Dutch reject USB flash drive tax

Dutch justice minister Hirsch Ballin has rejected calls for a copyright tax on USB Flash drives. The tax was proposed by Dutch industry group SONT, which two years ago also wanted to levy a tax for iPods and other MP3 players to compensate music artists for revenue lost to private copying. That proposal was also shelved by Hirsch Ballin after a strong lobby by several trade associations.

The Netherlands's largest consumer organisation Consumentenbond called the proposal for a levy of USB sticks "bizarre" as most USB keys are used to store images and documents. Originally, SONT wanted a €0.05 levy per USB key, but it also mooted a levy based on actual storage capacity. Electronics manufacturers immediately rallied against such a tax. On Monday, MP Kees Vendrik of the Dutch Green Party even called for a parliament debate.Stichting Thuiskopie, the Dutch performance rights collecting agency, is not happy with the rejection, calling it "premature"."There was no final proposal," its director Andre Beemsterboer emphasised. However, his organisation believes a levy is imminent, as 20-25 per cent of USB keys sold are used for music storage, it believes.

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News source: The Reg

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In Holland almost everything comes with Tax.
I think soon they'll charge tax for breathable air.

Stichting Thuiskopie (rough translation: Copy-for-at-home Foundation) consists of a bunch of airheads. What do I get for paying that copyright tax? You'd think that illegal music downloads are in this way legal, as long as you burn them to a freakin' CD/DVD.

you know that's actually not a bad idea...i mean that way you don't really need stuff like drm if the tax goes back to the music artists...though i can predict i whole range of other problems with this tax...

Yeah, but it goes back to what artists exactly? And what about the media I use to store my own stuff?

The SGAE is doing the same in Spain, and I can tell you if I downloaded the last Meshuggah album the band wouldn't get anything from that tax... which would instead go to 1)SGAE pockets 2)"artists" whose albums I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

And yet you'd think that thanks to that tax you should be able to legally download music... well thing is the SGAE still keeps spreading propaganda about how downloading music/movies could send you to jail, which is blatantly false as that falls under the fair use rights granted by our constitution. That is, it's legal but certainly not thanks to the tax.

20-25% of USB sticks are used for music storage. How much of that percentage is actually shared with the key owners friends? If I wanted to store music on a flash drive so when I have something to do on another computer, why shouldn't I be allowed to? It's not going to come off my drive, so it's not pirating or sharing. Plus, 75-80% of flash drives aren't used for music! Why should they have to pay?

The music industry is ****ing me off, I'm even considering stopping buying my music from iTunes because all of that money goes towards the industries lust for more money. They don't deserve that; they get the money they deserve and have always wanted.


as 20-25 per cent of USB keys sold are used for music storage, it believes

In case you missed it, that's what they "Believe"... not necessarily factual, in my experience, i've only once found a USB Drive with music on it, never have I stored music, nor known anyone to on a "USB Stick".

In belgium we already pay taxes on blank cd's and dvd's. This gives me the reason to believe i'm doing nothing wrong when copying cd's.

They should tax ethernet cables and radio waves and electricity because without those music could not be pirated from one medium to another. Oh yeah, while they're at it they should also tax people because they're responsible for 100% of music piracy.

I said once before we should all patent "acting like a retard" so we can sue these people for patent infringement.

Don't give them ideas!!

"You have 2 children around 14 years old. 14 year olds are known to pirate music to be cool in their group of friends. Your tax this year is $2300"

fear_machine said,
Oh yeah, while they're at it they should also tax people because they're responsible for 100% of music piracy.

I don't know, I hear the cats are getting pretty good at it now... ;)

Note: The owner of the next "all your base" gag below this line will wake up with a horse's head tomorrow morning. :P

Doesn't the music industry and all the artists get enough money as it is? What the hell is with trying to get more and more out of Joe public. Taxes like this are not fair, it's just one more thing to add to driving the already massive gap between the rich and the poor. Makes me goddam sick!

Yeah, in Croatia this tax is up to 10$... Absolutely unacceptable
And I can't do anything about that! I'm buying a lot of usb sticks for my clients (for backup), and I have to pay stupid tax on them?!

I pay 25% sales tax on everything i purchase, well, not everything, food onlt has 12.5% salestax...


Poor Dutch, Europe is already over taxed ... and this isn't a good tax, they don't take the tax money a distribute it to drugged up prostitutes and school-drop-outs, who just need a little love.

This one goes to greedy music producers, so unEuropean!

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