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Japan abandons \"iPod tax\" plan

updated 11:50 am EST, Thu December 1, 2005

\"iPod tax\" plan dropped

Japan has decided not to push forward with a plan that would which was part of a copyright law revision, was abandoned after discussions in a government panel produced no consensus on ways to police violations, according to the Associated Press. "The decision Thursday from the Cultural Agency committee followed yearlong debate over how outdated the nation's system for levying an extra copyright fee on gadgets had grown, given the dramatic social changes in recent years in the digital content business, said government official Hiroyuki Suzuki."

The iPod tax, which would have generated revenue for recording companies, composers and artists by, would have added 3 percent to product's wholesale price; currently it is included in the price tag so most shoppers aren't even aware they're paying it; howeveer, it is only applied to recording devices and other gadgets that can be used to duplicate copyrighted material. Recording companies say that digital music players--both flash- and drive-based--should be included as well, according to the report.

The AP says that "the panel's members, including academics and consumer-rights activists, were divided on where to draw the line on what constitutes copyright infringement, so speculation had been that there would be no agreement by the December deadline."

Some opponents to the tax said that it would be hard to track burgeoning sales of digital MP3 players, while others argue that customers are being "double taxed" as they are often already paying royalties on digital content, according ot the report.

by MacNN Staff





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