We need more levies
1. I want to see a software levy. Lots more software gets illegally copied than Garth Brooks.
2. I want to see a news levy. Lots of people read the news online, robbing the news industry of revenue.
Lets get some things straight.The UK is actually one of the few places in Europe which doesn’t have a levy.There is pressure to make *not* charging a levy, and attempting to circumvent it, a *criminal* offence across Europe. Be sure of one thing– it will come to the UK.
In sunny Belgium, where I reside, I pay 2.20 euro per month on my cable connection as “levy” for just having the infrastructure which would allow me to illegally copy content. With that levy, I have no additional rights – i.e I still have to buy a CD or DVD, and downloading off of BitTorrent could well see fully armed cops breaking down my door and hauling me off to jail
I also pay about 60 cents levy – separate from the 21% VAT – for a blank single sided DVD; yes – that’s a lot more than the manufacturing cost of a DVD. Hence I don’t buy blank DVDs in Belgium. Note – it is illegal for me to order blank media from the UK for instance without paying the levy.
For 2006, the levy netted Auvibel about 25 million Euros. Remember, that’s just Belgium.
I hate the music industry, and have done the vast majority of my adult life. I don’t buy CDs, or download (legally or otherwise) music. My hatred of the music industry is so strong, I don’t actually *listen* to much music (that and there’s next to no modern music I like). I will on occasion go to a live concert.
Yet, the audio/video industry has successfully managed to gouge about 10% of the pre-tax cost of my internet connection. So, gun toting, homophobic, drug taking, child molesting no-talent “stars” and their fat cat media conglomerates can rest easy – the gravy train is gonna keep on rollin….
Personally, I’d rather have a “news” levy. I’ve stopped buying newspapers as I get my daily fix from the free online versions. The newspapers have clearly suffered as I now get for free content I used to have to pay for. And as the “press” is a cornerstone of democracy – it makes infinitely more sense than a levy on recordable media.
Oh, and as an IT professional – I want to see a code levy. Shed loads of software gets illegally copied; more than music/video by unit cost I’d say. In 50 years time, when I’m in my rocking chair – I want to see the money rolling in for that one-hit wonder code I wrote back in the 90s!