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Author Topic: A tax to make music downloading...legal?  (Read 1022 times)
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Destructor
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« on: July 24, 2008, 05:45:32 PM »

I don't quite get it either:

Quote
Internet users could face an annual charge of up to 30 to download music, under plans to be unveiled today that aim to tackle illegal file-sharing.

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.

John Hutton, the Business Secretary, and Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, will unveil a package of proposals, beginning with thousands of prolific downloaders receiving letters warning them they are breaking the law by copying music and sending it to friends. The Government sees that move as the last chance for internet service providers (ISPs) to get a grip on the growing problem of piracy.

I don't know about you, but if I wanted to (and I don't) I know I could EASILY 'acquire' more than 30 worth (even at today's exchange rate) of music in a single year.
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2008, 06:19:03 PM »

yup, the best solution for piracy is to tax everyone who could use a service for those who abuse it.  brilliant. 

if this happens here, expect to see a monthly $5 charge tacked on to your internet bill to cover it and related expenses involved with "administering" it. 
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2008, 06:31:06 PM »

Letters have already gone out to many households in the UK, thanks to some ISPs jumping into bed with the BPI (British equivalent of the RIAA).  It pisses me off.  ISPs should be gateways to the internet, no more and no less.  If the BPI think someone's "stealing" from them, there are already official channels in place for them to sue.  Why the government think "piracy" is something that requires legislation is beyond me.

Happily, I've just switched to a small, mainly business-oriented ISP who will have no part of it.
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2008, 08:51:09 PM »

Just to play devil's advocate:

I don't have kids in public school, but my taxes still go to help pay for them. If a small tax distributed over all internet users is what it would take to end the idiotic policies of the RIAA while simultaneously giving artists what they deserve but preserving the free exchange of information over the internet, then I'm not necessarily opposed.
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2008, 08:59:13 PM »

the cynic in me says that if riaa gets another revenue source that they can sip from they won't just abandon the one they already have.  riaa would have to die for this system to float with me. 

i am curious what the pay for download services think of such a tax as it makes their service less favorable.  if you already pay a tax on any d\l ing, then why pay apple on top of that? 
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2008, 09:15:35 PM »

Yellowking, that's a fair point.  The thing that most gets on my nerves about the whole situation is how the government has been so willing to jump to the defence of the BPI.  Why?  They're just representatives of a completely private (as in, not publically-owned) industry.  Why do they get special treatment?  As I've said time and again on this matter, if the BPI have reason to believe someone is "pirating", they can go through the courts who will, in turn, force the ISP to cooperate if there's sufficient evidence a crime is taking place.

It's also a principle thing.  Again, your point is absolutely valid, nevertheless I balk at the thought of paying even more for my internet connection to fund other people's law-breaking habits.  Things like schools, health services, police etc, which my money also funds, are a hell of a lot more necessary than record labels' profits. smile
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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2008, 10:30:01 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on July 24, 2008, 08:51:09 PM

Just to play devil's advocate:

I don't have kids in public school, but my taxes still go to help pay for them. If a small tax distributed over all internet users is what it would take to end the idiotic policies of the RIAA while simultaneously giving artists what they deserve but preserving the free exchange of information over the internet, then I'm not necessarily opposed.

The difference is that even if your kids don't go to public school, you still reap the benefits of public schools.  Public education is a societal obligation because it provides societal benefits.  The kid across the country that goes to public school might wind up being the kid who comes up with the cure for your cancer or might be the kid who gets job training so he doesnt wind up mugging your wife.  Downloading music, on the other hand, only benefits the individuals who download the music.
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2008, 10:51:14 PM »

And then we can add $5 for movies, $5 for tv, $5 for books, $5 for pictures, $5 for video games and on and on and on...
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2008, 06:28:44 AM »

Quote from: Huw the Poo on July 24, 2008, 09:15:35 PM

... Things like schools, health services, police etc, which my money also funds, are a hell of a lot more necessary than record labels' profits. smile

Bingo. That this is even a possibility is frightening.

What's the solution that will make everyone happy? Make each song cost $.05. Someone did a study that found that would be the optimal price. Piracy would dwindle to negligible levels, bringing tons of new legit customers and the record companies and artists would actually make more money. (wish I could find that study again, because it makes a lot of sense)

The RIAA and the like are all so stubborn. I think they still hate the internet and don't see it as the goldmine it should be. 
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2008, 07:08:24 AM »

the music industry's problem is the same as the gaming industry's. lots of copy cats out there, customers are treated as criminals with retarded DRM, a large portion of music is just god awful.

the lack of sales has nothing to do with piracy. of course if i was charged this stupid tax I would go hog wild and have torrents open 24/7 not only to get my monies worth, but to eat up my ISP's bandwidth.
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2008, 12:52:03 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on July 24, 2008, 08:51:09 PM

If a small tax distributed over all internet users is what it would take to end the idiotic policies of the RIAA while simultaneously giving artists what they deserve but preserving the free exchange of information over the internet, then I'm not necessarily opposed.

do you really think that any of that tax money would ever make it into the hands of the artists who actually deserve it?

i'm opposed to the idea simply because it would do nothing but further line the pockets of RIAA and record label execs.  the RIAA doesn't give a damn about the artists.  they're only looking to make more money for the real thieves in the music industry...
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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2008, 02:48:02 PM »

Quote from: jersoc on July 25, 2008, 07:08:24 AM

the music industry's problem is the same as the gaming industry's. lots of copy cats out there, customers are treated as criminals with retarded DRM, a large portion of music is just god awful.

the lack of sales has nothing to do with piracy.

I agree with this all totally. Unfortunately the RIAA doesn't. There within is the problem.
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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2008, 02:51:56 PM »

Note:  Canada has something similar on blank media for that purpose, IIRC
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« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2008, 02:55:08 PM »

Quote
do you really think that any of that tax money would ever make it into the hands of the artists who actually deserve it?

No, not really. I'd support it based on an ideal vision of what it *could* be, but I think that vision is unrealistic based on how the RIAA has behaved in the past.
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« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2008, 04:09:32 PM »

Quote from: Zarkon on July 25, 2008, 02:51:56 PM

Note:  Canada has something similar on blank media for that purpose, IIRC

That's true. By technicality, because you spend extra buying blank media, you're allowed to pirate. Or something really screwy like that.
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« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2008, 04:46:21 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on July 25, 2008, 04:09:32 PM

Quote from: Zarkon on July 25, 2008, 02:51:56 PM

Note:  Canada has something similar on blank media for that purpose, IIRC

That's true. By technicality, because you spend extra buying blank media, you're allowed to pirate. Or something really screwy like that.

for all you northern border folks out there, just tell riaa that you bought all your cd's in canada, so therefore you've already paid for that music.  perfect.
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« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2008, 04:20:40 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on July 25, 2008, 04:09:32 PM

Quote from: Zarkon on July 25, 2008, 02:51:56 PM

Note:  Canada has something similar on blank media for that purpose, IIRC

That's true. By technicality, because you spend extra buying blank media, you're allowed to pirate. Or something really screwy like that.

Not for much longer, apparently, if the new copyright act comes into play. The government is pushing for something similar to NAFTA, but for copyrights.
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