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Using Internet tax to compensate artists for file sharing?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 07 Sep 2009 11:01 User comments (24)

Using Internet tax to compensate artists for file sharing? In Canada (and many other countries), levies are places on the sale of blank media (CDs, DVDs etc.) that are collected and distributed to artists and record companies to make up for lost revenue due to copying. Similar mentions of "iPod tax" that would put levies on MP3 playing hardware depending on the potential storage capacity have also been proposed in several countries in the past few years.
The Canadian Private Copying Collective has paid over $160 million in such levies to 100,000 songwriters, recording artists and record companies since it was established. However, file sharing on the Internet is not covered by any surtax or levy, and it would like the government to change legislation in order to allow it to generate revenue for that too.

If it were to become reality, a government would have to increase the tax on charges for Internet service for "all" users, regardless of whether they download music at all - legally or illegally. Comparing Internet usage to what you can do with a blank CD, the amount of "other possibilities" for practical uses is overwhelmingly larger for the Internet - so this tax would be even more unfair than the blank media levy that punishes all buyers, not just pirates.

Also, the music industry puts an estimate in the billions of dollars for damage done to the industry from Internet piracy - how could you possibly make up such a huge hole (if its true) without dramatically hiking taxes? This would put pressure on ISPs that already lower prices to attract new customers of broadband services.

Similar ideas have been put forth in countries other than Canada too, but any attempt to make it policy should (and most likely will) be met with a lot of opposition.

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24 user comments

17.9.2009 11:40

Its not a bad idea but the problem will always be it will trickle down from the top unless they bypass the conglomerated trade groups and pay the artist directly....

But that caveat aside the people should be allowed to share media and information in a non profit environment, taxing the net and all media devices is one way to balance that out.

27.9.2009 12:41

Ah zip I don't agree with all this tax nonsense, cause you know why don't you? If there is a tax introduced, does that mean sharing for non-profit will be legal? If you burn an album you downloaded from the net onto a cd to play in your car is that legal then cause you paid tax to the cartels? No its all a con to generate more money. The profits are up every year, but yet they want more money. But lets not kid ourselves here, its all about control thats it in a nutshell.
Heres some interesting reading for ya http://archive.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/06/14/love/index.html

Yeah ah no its that bitch, but worth a read though.

37.9.2009 12:56

Originally posted by joe777:
Ah zip I don't agree with all this tax nonsense, cause you know why don't you? If there is a tax introduced, does that mean sharing for non-profit will be legal? If you burn an album you downloaded from the net onto a cd to play in your car is that legal then cause you paid tax to the cartels? No its all a con to generate more money. The profits are up every year, but yet they want more money. But lets not kid ourselves here, its all about control thats it in a nutshell.
Heres some interesting reading for ya http://archive.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/06/14/love/index.html

Yeah ah no its that bitch, but worth a read though.
Well it draws the line and says they can not sue people or make it illegeal for people downloading,cracking and copy circumvention with that trade off it would be worth it.

47.9.2009 13:31

I just finished reading Courtney Love's missive and she's right on the money with all of it. The RIAA and their lobbyists are nothing more than crooks with the money to buy anyone they want, and I do mean anyone. Look at Jammie Thomas for Pete's sake, tell me that wasn't a fixed farce. As her team couldn't do a damn thing or use any of their evidence, yet the RIAA's group of clowns were allowed to introduce their made up figures, their inept, "so called" expert Doug Jacobson, who himself admits he doesn't know which end of a hard drive is up, and when Jammie called him out she gets threatened with contempt of court?!!

Tannenbaum's team had only two days to present their case whereas the RIAA's group of thieves had a full three days to do so. Now Tannenbaum admitted to lying, but even so, his so called lawyer was a moron, he ignored hundreds of hours of research and facts that his team had come up with to simply use a bible quote?!

This tax is nothing more than another way for the Really Inept Anal Association to try and get us to pay them because they haven't two clues about the new digital world of the 21st Century. They actively lobby against any type of new tech that they cant' control claiming it will hurt their business, well, I'm sorry to say the only ones they are hurting are themselves.

No matter how many times they get a gov't to agree with their idiotic demands they are going to lose in the long run, because, to paraphrase James Bond's boss "M", "Governments come and governments go but the FANS go on forever." and the sooner these ass cans running these idiotic companies realize it the better. Unfortunately for them, the fans see them beating their heads and hands bloody at the gates to the new era and know that this foolishness can only last for so long before the barbarians lay down and die.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Sep 2009 @ 13:32

57.9.2009 13:55

What a great idea...nothing like sparking a good relationship with your customers by telling them they have to pay more for a service because their low life thieving scum. I dont see a fight happening at all to stop this from happening.....

67.9.2009 13:58

Originally posted by Tecbot:
What a great idea...nothing like sparking a good relationship with your customers by telling them they have to pay more for a service because their low life thieving scum. I dont see a fight happening at all to stop this from happening.....
Radio and TV is taxed in the UK and blank discs are taxed in most places, its nothing new.

Basically the consumers,hardware makers and media cartels come to a agreement that X is allowable because of Y.

77.9.2009 14:33

Quote:

Well it draws the line and says they can not sue people or make it illegeal for people downloading,cracking and copy circumvention with that trade off it would be worth it.
they already stopped sueing because it was a waste of their money. This whole idea is ridiculous. If this was really a tax, they should track which artists get downloaded the most and pay them out accordingly. But even that is ridiculous, the corporations make enough money, and they over exaggerate their losses. I think 95% of people that download for free would still not buy the item if the free option was no longer available.

87.9.2009 14:34

Quote:
Quote:

Well it draws the line and says they can not sue people or make it illegeal for people downloading,cracking and copy circumvention with that trade off it would be worth it.
they already stopped sueing because it was a waste of their money. This whole idea is ridiculous. If this was really a tax, they should track which artists get downloaded the most and pay them out accordingly. But even that is ridiculous, the corporations make enough money, and they over exaggerate their losses. I think 95% of people that download for free would still not buy the item if the free option was no longer available.
Not hey have not, and the lobbying has not stoped either.

97.9.2009 14:37

surely you dont all think that this will change the law regarding file sharing.anywhere in that news item that they came right out and said it? didnt think so.

107.9.2009 14:57

Originally posted by aldan:
surely you dont all think that this will change the law regarding file sharing.anywhere in that news item that they came right out and said it? didnt think so.
Of corse not in order for the tax to come into effect all the downloading and copy circumvention stuff would have to made legal.

117.9.2009 16:29

In most cases the artist receives no compensation at all. Only the songwriter gets a royalty. If the actual band wants money they have to perform again. That's why they have concerts. Now the record companies want a part of the proceeds from concerts too. All these taxes do is feed money to the record companies. Why pay a tax to a record company so they can boost their bottom line. Seems rather stupid to me.

127.9.2009 16:33

Originally posted by Ripem:
In most cases the artist receives no compensation at all. Only the songwriter gets a royalty. If the actual band wants money they have to perform again. That's why they have concerts. Now the record companies want a part of the proceeds from concerts too. All these taxes do is feed money to the record companies. Why pay a tax to a record company so they can boost their bottom line. Seems rather stupid to me.
Its a trade off, it would be worth while if they would lay off all the petty stuff.

137.9.2009 16:41

Great just what we need, higher prices (if they weren't high enough already) so these artists and "companies" can make even more money, even the ones that we don't listen to. Just another "excuse" for them to become even filthier rich IMO. I wouldn’t be surprised either if these companies get paid more than the artists do.

147.9.2009 17:07

Originally posted by mike.m:
Great just what we need, higher prices (if they weren't high enough already) so these artists and "companies" can make even more money, even the ones that we don't listen to. Just another "excuse" for them to become even filthier rich IMO. I wouldn’t be surprised either if these companies get paid more than the artists do.
artists are lapdogs to people like the RIAA, there is no question about it. once your singed on your ass belongs to them.

you have to ask permission from the almighty master to release any promotional content for your band, if you don't your put down like the dog you are.

157.9.2009 17:21

While it sounds good in theory, I don't see any reason it wouldn't be abused (like just about every other tax). Who's to say the tax won't get 20 times more expensive once it's in place? There's also no guarantee it would make the non-profit sharing of copyrighted material safe. (I mean, the levy in Canada hasn't prevented lawsuits up there.) It just means the same fat cats who should be going the way of the dinosaur will have a perpetual and unconditional stream of money flowing into their pockets.

167.9.2009 19:39

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
Its not a bad idea but the problem will always be it will trickle down from the top unless they bypass the conglomerated trade groups and pay the artist directly....

But that caveat aside the people should be allowed to share media and information in a non profit environment, taxing the net and all media devices is one way to balance that out.
It IS a bad idea. It certainly didnt work for Canada. I have been here paying taxes in Canada for a long time and the telcos are forcing even wholesalers/resellers and everyone in between to 60gig caps/throttling of p2p apps and torrents..all at the request of the RIAA/MPAA. A lot of good it did to have a tax on dvd media. Now they rape us TWICE!

178.9.2009 0:51
lubricant
Inactive

so, the borg wants their cut from that too huh? give them an inch, theyll ask for a half inch.

188.9.2009 1:03
lubricant
Inactive

wow that one post was pretty intense.

paying people according to download frequency is OK, but why the hell give the ones the most even more? shouldnt rather artists make it easier to pay them via paypal, and let them decide their money on mansions or a producer and instruments?

in case you artists didnt read that, have donations methods from the fans that like you.

1911.9.2009 16:18

i could give my full perspective on this but the server that runs this website is not large enough to hold such a reply.

short version, i don't like taxes period. taxes are not a permanent thing and were never designed to be but yet we always pay taxes. hmmm.....

so no i don't want any new taxes on my isp or media or anything for this reason. but if it passes and no more suing oh man are we in for some fun. pirate flood gates will burst open.

one question, what idiot thought this would be a good idea? i don't care what company, i want the moron's name.

2011.9.2009 16:25

Originally posted by senator29:
i could give my full perspective on this but the server that runs this website is not large enough to hold such a reply.

short version, i don't like taxes period. taxes are not a permanent thing and were never designed to be but yet we always pay taxes. hmmm.....

so no i don't want any new taxes on my isp or media or anything for this reason. but if it passes and no more suing oh man are we in for some fun. pirate flood gates will burst open.

one question, what idiot thought this would be a good idea? i don't care what company, i want the moron's name.
Sadly taxes is how government works you would not have paved roads or much progress without the, or on the other hand you would have corporate states running most stuff.


As for taxes in general we need to move to a electronic tracked consumer tax so you are taxed for what you consume and not just standing there.....

2111.9.2009 17:00

i do understand the need for taxes. income tax on your money earned then additional tax on money you spend is pretty crappy.

but besides that issue. taxes would be perfectly fine for 90% percent of any payer in the world if there was 0 wasted spending, 0 over paid officials, and contractors for the government didnt abuse. What i mean by abuse is they charge for all 100 employees in the company to work and only 50 do the work.

And not to mention the abused tax breaks. All to common men will put their wives on their business as an owner to get minority incentives. And there are many more examples. so if people find loop holes to pay less taxes then there is a need to raise taxes in other areas. that has led to new laws, new loop holes, repeat. now we have to pay a big chunk of change to get our taxes done by a professional. I am a business owner, my cpa is not cheap.

2211.9.2009 17:06

Originally posted by senator29:
i do understand the need for taxes. income tax on your money earned then additional tax on money you spend is pretty crappy.

but besides that issue. taxes would be perfectly fine for 90% percent of any payer in the world if there was 0 wasted spending, 0 over paid officials, and contractors for the government didnt abuse. What i mean by abuse is they charge for all 100 employees in the company to work and only 50 do the work.

And not to mention the abused tax breaks. All to common men will put their wives on their business as an owner to get minority incentives. And there are many more examples. so if people find loop holes to pay less taxes then there is a need to raise taxes in other areas. that has led to new laws, new loop holes, repeat. now we have to pay a big chunk of change to get our taxes done by a professional. I am a business owner, my cpa is not cheap.
Thats why you tax consumption of good and services at 45% get rid of all other taxes, tax vehicles based on MPG(200 for 10 or under,100 for around 20,40 is about 50,business and offraod get a 10th of that) and those that make under 60K a year for family/couples and 30K a year singles get food tax free and up to 1-2K a year in instant tax rebates via a tax card on all clothing and most shcool items.

you hit the rich tax avaiders and the black market tax avaiders in a double whammy. Corporate/business gets the same tax.

2311.9.2009 17:13

ZippyDSM gets my vote for president!

2411.9.2009 17:17

Originally posted by senator29:
ZippyDSM gets my vote for president!
I have not blogged this yet since a friend of mine said he would edit for me hes not got to it yet but here is my current consumer tax thoughts

Quote:
Crazy tax time with zippy
I been thinking about taxes again(yes I need to a life one of these days) a 45% consumer tax(more on that below) could work but you’d have to protect the lower middle and lower from over taxation. To do that those that get less than 35K/F a year a family or married couple or 25K/S a single individual AFTER its reduced 45% meaning those that make less than 65K/F or 40K/S get a discount card that removes tax from all food items and cheaper beers and wines and also get up to 1 grand a year in tax rebates for school items and all kinds of clothing.
45% consumer tax IMO should tax all goods and services you get rid of all other fed/state/local taxes (yes property tax goes bubye) and implement a vehicle tax based on gas mileage, IE if it gets under 20MPG you have to pay 200$ a year(other examples can be 10 is 300$,40MPG is 50$, or 40MPG=20$,30MPG=60$,10MPG=150$) for it this also pays for your tags and 1 off road vehicle tag, off road status makes a vehicle non street legal and must be no more than 10 miles from either ones home or trailer otherwise you pay a fine on MPG plus 100$. Additional off road tags can be purchased for a 10th of the vehicles MPG rating meaning you have a boat or recreational vehicle that gets 20MPG you pay 20$(or 15$) a year, certified business vehicles also get this type of tax rating.

Now more about my idea for an ideal consumer tax, the tax is distributed with the city getting the most of it, county getting the next largest cut state and fed get about the same or something like 23(city)/10(cunty)/7(state)/5(fed) this way the people will have greater control over government because they will have greater control on who’s elected it’s one thing to live a world away and not feel the heat but another if you are in the city or state. This of course forces both the state and fed to shrink and relegate power to more local systems so localities can take care of their social service needs and more. The fed then basically the army/Nat’l guard, sets basic laws that all states must follow and plans out infrastructure that states have to agree to so that they can meet them within 3 decades or be fined the estimated project cost, plus interest . Now the fed can tax states 5-10% of their GPD( tax revenue) to run the post office or the state can run their the post office system themselves.

Further balance it out cities cannot be bigger than a county both can merge into one entity but may not expand past that, poorer cities will either be annexed into larger cities or a cut of 5-10% of the budget from the richer cities and counties within the state will be given to the poorer citys, or 100 miles from the poor city the richest around it will give up 1-5% of their GDP.

Basically the tax system would work electronically with some paper backups and record keeping to keep things organized, the movement of money will be watched but it will be up to the individual to list a credit on their account(s) of a personal sale as a taxable sale but because everything from gas to cars to property to cable and phone is taxed personal small business of less than 20K a year in profits are exempt this includes ebay, amazon, pawnshops, consignment shops and even unchained ma and pa used item(book,video,ect) stores. Anything above 15K is watched above 20K a year and revenuers may want to see what you are up to, or you can just start taking taxes on items sold.
Person to person sale of used goods is exempt however the 20K a year limit will flag anyone who gets money up to 15K or more as a possible tax avider, simple itemized listing of items will need to be filled out to list what is being sold. Any personal sale of goods or service over 30K a year for any reason is taxed by default.
Retail used goods will be taxed this includes pawn shops but person to person sales including ebay, Amazon, consignment shops,ect will be exempt up to the first 15K made by the seller in a year.
This also means one can sale homemade alcoholic beverages along with used goods or other home grown items up to 15K a year. Goods from local farmers and farmer markets are completely exempt from being taxed.

Charities that are active in the local community(give up more than 30% of their budget to stock food to give out, cook food to give out, run shelters(animal or human), repair houses (animal or human), aid the poor(animal or human), events of any kind musical, bake sale, car wash ,plays, art work, ect do not count for this)are not taxed. Churches are taxed unless are run as a charity, this means they either list the money they spend to help the local community(no more than 100 miles from the property) and 30% of that revenue they gain goes to it or simply give up 50% of their revenue to a local charity for tax free status IE pay to play as a tax free entity. All non profits are taxed unless run as a charity.

it dose not miss many loop holes I need to add "if a chain business(as business with offices in many locations in different cities) wants tax free status they will have to give 30% of their local revenue to local focused charities."

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