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
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), 28 Mar 2008 @ 10:28am

    Voluntary, if you mean dragged kicking and screami

    That it's called 'voluntary' when in fact it's quite compulsory should be a big clue that this comes from the same deceitful mindset as copyright (which is a privilege not a right).

    When suspending the public's liberty fails, it's not surprising that taxation appeals as a fallback option.

    Of course a dying industry will eagerly grasp at this last straw, but it won't be tolerated.

    "Griffin says those fees could create a pool as large as $20 billion annually to pay artists and copyright holders".

    Hmmm. It sounds like there's quite a few marble floors in this plan. And if the record industry is happy about it, they've no doubt been reassured that the same 99:1 split can be achieved, thus keeping them in the lion's share to which they've become accustomed.

    I always knew the recording industry would eventually go for this idea, as no doubt did the astute Jim Griffin, however, I think the public might not be too keen.

    Copyright suspended the public's liberty (given as a privilege to publishers), and the Internet restored it. And the public are supposed to be wringing their hands over this as a tragedy? Will the people gladly vote to reward the restoration of their freedom with a selfless tax for the benefit of publishers?

    I think we've got a little wiser since copyright's enactment around 300 years ago. I think the people will say "We'll have our liberty back thanks, and because it was ours to begin with, no you can't tax us instead - do you think we were born yesterday or something?"

    Let's try a free market instead. No monopolies. No taxation.

    It's a very simple deal in which both sides come together willingly, and set a mutually agreeable price:
    Art for money, money for art.

    I wonder who sets the price for music in 'voluntary collective licensing'?

    At least with CDs punters can decide whether to buy or not buy, and thus vote on the price with their feet.

    With VCL, some central committee decides how much music is worth - in other words, how long the yachts should be for various record label execs.

    And if the pot is divvied according to popularity, we can look forward to the lowest common denominator tripe that the recording industry is so skilled at producing.

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