UK Broadband Users Might Pay 'Download Tax'
People living in the UK already pay a tax based on the number of televisions they have in the household, so a new proposal to tax downloaders of pirated software really comes as no surprise.
In the proposal, which is garnering lots of heat from angry citizens online, the suggestion is a tax that users would pay annually, around £30, to download as much music as they like.
As a Canadian who already pays an extra tax whenever I buy a storage device, like an ipod or blank CD, this actually seems quite reasonable.
While there are obvious questions such as; who has to pay these taxes and what is considered to be 'pirated', as well as how the money is distributed to the artists and people who originally created the works, it could be a potential solution to a problem that has plagued the music and media industry for the last 10 years.
What do you think about a tax on downloading music, television and movies?
The Music Business Group (MBG) is calling for compensation for copyright holders if people transfer music to multiple devices.
At the moment millions of people in the UK routinely break the law when they copy music tracks from CDs and transfer them to portable music players.
Ministers are backing proposals that would enable millions of broadband users to pay an annual levy which would allow them to copy as much—previously illegal—music from the internet as they wanted. The money raised would be channelled back to the rights-holders, with artists responsible for the most popular songs receiving a bigger slice of the cash.People who acquire all their music from legal downloads services will also be stung if the tax goes ahead. They will have to pay to download a track and again when they buy a new device to download it to.
Some people see it as an unwelcome intrusion into their lives:
The UK government has proved more than willing to kowtow to corporate entertainment industry demands and in its latest act of servility, says it plans to tax file sharers on behalf of the multi-billion-dollar record labels —- Vivendi Universal (France), Sony BMG (Japan and Germany), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music (US).
“We need action as the industry is suffering,” The Independent has a “Whitehall source” declaring .
With that in the background, Net users could face fines, dressed up as “an annual charge,” of up to £30 (about $60) to, “download music under plans to be unveiled today that aim to tackle illegal file-sharing,”