Music Tax: The iPod Approach

Music executives from the UK continue to try to out-dumb their counterparts in the U.S. We’ve barely started to settle down from the Warner Bros. led attack (with both economic and emotional sorties) here in the U.S., and now our UK brothers are getting bombed (more) with the idea of an iPod tax to counter those sneaky users who “format shift” files from a legally purchased CD to a MP3 player.

The UK’s Music Business Group, a coalition of music industry entities (composers, songwriters, performers, managers, producers, record labels, music publishers), said in a report “Unquestionably, there is a value produced by the ability to format shift. It is imperative that creators and performers should benefit directly from this value.”

The report also states “Composers and performers are entitled to earn a living from their creative endeavours” which parallels Ethan Kaplan’s (VP Technology, Warner Bros. Records) argument that the quality of music shouldn’t matter when it comes to compensation to the artist.

It is exactly this line of thinking – righteous entitlement – that leads to the idea of using taxes to support businesses that can’t support themselves. Music taxes in any form are a bad idea and always will be.

These people won’t quit until they’re out of business. So let’s hasten the go-out-of-business process as quickly as possible. Think twice before you buy any form of music. Just send money directly to the artist instead.

See also:

The Inevitable March of Recorded Music Towards Free

Replacing DRM With A Music Tax Is Incredibly Stupid