from the how-not-to-win-friends dept
Techflaws alerts us to an announcement by ZPÜ, the organization responsible for setting the levy on storage media in Germany, that fees will rise rather significantly (German original). For a USB stick with a capacity greater than 4 Gbytes, the tax would increase from 8 eurocents (about 10 cents) to 1.56 euros (about $1.93), a rise of 1850%; for a memory card bigger than 4 Gbytes, the fee would go up from 8 eurocents to 1.95 euros (about $2.42), an increase of 2338%.
No justification for such a huge jump was offered, but since one of the constituent members of ZPÜ is the German music collection society GEMA, which seems to have an unlimited sense of entitlement when it comes to demanding money from the public, that's hardly a surprise.
In particular, no rationale is given for including memory cards, which are used almost exclusively in cameras to record content produced by end-users -- so the idea that the levy is somehow justified as a way of compensating creators for revenue supposedly "lost" by piracy is manifestly absurd.
Basically, this outdated and insulting approach treats all Germans using digital storage as if they were pirates. Of course, arbitrarily imposing 2000% tax hikes on storage is probably the quickest way to turn them into something much more dangerous to GEMA and its friends: ardent supporters of the German Pirate Party....