updated 03:30 pm EDT, Wed April 16, 2008
UK MP3 player tax?
The British government should tax the sale of media players, a body of the UK music industry is advocating. The Music Business Group is said to have rejected a recent government proposal, which would see people legally able to transfer music from CDs to media players for free; while the practice is widespread and taken for granted by the public and companies like Apple, in the UK it is technically a violation of copyright. The MBG is said to have taken the same position as America's RIAA however, and called for a levy on sale of devices such as iPods.
"We acknowledge that consumers clearly want to format shift and also place enormous value on the transferability of music," reads an MBG statement. "Music fans clearly deserve legal clarity in this area as well as the freedom to enjoy any music they have legitimately obtained.
"But it is not only music lovers who benefit here. Enormous value is derived by those technology companies and manufacturers who enable consumers to copy. UK creators and rights owners are legally entitled to share in this value -- as they hold the exclusive right to reproduce their music -- but are currently excluded from the value chain."
The group's demands, according to The Guardian, are allowed under the European Union's Copyright Directive, which gives countries the room to ban private copying or only allow it with "fair compensation" to copyright holders. Many European countries issue levies on blank recording media.