Warner Music Latest To Jump On The Music Tax Bandwagon

from the please,-gov't,-save-our-business-model! dept

Remember earlier this month how there was a story about a guy going around pitching a required tax on ISPs for music sharing as a good idea? Well the main guy who was pushing that proposal has now been hired by Warner Brothers to make it a reality. While the idea is gaining some momentum, it doesn't change the extremely questionable nature of this proposal. It's a proposal based on the laziness of industry execs, who want others to go out and collect money for them, which they'll then get to "distribute" (by which we mean not actually distribute) to musicians.

The fact is that there is simply no reason for this proposal to go ahead. It treats everyone as a criminal first. In the article, one supporter of the plan even admits this:
"At this point, 96 percent of the population is guilty of some sort of infringement, whether they're streaming or downloading or sharing. What we have here is the widespread use of technology that declares all of the population to be illegal."
While that 96% number is made up and pure bunk, it's a bizarre world in which someone claims that nearly everyone is breaking the law and therefore we should punish everyone, rather than get rid of the law. Considering that more and more musicians are showing that there are perfectly good business models that don't require treating everyone as a criminal, can someone explain why this "music tax" should be put in place? And can they then explain what will happen when every other industry wants its own "you're a criminal" tax included on internet connectivity?

Filed Under: copyright, jim griffin, music, subscriptions
Companies: warner music group


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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 2 Apr 2008 @ 3:25am

    Re: Wow......don't talk if you have no idea what y

    In the music industry, the revenue earned from sales of sound recordings, digital files, what have you is split amongst the artist (artist royalty), the producer (producer royalty), and the songwriter and music publisher (mechanical royalty) and the label gets a good chunk as well. If this tax goes through, it could be one of the best things for the music business and also for the consumer.

    Um. No, not quite.

    Realistically, they can't charge much for this tax, maybe 5-10% at most of your current ISP bill....so like 3 bucks.

    Actually, the discussions start at $5 and have been talked about up to $15.

    If everyone with an internet connection (regardless if you have speakers or not [PS you can get speakers for 10 bucks at staples]) opts-in for this, this means that not only will the artist be able to recoup his or her advance from the label quicker and start making money off of royalties, the royalty rates will probably increase, thus giving your favorite artists more money and making them able to record and produce more music.

    That assumes it's better than the old model, but doesn't recognize that there are better models for the artists to make more money faster. We've discussed them in great detail here. This solution would take most of those business models off the table.

    On top of that, it would create a huge bureaucracy, and it would be quite difficult to determine how to actually split up the pie.

    There would be plenty of funny accounting and the royalties wouldn't be delivered quickly or in the amounts you imagine.

    I don't know...I think it's a good idea because everyone wins, but at a very low cost.

    Not at all. Not everyone wins. Consumers are forced to spend more than the market price of a product (monopoly rents!), a huge bureaucracy is created and it stifles creativity in business models. Ouch.

    The music industry not only will build up again but will also get its money it's been crying poverty for and the consumer will be able to get more for less

    The *music* industry doesn't need to be built up again. More music than ever before in history is being produced. More musicians than ever before in history are earning money from their musical activities. More concerts are making more money than ever before in history.

    The only part of the business that is struggling are the companies making plastic discs.

    And the idea that "consumers get more for less" is incorrect. Some consumers will get more for less, but many others will end up subsidizing those consumers. That's not fair or just or necessary.

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