On Thursday, June 22, 2006 the Spanish Congress voted to implement a
tax on all blank media, including flash memory sticks, blank cd and dvd-rs,
even mobile phones and printers. There is no word on how much this new tax
will be, only that the revenues will be collected by the government, and will
then be given to the "copyright holder."
Is this an example of what is to come in the United States or other parts of
The view seems to be, this the most fair way to 'tax' the downloaders, and shift some cash to local recording artists at the exclusion of the 'big 4'. If you look further down in the comments under the article itself, you'll see an interesting note about Canada, and how the Canadian muso's went for this idea, fighting together against a group (Which turned out to be the big 4) who were dead set against changing the status quo.
I think if this were handled fairly, and the money distributed not only to recorded artists with recognised labels and exclude the labels from recieving any cash), but the small independent performers who relied on their website (i.e.) to make sales, then this has a chance of providing a boost to local culture, and performers.
This was always coming, and although the US, because of the influence of the 'big 4', may delay this a while, I think you're going to get it in the end.
Imposing a levy on every blank media seems a little onerous and oppressive. This could possibly extend to every device conceivable that could store data. Certainly would be a real windfall for the goverment but I wonder if the proceeds will really trickle through the beaurocracy and even reach the artist. And if there is anything left to distribute, which artists will be the beneficiaries?
I see this as oppressive overkill, a totally unjustifiable burden. The blank media I purchase is used for recording of my own compositions, my own word processing files, my own data files, my own photos. I find no sensible reason why I should pay a copyright tax to support copyright material that I am not making use of.
If it happens here, I will attempt to establish a boycott on all cd & dvd products.
I do share your view Richard, and others. This is an oppressive tax, although challenging the current closed industry isn't, for me, neccessarily a bad thing. I don't think this method is the right path, though. More like tapping in a nail with a jackhammer.
I wonder if those wish to avail themselves of the 'artist windfall tax', will have to be registered as 'eligible artists', thereby presenting an opportunity to governments to find out who's moonlighting as a drummer or composer after their day job, for cash, and who is fulltime, declaring their income in a legal manner.
This ruling seems somewhat similar to the recent legislation the French Government has been grappling with.
Blank media could easily be construed to include notebooks, stationery of all kinds. Blank notebooks and pencils can also be used to reproduce copyright material. How will this benefit artists whose income derives in part from sale of scores? Would it apply to photographic film, cameras? Sounds like the making of a big mess.
What?! I don't understand the logic behind that kind of tax at all, and how the heck do they think they're going to give anything to the "copyright holder"? What copyright holder? Technically you don't even have to register your work for it to be copyrighted, so everyone can be a copyright holder very easily. And of course this seems to be assuming that buyers will be using their media storage devices to engage in illegal activity.
Anyway, I doubt it will spread very far, definitely not to the US.