Predictions

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
canada, downloads, isp tax



Why A Music Download Tax Is A Bad Idea

from the unintended-consequences dept

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?

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  1. identicon
    Iron Chef, 26 Feb 2008 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re: hotels and diesel fuel

    Microsoft has been researching that tech for years. I remember coming across an article that stated the watermark could be extracted from a song, even in the presence of other music.

    But like anything that people say "can't be broken", well, it attracts a lot of attention, and usually is broken.

    http://crypto.stanford.edu/DRM2002/drm.pdf

    Again, just a temporary solution. This is a social problem that will only be answered with a social solution. Tech is only going to aggrivate the problem.

    Check out Darylxxx's suggestion from last week- http://tinyurl.com/26buuc

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