would put the price up from €469 to €665 and even the dainty iPod Shuffle would see its price rise by 2.2 per cent.

    The Netherlands already charges similar levies on DVDs and blank CDs - some €0.40 to €0.60 for the former and €0.14 for the latter.

    Schemes to tax recordable media which could be used to store pirated material have already won favour in other European countries.

    Fujitsu-Siemens was recently subject to a German court case which saw the PC maker forced to make a contribution of €12 per user to a rights holders' organisation.

    An earlier attempt in France to pass a law to hold computer manufacturers responsible for their users' piracy failed, although levies are in place on other recordable storage media, such as blank tapes and videos.
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    If this becomes an EU wide thing, then do i have the right to download anything I want off Limewire??!??!?!
     
  2. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #2
    This is just as moronic as charging a surcharge on blank media (CDs, DVDs, etc.) because they MIGHT be used for piracy.

    And it's just further evidence that most governments in Europe are completely clueless about anything pertaining to common sense.
     
  3. ----Bowie---- macrumors regular

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    Mar 29, 2004
    #3
    That makes me so mad!!! I pay for all the songs I put on my iPod! Why should we have to pay for all the people who steal music?


    :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
     
  4. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #4
    You shouldn't. This is why surcharges on blank media and other so-called "anti-piracy" measures, which only punish the innocent, must be abolished now and forever. It's also why people who are legitimate pirates need to be banned from using computers, a la Kevin Mitnick.
     
  5. geese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    geese

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    #5
    Be carefull when saying that: if it happens in the EU it'll probably happen in the States as well.
     
  6. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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    #6
    I don't know how export/import tariffs and the like work, but when this tax is so significant, won't most just order an iPod from somewhere that doesn't have the tax?
     
  7. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #7
    One word: Customs. When the customs agents in (say) the Netherlands see what's in the box (and they will), they'll make sure that someone has paid any necessary duties, tarriffs, or taxes before releasing the package to the recipient.
     
  8. dvdh macrumors 6502

    dvdh

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    #8
    We've already been down that road in Canada (with a $25 surcharge on iPod and comparable music players.) Around Christmas, however, the surcharge was deemed illegal by the courts and was removed. It's hard to say whether or not such a surcharge in the UK (or in the US) would stand up to legal examination in the long run.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #9
    And we have had the Moronic tax on blank media (thanks Clay :p) for a number of years.

    The tax on MP3/iPod players was struck down on the basis of unclear language in the tariff; the tariff is on blank media used for recording music, and the "media" in a player, whether hard drive or flash, could not be defined as being "blank media for recording music" separately from the player it was built into. So the court determined that although the tariff on players is nominally on the books, it is unenforceable.

    If it ever were reinstated, one dodge would be to ship all iPods with a sample piece of music on them - thereby making them non-blank.

    This is all by way of saying, a tariff regulation written with more precision could well be enforceable, here or in EU or US.
     
  10. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #11
    This isn't socialism. It's capitalism in it's highest form. If you don't want to pay the tax, you don't have to buy the product. Laissez-faire.
     
  11. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #12
    Socialism.
     
  12. dermeister macrumors 6502

    dermeister

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    #13
    Socialism.
     
  13. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #14
    So when do we see taxes on copy machines and blank paper that could be used to "steal" printed material?

    What about the computers themselves? My iMac came with an 80GB drive. And I just bought a 160 GB external to store all my pirated music.

    Let's see, my company also just bought a multi-terabyte RAID system. I suppose we could be using that to store ungodly amounts of pirated materials - what's the tax on that going to be?

    Insane. When can I go back and charge record companies for putting 9 crap songs and 2 decent songs onto an album? I should be able to recoup the percentage of my purchase that I didn't use....
     
  14. dustininsf macrumors newbie

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    #15
    It's not really socialism, per se, given that I think it would be very difficult to justify the benefit of this tax/levy to the society as a whole. It would be a stretch to argue that it even benefits the entire music community, and it certainly would not benefit independent or individual musicians/artists.

    This is capitalism harnessing the sometimes regulation-heavy inclinations of a socialist government. Hopefully they'll correct this bowing to corporate interests.

    Honestly, I prefer the democratic socialism of most of the the Western European nations (and it's 'lite' variant in Canada) to the current robber-barron "democracy" (in name only) of the United States. But then, I'm just another crazy, liberal queer in San Francisco, so what does it matter...
     
  15. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

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    #16
    This is seriously stupid. And annoying. Why put a $5 tax PER GIGABYTE!?!?!?

    Maybe $.25/Gig or $20 total for any MP3 player over 30 GB.

    SO when the 120 GB MP3 players come out, they will be taxed over $200??
     
  16. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

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    #17
    What exactly are "legitimate prirates" though? Should someone get 7 years in jail because they downloaded a song on Gnutella? Compare that to the people in Asia selling thousands of pirated DVDs and CDs who face hardly any threat of persecution and continue selling and selling. So the people who end up getting caught and in trouble are the ones who are hardly any real threat to the music industry. If it were the 80's or 90's again, the person probably would've just taped it off the radio instead of bothering to buy an album for that one song.

    This is quickly becoming something that should be in the political forum. heh.
     
  17. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

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    #18
    If they do this tax people might start "pirating" (stealing) the digital player itself :rolleyes: Then what, we got to pay a tax to go into the store because people are stealing the digital players because they have to pay for something that they shouldn't have to pay for because they are doing in the legal way. Ok I think I just confused myself.

    In other words: Bad idea.
     
  18. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    #19
    That settles it if taxes like this are coming around in europe. The US will just need to conquer europe before communism takes hold of the entire continent :D

    Seriously though a tax like this is ridiculous charging three something euros per gigabyte will really weaken Belgium's ability to compete in the future. Like when 50 terabyte drives are $100 in the US they would be ungodly in price in Belgium.
     
  19. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #20
    This could easily be handled with a sliding scale, in three sections:

    - 1 to X songs (where X is some number to be decided later): Monetary fine of some amount (A) PER SONG ILLEGALLY DOWNLOADED + court costs. 500 songs = (500 * A) fine + court costs.

    - X to Y songs: Fine + minimal jail time + extended ban on computer use

    - Y songs and up: Fine + serious jail time + lifetime ban on computer use

    Oh, and taping off the radio is OK. It's the same as taping a show off the TV... you're "time-shifting" it, and the courts have ruled that this is OK. Making a copy of the tape and selling it, giving it away, lending it out, etc., is NOT OK.
     
  20. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

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    #21
    So if I download a song and put it on my ipod all i'm doing is "time-shifting" it so I can listen to it later. Why just because it's a digital copy is it worse than recording it off the radio on to a tape to listen to it later? Like I said I could understand them going after people selling pirate copies of CDs, but who downloading music off the internet is really selling copies of it? If I were gonna sell pirated copies I'd buy the real CD so I could also duplicate the album artwork and have CD quality audio. Sell 5 copies for $5 bucks or so and you've paid for even the most expensive of CDs.
     
  21. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #22
    They should also get rid of "Second hand" Cd stores across the country!! Just Kidding!

    i have not purchased a "new" cd for over 5 years now. The only music that I buy, and could be considered new, are songs from the iTunes music store.
    There are THOUSANDS of people that only buy 2nd hand music. That isn't illegal, and it causes the same "issue" for record companies, they don't see that money at all.

    If it wasn't for iTunes record companies would not see any money from me.
     
  22. dvdh macrumors 6502

    dvdh

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    #23

    I see second hand music as a little bit different. The music company made their profit on the initial selling of rights which in the case of second hand music can be transfered to a second owner - at no financial loss to the company, since they already made there money. The only problem arises when the original owner, who elected to transfer their rights to the music, maintains a copy, in which they then fall into the 'less desirable side of legality'. Digital music gets a little more complicated, however. Since with the CD/LP the rights are attached to the physical ownership of the object it is a little easier to determine who currently owns the right. Look at it this way: If for example I bought an album off of iTunes, I listened to it for a couple months, then decided to sell it to someone else, should I be able to do this, and how do I go able transfering the rights to you? To make it like the CD/LP example, I would also have to erase all copies of the music I original purchased when I transfered its ownership. BUT, the big question is whether or not the courts would be willing to see it this way . . .
     
  23. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816

    StarbucksSam

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    #24
    No - it really, really won't. The public has way too much power here. Even the Republicans don't want to pay more for anything - and they control the house and senate (sadly) but like... anything that relates to "tax" is dirty to them. And liberal people like me wouldn't want to see that tax because we know it's a load of bullocks.

    Therefore, not happening here. It just won't.
     
  24. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #25
    It's not about who gets to own the CD, it's about who gets to COPY the music.
     

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