Japanese Gov't Says No (Again) To An iPod Tax

from the how-many-times? dept

Back in 2005, the recording industry in Japan urged the government to create an iPod tax, adding a tax to every iPod (or other digital music player) sold. The idea was that the recording industry wanted to assume that every iPod owner was obviously “stealing” music, and this tax would help pay for the supposedly “lost” revenue. Of course, as we all know, that’s a very questionable assumption. An iPod can often make people buy more music, but the recording industry has never been willing to even consider that idea. Luckily, a few months later, the Japanese government rejected the idea.

However, with the recording industry, these things always seem to have a way of popping back up again. And, indeed, there’s been another big push this year for Japan to add an iPod tax. Luckily, however, the consumer electronics lobby in Japan is a lot more powerful than the recording industry lobby, and it appears that the iPod tax proposal is dead once again. Of course, it will likely be suggested again next year, but as we start to see more and more business models built on a base of free music, perhaps more people will recognize how unfair (and damaging to the market) an iPod tax would be. It would lower the incentives for people to buy these devices, decrease music consumption habits, and hurt all these other business models.

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Comments on “Japanese Gov't Says No (Again) To An iPod Tax”

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Ima Fish (profile) says:

I can’t help but wonder whether the music industry would double dip if this tax was enacted.

The music industry claims the tax is necessary to compensate for the music being illegally downloaded. So, it would follow, that if you pay the tax, the music industry is being compensated, so you should be free to download as much music as you’d like.

However, if the music industry claims it needs the tax and still requires additional payment for music, then the tax is nothing more than a greedy money grab. The music industry should never be allowed to have it both ways.

Eric says:

you are rigth - ipod = more purchases

Before I had an ipod i probably purchased 3-4 cds a year, mostly because i feel $14-18 dollars is an absolute rip off since there is a good chance i won’t enjoy half the songs. Normally if you don’t like a product you can return it, sadly with music/movies you don’t have this option…well, now i’m spending close to $250/year at itunes, much more than the 3-4 CDs i use to purchase! If a tax were added – just means i’ll definitely feel justified to download as much music as possible and not pay dime for it!

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