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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Filed Under: ipod tax, japan, levy

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  1. identicon
    Ima Fish, 10 Jul 2008 @ 12:31pm

    Re: us

    "unfortunatly the US has one"

    The US has a tax/fee for specific blank media such as cassettes (do they still sell those?) and some (but not all) blank CD-Rs and CD-RWs. As far as I know there is no similar tax on MP3 players.

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