Support For “iPod Tax” Grows

Following a move in the Netherlands to impose a fee of 3.28 euros per gigabyte on MP3 players to reimburse copyright holders for “lost” revenue, support for a similar move in the UK is growing among record labels. Digital Music News quotes a former label boss as saying illegal downloads are “in danger of crippling the British music industry”. He should ask the people behind Bleep.com how badly selling DRM-free music is hurting their business.

In any case, such taxes could severly stunt the growth of the mobile music industry. Witness the backlash against the licensing cost of OMA DRM, which is just 65 cents per handset, and compare that to the tens or even hundreds of dollars that such an “iPod tax” could add to the cost of a device, and vendors will likely decide it’s in their interest to forgo music capabilities or large amounts of storage.

A Canadian judge tossed out a similar plan there earlier this year, but record labels around the world could see this type of tax as the best way for them to legitimize — er, rather, profit from — P2P traffic, as opposed to actually doing anything themselves.

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