Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet, Technology
Holland has passed legislation to implement a point of sale surcharge on any device capable of storing illegally downloaded or “pirated” music. The recently passed Dutch legislation will become law within the next three months, with reports suggesting the levy could be around 3.28 per gigabyte. On Apple’s 60gb iPod that would add over 190 to the price. The levy would be paid to copyright holders, to compensate for profits lost to illegal filesharing. In a recent article (see reference below) Doug D’Arcy, the former head of Chrysalis and BMG, thinks Britain should follow suit. “The illegal digital download market is in danger of crippling the British music industry and unless something is done to address this quickly, it will spell disaster for thousands of artists and independent record labels. Unlike other territories, the UK never implemented a blank tape levy on cassette tapes. One of the most persuasive arguments against this is of course that those who copy legally (and who now download legally) are in effect being penalised as they are paying twice for a copyright.