Paying 5 Cents Per Song?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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The Globe and Mail reports on one McGill academic's proposal to stop unauthorized music downloads on the internet.

At the Canadian Music Week conference in Toronto Sandy Pearlman proposed setting up a robust search engine of all recorded music such as Google or iTunes and charging 5 cents per song alongside a 1% sales tax on new computers. Doing so would theoretically increase the number of online sales, and reduce illegal downloads.

Pearlman and Apple have been in talks about this possible system -- but the recording industry is against such a system. This would obviously require the recording industry's approval for such a system to exist. Apple, however, has always maintained that the iTunes Music Store has been a vehicle for them to sell more hardware (iPods). As a result, this sort of plan might be very beneficial to Apple.
 

rhpenguin

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2003
929
0
London, Ontario
Its a great idea, but since the record companies are greedy and like to be in control, and like to tell me how i should buy and listen to music so it will never happen.

Start making music for the sake of making music. Music shouldnt be about money.

Edit: On a side note though, im only paying $.05/mb for my music downloads currently, so i dont really care if this ever comes to light.
 

Le Big Mac

macrumors 68030
Jan 7, 2003
2,586
157
Washington, DC
rhpenguin said:
Its a great idea, but since the record companies are greedy and like to be in control, it will never happen.
Bull. Why should all computer users pay for the over-active dowloading of a few. It's one thing to charge 5c/tune, but no way should I have to pay $20 extra for my computer just so someone else can download all the music ever written. Even worse for those who have no interest in downloading (as opposed to my minimal interest)

Doesn't the EU, or at least Germany, charge a fixed rate for CD-Roms and CD burners to compensate for piracy? Again, why have the honest subsidize the dishonest.
 

Loge

macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
2,678
1,147
England
Crazy idea!

Attempts to solve one problem by creating lots of new ones. Why should users/corporations who don't use computers to download music, pay such a tax? It's too blunt an instrument. What if you have most of the music you want already - you end up subsidizing those building collections from scratch.

Who decides how the tax/prices change in the future? It starts at 5c but soon goes to 10 (as hinted at the end of the article). What if it gets back to 99c, but we're still left with the tax?

And I bet it wouldn't even stop people downloading for free.
 

RugoseCone

macrumors 6502
Aug 22, 2002
303
0
I would be most unhappy with an additional tax on new computers to subsidize the recording industry. What's next, extra taxes on automobiles because of car thieves?

It's bad enough the costs of illegal activity gets passed onto the consumer in a subtle fashion. If it becomes both a hidden cost and a tax to boot, I'll never buy another piece of music on principal alone. And this is coming from someone with close to 5500 purchased tracks...
 

JoePike

macrumors member
Jun 22, 2004
70
0
Minneapolis, MN
Fraid Not

I just don't see the evil record companies going along with such a progressive plan. They're just now finally starting to realize that the industry is shifting, so they're not ready for that big of a change yet, and wont be for many years. They'd basically never sell a CD ever again, unless they cut the price tenfold to compete with online sales.

If this does happen, somebody better come up with a way to cram a terabyte drive into an iPod, because I'll just go NUTS with downloading music. What, $.50 an album, maybe $.75? I'd need more bandwidth to accommodate my new downloading addiction.

-Joe
 

Some_Big_Spoon

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2003
855
0
New York, NY
As has been posted on /. many times, this assumes that every computer sold to anyone anywhere is used specifically to "steal" music from the internet(s). It's the same with the moronic tax on CD-r media, assuming that the only use anyone could have for it is buring "stolen" music.

Imagine paying $5 for a pencil because it might be used to copy a book from barnes & nobels.. or $100 for a butter knife because it might be used as a weapon..

Laws are made, and often proposed, by old men that have no idea what the technology is or what they're talking about. They won't be happy until we just auto-deposit out paychecks to them.
 

aswitcher

macrumors 603
Oct 8, 2003
5,351
14
Canberra OZ
The only vaguely valid tax would have to be specifically on portable music devices like iPods...

5c a track...can't see the music industry going at that.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
this has some benefits, but obvious downsides as well

there will never be a totally fair equilibriam, oh well
 

bryantm3

macrumors regular
Nov 15, 2003
128
0
this is actually a pretty STUPID idea.
nobody is going to go along with it, and it will eliminate the production of compact discs and records, which i love. music downloading is an inferior medium, and it should be treated as such, but 5 cents an album is just rediculous.
 

DavisBAnimal

macrumors member
Jul 17, 2002
52
0
New Hampshire
Some_Big_Spoon said:
Imagine paying $5 for a pencil because it might be used to copy a book from barnes & nobels.. or $100 for a butter knife because it might be used as a weapon..
To be fair, it's more like imagining a $0.10 pencil to cost, well, $0.10, and a $1.00 butter knife to cost $1.01. The tax would only be 1%.
 

SurfAddict

macrumors member
Feb 7, 2005
89
0
5 cents a song is just riduculous and I would be buying music constantly. Currently I have already switched from downloading to purchasing from the iTMS (bout 60 songs I payed for) but the thing is why should people have to pay a tax for others theivery :confused: . It just doesn't make any cents (lol little double meaning to that word :D )
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,473
180
visiting from downstream
This is horses**t. Why should I, who never violate copyright and don't download content I haven't paid for, have to pay an extra TAX when I buy a new computer? I'll be damned if I'm going to pay extra because of the actions of others... and if a tax like this ever becomes real, you bet your ass I'll start downloading music illegally. Punish me for a crime I haven't committed? Then I WILL commit the crime.

I'm not shocked to see this proposal come out of Canada... home of the extra surcharge on computer media (blank CDs, DVDs, etc.). What is wrong with Canadians that you all put up with this sort of thing?

Punish the guilty, not the innocent. Go after the downloaders... and leave me alone.
 

soosy

macrumors regular
May 6, 2002
215
1
I agree with y'all... taxing computers and internet (and blank media and hard drives) in general is stupid. Just charge 10 or even 15 cents per song and put the cost on the people actually listening to the music.

But 10 or 15 cents per song? That's incredible if that is really economically viable.

Btw, love the last line in that article (just cause it shows the thinking of the recording industry).

Then again, another record-industry type, casually speaking to Pearlman after the talk, had perhaps the most succinct counter suggestion. Why not charge 10 cents, instead of 5, and double the revenue?
 

bonk

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2003
89
0
as a professional commercial artist (photographer), I wonder how they would calculate artist compensation under this scheme. the most important incentive, remember, should be for musicians to produce good music. 10% of 5 cents (or whatever the artist sees of the retail price) is nothing, and how would they calculate distributions of cuts of the tax?
 

freddiecable

macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2003
632
156
Sweden
don't know about germany...but in Sweden - and Scandinavia as a whole we have tax on CDs, Harddrives and DVDs :mad: so when I create a DVD with iDVD - Celine Dion and her company receives money from me doing my own holiday dvd...and I hate Celine Dion ;)

Le Big Mac said:
Doesn't the EU, or at least Germany, charge a fixed rate for CD-Roms and CD burners to compensate for piracy? Again, why have the honest subsidize the dishonest.
 

cubist

macrumors 68020
Jul 4, 2002
2,075
0
Muncie, Indiana
What? How does charging people more money solve any problems? Am I missing something here? And who would get the money? This is completely stupid. Taxing all computer sales to pay the "cost" of illegally-downloaded music is punishing everyone for the misdeeds of a few. Bad, bad.
 

billyboy

macrumors 65816
Mar 15, 2003
1,165
0
In my head
Apple not being interested in this idea would be like a car manufacturer saying they dont like the idea of almost free readily available fuel. Orders for cars would rise as a big cost factor dropped off the radar, and likewise with music, demand for a certain section of Apple hardware would sky rocket.

But whether it will happen? Steve Jobs would have given the talk of his life to the music industry if he swung that one in the next year or so.

Maybe as soon as micro payments become embedded in people´s mindset, it could work. ie I saw somewhere you can already buy porn via a micro payment on your mobile phone. It is supposed to be easy, although I dont know personally as unfortunately i dont have a mobile phone - (Motorola/Apple) will probably be well placed for micro payments for music. So music at 5 cents a track at the huge volume will work because at that price, Apple wouldnt need to worry about margins on iTMS because they would have a slice of itunes enabled phones and maybe by then direct to phone downloaded music. Also you would have those lovely little iPods also filling up thankyou on cheap legal music...
 

vga4life

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2004
411
0
clayjohanson said:
I'm not shocked to see this proposal come out of Canada... home of the extra surcharge on computer media (blank CDs, DVDs, etc.). What is wrong with Canadians that you all put up with this sort of thing?
Read up on the AHRA. We have the same levies in this country, too - it's just that here the law was held not to cover computer media, just audio media. That's why if you have, e.g. a standalone stereo component CD recorder it requires you to use special "audio CDRs" that are more expensive than data blanks because a levy that's imposed on them and paid to the recording industry. The same law covers audiotape and such.

-vga4life