by Mike Masnick
Tue, Feb 26th 2008 12:21pm
In the last few weeks, a lot of folks have been submitting the story about the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) proposing a $5/month "tax" on ISP connections, which could then be used to reimburse songwriters and musicians for downloading. I've resisted writing about it, because it's been discussed at length in the past when it's been suggested. The one difference here is that a group of musicians is actually supporting it. However, Michael Geist does an excellent job explaining why it's not a very good idea. Beyond pissing off those who don't feel they should subsidize the rest of the industry, it's not at all clear it's necessary. There are plenty of other business models that the music industry can use to support musicians and songwriters that don't require a special tax. However, the biggest reason, as Geist points out, is the second you do this, plenty of other industries will come out of the woodwork demanding a special fee get applied to internet connections as well. Newspapers that think Google and Craigslist are "stealing" from them will demand a special "news tax." And then think of all those other industries who claim they're being impacted by the internet. You'll have a special auto-mechanic's tax, to pay for mechanics who are upset about the DIY info found online. The "knitting tax" for all the free knitting patterns online. I understand that AAA may be upset about Google maps. Travel agents want that "travel tax" to pay for all that business that Expedia has cost them. Where does it stop?
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Canada Post Drops Ridiculous Copyright Lawsuit Over Crowdsourced Postal Code
- After Nine Years Of Censorship, Canada Finally Unmuzzles Its Scientists
- USTR: Foreign Governments Engaging In Censorship And Rights Abuses Should Add IP Enforcement To Their 'To Do' Lists
- Copyright Maximalists And Lobbyists Celebrate Vancouver Aquarium Censoring Critical Documentary With Copyright
- BlackBerry Offers Glomar, 'Bad Guys Got Caught,' In Non-Comment On Canadian Law Enforcement's Full Access To Encrypted Messages