..on Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 05:01:34PM +1200, johannes contag wrote:
which is why I was suggesting another approach a few days ago - an internet
traffic tax. thanks bronwyn for pointing out the isle of man scenario, it'll
be interesting to see if and how it happens!
I've thought on this idea a bit more (which btw. I'm still not sure is
really any good), if anyone's interested:
the main premise is that users would have to pay the tax as part of their
connection fee (e.g. by the GB), and that it removes any incentive for them
to cheat the system. although this is an over-simplified model, the
difference in mp3/mov file sizes seems to be vaguely indicative of the
difference in their associated production costs, so a volume-based tax would
(very arguably) be representative of the users' extent of media consumption
(very very arguably taking into consideration the traffic of streaming and
video conferencing, and the crossover with online sales).
Unfortunately this is already in place in several countries, notably here in
Spain but in a different form. It's called the Digital Canon and is a tax on all
storage media on the assumption that people will be inevitably infringing
copyright with that media. It was introduced by a state undersigned rights
management society deeply hated in Spain by the name of SGAE.
It's a terrible idea and has worked only for the SGAE. Buying a CD, even an SD
card, digital camera is all taxed, making it more expensive for those businesses
merely storing data (like libraries and hospitals) suffer the cost of imposed
infringement. People are assumed 'guilty', something to which Spaniards
appreciated at all. Secondly every recording made in Spain needs to be
registered or else you can be taxed by the SGAE for dodging potential future
revenue, including recording your cat meowing.
The opponents of 'net-neutrality' have also talked about what you propose often,
working on the ISP level, and I think it's going the wrong direction. We don't
want the internet to become akin to the town square where it's illegal to loiter
on the basis of a paranoid logic of pre-emption.
"Opponents of net neutrality include large hardware companies and members of the
cable and telecommunications industries. Critics characterised net neutrality
regulation as "a solution in search of a problem", arguing that broadband
service providers have no plans to block content or degrade network
performance. In spite of this claim, certain Internet service providers have
intentionally slowed peer-to-peer (P2P) communications. Others have done exactly
the opposite of what Telecom spokespersons claim and have begun to use deep
packet inspection to discriminate against P2P, FTP and online games, instituting
a cell-phone style billing system of overages, free-to-telecom "value added"
services, and anti-competitive tying ("bundling"). "
The problem isn't the fact people are downloading the content the problem is
corporations to which artists have willing signed non-pro-copy right licenses
are making a lot of money claiming they're losing billions to downloads, a
logical fallacy when you give it a second's thought. Meanwhile those same
corporations are absolutely embracing moves from CD content to digital media..
They're just trying to make a buck in while CD content transitions out of the
industry, with their help...
Secondly artists are choosing to sign with these labels/record deals giving away
their rights in the first instance. It's their fault: don't sign with Island
records and then complain you don't have rights over your stuff.
Thirdly of course people are going to try to get content for free if it's
'freely' available. The problem is the medium, the absurd effort to force
digital bits into an artefact form. Humans will always place their enthusiasm
for art over a legal abstraction, like a non-pro-copy copyright license.
While not without its flaws, Last.fm is a far saner model here... Subscribe to
digital content, don't buy chunks of bits.
Yes, this is a popular idea that has been mooted. The Isle of Man have come
closest to implementing it from what I've heard, however I don't believe it
has gone through:
You've captured one of the main issues with this idea in your first
paragraph: this tends to be discarded as an idea as there is an issue of who
will track the data, and administer the divvying up of costs - and ISPs
aren't exactly leaping to put their hands up. A much simpler and direct
option is for music/film companies just to make their content available
legally online so consumers can go to their online shop and purchase what
they want. Of course, with the internet being a big copying machine, and
copying being so easy, IMHO the cost of this media should be much cheaper so
that the legal alternative is not a prohibitive one for financial reasons.
> just thinking aloud a thought I had the other night:
> how about an overall tax/fee rather than individual copyright payments?
> a broadcasting fee for the internet but tailored to usage parameters. might
> require some pretty severe, privacy-invading tracking of content though if
> the resulting revenue-pie was to be split fairly...
> so the idea might be backward-thinking garbage, but I think if there was no
> constant pay/steal right/wrong pressure, people's download behaviour would
> be much more balanced - i.e. just what they actually want, and not all
> series of the wire at once (just in case its a once-in-a-lifetime
> opportunity). after all, most download-type entertainment is pretty crap,
> and that's a lot easier to realise if there's no entry fee associated with
> or am I barking up completely the wrong tree?
Ada_list mailing list
home: New Zealand
based: Madrid, Spain
currently: Madrid, Spain