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German Green Party Pushes File Sharing Legalization Tax

from the an-idea-no-one-likes dept

It seems like an idea almost no one likes. Many users are against the idea of needing to pay a tax for file sharing they don't do, and the recording industry hates any idea that "legalizes" file sharing. And yet, the Green Party in Germany seems to be pushing forward with an idea to legalize personal file sharing via a special tax users would pay via their ISP bill. Apparently the plan would involve paying different amounts based on the speed of your internet connection, which seems a bit bizarre. What does the speed necessarily have to do with how much file sharing you do? Oh yeah, the other problem? No one seems to have any idea how to distribute the proceeds of such a tax.


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  1.  
    identicon
    RD, Aug 10th, 2009 @ 1:57pm

    Easy peasy

    "Oh yeah, the other problem? No one seems to have any idea how to distribute the proceeds of such a tax."

    Oh thats EASY, Mike, it will go:

    -To the Govt, first
    -Then to the RIAA/MPAA/PRS/etc collection agencies

    and NONE to any "infringed" (or not) artists, because they arent the rights holders, so F-em (as the **IAA's see it).

     

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  2.  
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    Rob, Aug 10th, 2009 @ 1:57pm

    Why do you need to distribute the proceeds? I thought the whole idea of collecting money for someone else was to keep it. That's what the RIAA told me anyway.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2009 @ 2:16pm

    It's not that the RIA*'s and MPA*'s don't want this tax, because they do. They just don't want to it to make file sharing legal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2009 @ 2:18pm

    Audio Home Recording Act

    In the U.S. there used to be (and may be still) a tax on digital audio tape, as part of the AHRA. This must have been distributed somehow. So the Greens' idea isn't completely unprecedented.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Steve, Aug 10th, 2009 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Audio Home Recording Act

    digital audio tape? One of these is not like the other. :)

    But, I do think there was a tax on cassette tapes way back in the day, but at lease with those the purchase was voluntary.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Audio Home Recording Act

    And that's why DATs never became big in the US. Well one of the reasons. Each DAT recorder had to be encumbered with the ability to count the number of copies you made and stop after a certain number.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2009 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Audio Home Recording Act

    Each DAT recorder had to be encumbered with the ability to count the number of copies you made and stop after a certain number.

    Yep, and that's why I think BluRay is going to fail too- they're adding managed copy to the new BluRay spec, so you'll get the luxury of buying a new BluRay player next year.

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/12/blu-ray-gets-managed-copy-next-year-requries-new-hardwar e/

    I wish it wasn't so doom and gloom, but, history seems to repeat over and over, I guess.

     

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  8.  
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    inc (profile), Aug 10th, 2009 @ 3:27pm

    Well if they are going to tax you based on speed it's prob because you are capable of downloading more files. I'm not saying it's a good idea but if it did go through there should be guarantees they you would not get sued for infringement.

    As far as blueray goes. I would rather keep my files in digital format and view them over the network. With drive space becoming so cheap why should I invest in another format that is more restrictive? Not to mention there less plastic recycle.

     

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  9.  
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    budapi, Aug 10th, 2009 @ 3:34pm

    The concept is known as "Kulturflatrate" ("flat rate for culture") in Germany and was designed for much more than just file sharing. Most important, nobody wants it to be a tax. However, there are some questions (some might say "problems").

    Like, as was mentioned, how to distribute the money.

    And who is to decide what quality or importance (or whatever) your work has to have to guarantee you to get your share - there can be a potential for abuse on the decider's side (there are fears it could lead back to times of despotic discrimination against what an elite caste then called "degenerate art"), and there is still no objective idea of how to seperate it from the restrictive music industry schemes we have now on one hand and from "bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen" (condition-free basic income)* one the other.

    And if software qualifies for it. If not: Why? But if: what about software that doesn't add any cultural benefit, and who decides this how?

    And how to distribute the money to people if they already foolishly granted all the exploitation rights for their works to companies. Etc etc.

    AFAIK as of today only the Green Party wants a Kulturflatrate, with the Left Party and the Pirate Party seeing it as nothing more than a possible transitional system for whatever might come.

    *) A model discussed by all parties except the two big tents, but still endorsed by none.

     

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  10.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 10th, 2009 @ 4:12pm

    Funny thing .....

    "which tend to pay classical and jazz musicians more than pop musicians."

    This would totally burn the recording industry .... Funny !!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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