A "Taxing" Proposition for Music Downloaders?

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News Posted: Thu, Jul 24 2008 11:39 AM

All right, readers, we're sure some among you participate in the
downloading of somewhat dicey material (read: copyrighted). If you
could have a license to illegally download as much as you wanted - and
I suppose, if you had a license, it would no longer be illegal - how
would you feel about it?

On the other hand, if you had to pay such a fee (tax?) even if you didn't download illegally, how would you feel about it?

Those are the questions on the table as rumors fly about such a possible fee in the U.K. The Independent
reports that today John Hutton, the Business Secretary, and Andy
Burnham, the Culture Secretary, will unveil proposals which include
ISPs sending letters to thousands of repeat offenders, and also the
"downloading tax." The tax would be £20 - £30 (or about $20 - $40).

According
to reports, the ISPs who have already agreed to these terms are: Virgin
Media, BT, Orange, Tiscali, Carphone Warehouse and BSkyB.

While the letter idea makes sense (since discussions over a so-called "Three Strikes, You're Out (of Broadband)" law have been ongoing for some time), the tax - that doesn't make much sense.

Peter Jenner, a longtime music industry figure - who has supported such a plan - said:
"If you get enough people paying a small enough amount of money you can turn around the wheels of the music industry."
Still,
while the rumors fly, it appears the music industry has a better feel
for what will and won't sell in terms of the public. While noting that
the letter campaign is indeed going to happen, British Phonographic
Industry (BPI) CEO Geoff Taylor said:
"A levy is not an
issue under discussion. It has not been discussed between us and
government and as far as we are aware it is not on the table. There
should be effective mechanisms in place (to deter file-sharing) and as
long as they are effective, we don't mind what they are."
The
good news: a tax is not on the table. The bad news: they were thinking
about it. Probability of something in the future? Not at all unlikely.



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nECrO1967 replied on Thu, Jul 24 2008 12:20 PM
You've got to be kidding? Why should millions of honest UK internet users subsidize the music industry? And if enough people sent me a penny, I would be rich. That doesn't mean the world should support me. I'm glad to see that this "idea" was given the ax it so rightly deserved.

And BTW, £20 - £30 is slightly more than $40-$80.

I used to carry a hammer in my computer tool kit. Just for fixing the packard Bells though.......

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shanewu replied on Thu, Jul 24 2008 1:13 PM
The music industry just needs to grow up, stop being babies and change its business model. If what you are doing doesn't bring in as much money as it used to, then change something for the good/better! Don't alienate all your honest customers just to nail a small minority that hurts your business.

Oh, and figure out a way to sell music cheaper on your own terms. Stop screwing over artists...etc, etc, etc...

"Everyone always wants new things. Everybody likes new inventions, new technology. People will never be replaced by machines. In the end, life and business are about human connections. And computers are about trying to murder you in a lake. And to me, the choice is easy." - Michael Scott (The Office)

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