Get this. It turns out that various parts of the music industry are very, very greedy. I know, I was shocked too! The Music Business Group (the UK’s version of the RIAA, basically) is proposing that music creators and rights owners should be entitled to profits from anything that facilitates you ripping a CD to your computer — anything used for “format shifting,” as it’s being termed.
According to the Guardian, the Music Business Group said the following:
We acknowledge that consumers clearly want to format shift and also place enormous value on the transferability of music. 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.
Okay then, why stop there? The industry should bilk some money out of home audio equipment manufacturers since they make money selling products that people use to listen to music. And what about all the jerk-ass headphone makers that are getting rich off of the music industry? And just this morning, I heard music on a device called a “radio” — profits from such devices should surely go to the music industry, right?
Oh, and also blank CDs. And CD burners. And Ethernet cables. Oh, monitors, too, since most music-playing software contains some sort of visual effects. And definitely batteries of all shapes and sizes.
Since it’d be too hard to extort money out of every single company that makes money off of the music industry — which is apparently all companies everywhere — the idea of a music tax once again comes to the forefront. The UK apparently tried to tax the sale of blank cassettes and current talks involve taxing the sales of MP3 players, internet service, and whatever else the industry can come up with. Nonsense, all of it.