by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jan 8th 2009 12:49pm
In trying to explain why a music tax is a bad idea, I pointed out that if you start with music, you quickly have to start adding pretty much every industry disrupted by the internet. The obvious one is movies, but what about newspapers? They're struggling due to the internet, so why can't they demand an ISP tax to support newspapers? The idea, of course, is that this was a ludicrous suggestion... but apparently some people have thought seriously about it. Reader Emmet Gibney points us to a blog post on the Macleans site (the same magazine that once told us that the internet and blogging sucked) where the concept of taxing ISPs to pay for online media publications is apparently seriously suggested. It appears to be an adjustment on the already ridiculous suggestion that some folks have made that newspapers should collude to charge for access to newspaper websites. At least the Macleans author recognizes this is unworkable... so, rather than looking at alternative models, he suggests that "the only solution" he sees is to create a "royalties" system that ISPs would be in charge of collecting for media publications. Who's next? Did the buggy whip makers ever suggest a "buggy whip tax" on automobiles?
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