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Swedish government goes crazy!

It seems Swedish government has totally lost it. I mean really really totally..
Swedish government is considering raising taxes, in worst case up to 800% higher taxes for CD-Rs.
As of January 2004 all CDRs and other optical storage medias may have 800% raised taxes to compensate the losses of the music industry.

According to MTRH, DVD-Rs may have 4-5 € tax per piece, hard disks may be taxed about 1 €/GB. Even satelite recievers with HDDs might be taxed.

I'm speechless. Swedish government truely went crazy. Poor swedes, but I have to hope this total madness doesn't spread to other European countries!

What can possibly justify these kind of tax raises? The power of the music industry really seems to be huge. There's simply no rational justification for this kind of tax raising, so one have to wonder what some of the Swedish governement representatives pushing this have gained...
Juha Laaksonheimo

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #1
1. It has not been implemented.
2. It's been up before. Last year. Same thing.

It _is_ a crazy suggestion, but many countries see many crazy suggestions that are never implemented.

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #2
So will 120GB HDDs retail for 120 euros more?
Wanna buy a monkey?

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #3
Totally stupid.
Mpc Q7 /  --alt -preset extreme/standard

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #4
this was more or less passed by the Swedish government and should be actualized January 1st 2004. check out the Swedish government's pages for more updates. http://justitie.regeringen.se As of now the best source would be http://studio.idg.se.

As for the taxes on HDDs it's not yet settled, but it's most likely less than what I told JohnV at first :B one is really waiting for updated figures. However that figure by GB is for any other format such as DVD and memory used in other medial contexts.

I'm not sure what you were referring to when you point out that this was adressed in the past because it has not, perhaps merely as a motion, but then it must have been a different scenario and approach.

Also the new laws for copyprotection and updates in existing laws considering sharing and duplication are to take place next year. It seems like a nice move from the government to put a stand and take the first large step in the direction where RIAA/MIAA wants our governments to go.

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #5
If they introduced that here in the UK i'd see it as an invitation, even a right, to start copying all my music. Why pay for original cds when i've already paid with cdr tax?

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #6
unbelievable! ...

it is only a question of time until the rest european countries go the same way.

BadHorsie

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #7
Sweden is now governed by the RIAA! 

Well, hopefully the gov't will see the error of their ways in public and industry reaction to this (otherwise it could spread to more of Europe -- not good).  IMO, people in the USA would put up such an outcry at something like this that it likely never could pass... must have been done more 'secretly' in Sweden.

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #8
Perhaps you should know that a similar thing has already been made active in Spain. Not that high tax, but very similar.

Starting 1st of September, prices of CD-Rs and DVD-Rs went up in Spain, and the increase is a new tax that is going to the spanish equivalent of the RIAA.

It is sad to see that other European countries are going the same way, or even worse...

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #9
Without more actual information it's frustrating, but it's reasonable to believe that this forwarded motion is accepted. It's along the guidelines of our new laws for 2004. This would be a trend to start, and if Sweden would actualize this I'm certain many countries would follow the little and very respected country up-north due to it's normally conservative nature and stands in discussions such as this one.

It will be most interesting to see the progress in this perticular issue in the following months, but there is little to see on the con-side of this since there really are few arguments valid in the politically and economically related dialogs.

Facts are the piracy is enormous and it's painful for the software, music and videoindustry. There's is little to be said about that other than something is required for countermeasuring this. A proposal as this one passing would be a great victory and yield the industries well in the views of many.

I'm puzzled myself, I agree it's awful with the levels suggested, but I also see the need of something. The way things are now with sharing is unacceptable, I have to admit that. I also have to point out that I find the concurrent pricing on CDDA and DVD for contentmedia is massively overpriced and that an approach there should be the first priority to atleast attempt - not to lower piracy - but increase the quantity of actually purchased items.

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #10
This dark wave is spreading all over the world, and looks clearly the industry has a powerful lobby and lot$ of money to buy people everywhere.
"Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life" (Art Blakey)

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #11
Do you think they'll give tax rebates for every CD-R sold that does not eventually have music burnt onto it?

And, as seanyseansean suggested, does this make music "piracy" legal, because you've paid for it?

Cheers,
David.

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #12
higher taxes only mean more smuggling

what about if people buy things abroad or on the net?
I know, that I know nothing (Socrates)

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #13
What seems unjust to me is that RIAA is doing this "where they can get away with it."  In other words -- Asia has the worst piracy (I think) but they can't stop it... and even if they could, it wouldn't change much of anything ('nobody' would buy the full price stuff, too much poverty).  In the USA they can't get away with it because of many citizen and consumer lobbyist groups.  So "middle of the road" Europe gets the stick right over the head (ouch)... 

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #14
Quote
And, as seanyseansean suggested, does this make music "piracy" legal, because you've paid for it?


That's the way is works in Canada, if I recall a Slashdot story correctly.

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #15
btw. this has been something that has been discussed for long, only now the matter has progressed onto being close to actualized.
No, no such reasoning is acceptable. This tax is more adressed to the downloading and sharing of copyrighted material than it's about copying your own material you've purchased.

Our new laws still allow you to copy your own music, just as before, even to share it in you family "sphere". You're not allowed to ducplicate copyprotected material though, as that would "be against the purpose to the protected media" :B

the only way to lessen the tax is to become a "professional user" and pay fees as a firm or organization to the swedish copyrights organization http://www.copyswede.se , similar organizations exist in any country. Ofcourse, you have to live up to certain things to be allowed to get such a permit and taxreleave.

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #16
Since "The Music Inquisition" is already running worldwide, I just wonder if the CD sales keep falling, despite high taxation on blanks, copy protection, subpoenas, etc...what the music industry will do? Starting burning computer-users and file-sharers alive?
/edit: typos
"Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life" (Art Blakey)

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #17
I'm the author of the article on IDG.se in my magazine Studio (Studio - all articles on that site is published on IDG.se).

As for the example 40 swedish crowns extra for a dvd-r that costs about 60 swedish crowns - it is of course not 100 percent sure that will happen, since Copyswede and the market actors are always negotiating about the fees. That example is made to illustrate one extreme side of the law.

Regards,

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #18
Quote
It will be most interesting to see the progress in this perticular issue in the following months, but there is little to see on the con-side of this since there really are few arguments valid in the politically and economically related dialogs.


So to put it straight - to compensate for the virtual loss (because software/music which is pirated cannot be guarenteed that it would be sold anyway)  goverment is robbing normal people with ridiculosly high taxes?  I have only one word for it - mafia,  and that is what record companies are starting to look like.

And, of course - there is no "valid argument in politically and economically related dialogs" except that the law is not fair among biggest part of population which does not share files and uses media for normal use.  I don't want to pay extra tax because one industry is incapable of modernizing itself and coping with the latest trends in industry.

Digital media production and distribution is of pure commercial nature - it is not some kind of goverment service like public health, and it is definitely not the role of the state, at least not in liberal capitalism, to "help" that industry by robbing others - just because the same industry is not willing to improve itself and change its business practices.

Goverments didn't rob TV broadcasters because they could destroy the radio market, instead radio and cinema markets improved. VoIP providers are widely accepted although the good-old telephone industry is suffering biiig loss, but who cares?  Limiting others is stopping the growth and industry evolution - and it is not good in general.

Quote
Facts are the piracy is enormous and it's painful for the software, music and videoindustry. There's is little to be said about that other than something is required for countermeasuring this. A proposal as this one passing would be a great victory and yield the industries well in the views of many.


So charging for the media and transmission resources not used by piracy and that is huge majority is fair?  And who is getting the money?  Is it going to be dispatched among artists/production houses worldwide, or it will be kept inside the state - what if majority of people buy international CDs and movies, and local music industry gets the tax $,  that is supposed to be fair? 

Overcharging of the storage media is painful for the IT, hardware and software indusry - it is going to increase IT spending and decrease the number of jobs because of limited budgets and slow growith. It is also going to decrease public spending and to slow down development of several industries - so that is good

Do you think it is fair that some goverment gets $100 for every hard drive I buy just because of some loss in the industry which, in fact, does not belong to that country in most cases? I don't think so - if it is bound to die, let it die.

It would be like introducing postal tax on every email because the post and delivery industry is losing money on digital e-mail transmisssion.  Or, like charging every citizen yearly tax because of possible tax hiding?

It looks to me as a way to improve annual budget and tax income,  nothing else.

Quote
This would be a trend to start, and if Sweden would actualize this I'm certain many countries would follow the little and very respected country up-north due to it's normally conservative nature and stands in discussions such as this one.


I sincerely hope they won't  like they didn't with prohibition of alchoholic bewerages or with death penalties like in USA.  It is just dead, flat, wrong.

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #19
Quote
So to put it straight - to compensate for the virtual loss (because software/music which is pirated cannot be guarenteed that it would be sold anyway) goverment is robbing normal people with ridiculosly high taxes? I have only one word for it - mafia, and that is what record companies are starting to look like.

Well said.
In resume: The indu$try is financing corruption and taking financial advantage of it.
"Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life" (Art Blakey)

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #20
On a very practical level, are people going to re-elect a government that does this? That's what politicians care about most. In those democratic countries where money doesn't buy power, taxing blank media will not help the government at all.

Cheers,
David.

P.S. - hadn't we better wait and see what happens? Isn't it likely that, if there is any tax at all, it'll be 0.01% or something?

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #21
This reminds me a lot of airline industry and goverment regulations about which airline can fly, where and with what number of passengers - and with what price - hopefully, things are beginning to change, and silly arguments like "doing this will destroy the industry" are starting to fade away.

Industry is changing - if RIAA was to be asked, we would still have scratchy records as main storage medium,  but foruntately they are not the decision makers.

The future of music distribution is cheap internet service on pay-basis, and there is nothing that will stop it - even overpricing all media. It will happen sooner or later, and the "industry" is going to shed some already useless jobs for good - and give more space for creative thought and people.

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #22
Quote
Poor swedes, but I have to hope this total madness doesn't spread to other European countries!

We have an extra fee on blank media for quite a while now. It's just not as ridicilously high as what's proposed in Sweden.
  • analog audio tape        €0.23 per hour
  • analog video tape        €0.33 per hour
  • digital minidisc               €0.32 per hour
  • digital data CD-r/rw    €0.14 per disc
  • digital audio CD-r/rw    €0.42 per hour
  • blanc dvd-r/rw            € 1,00 per 4,7 gigabyte
  • blanc dvd+r/rw            € 0,50 per 4,7 gigabyte
  • blanc dvd-ram               no extra
This should be to compensate for copying "at home". Now this issue is out of the way, all the record companies do is saying how much income they miss because of file sharing 
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #23
This really blows... if this actually goes ahead think about the implications it would have on the market as a whole... crazy I do second that point about the legality of copying if this law was to pass. I would copy like crazy cause I am already paying the "license" to copy by buying blank media. Also by taxing a commodity like CD-Rs' (which they are these days), it opens up a black market for CD-Rs' to come in by other means.

Regards

AgentMil
-=MusePack... Living Audio Compression=-

Honda - The Power of Dreams

Swedish government goes crazy!

Reply #24
So..

I've just been on the phone with the president of CopySwede, Gun Magnusson to clarify the whole deal.

The discussion confirmed the the site http://idg.se are simply writing complete nonsense without any grounds at all. The Mrs. Magnusson was to say the least very disappointed in this article and has contacted the writer to inform him of his misinformative article.

She claimed this being one of the absolute worst articles she had ever read and referred to the whole deal as a "PR coup" to actually remove the existing tax by waking debate and mislikings towards the existing taxes.

The taxes are to be raised by merely 25%, but the will be raised further in the future to meet the load on the market.

Taxes are based per minute; 0.02SEK(0.0024EUR)/minute and maximum 6SEK(0.6710) per media.

note that even today it's supposed to be 1.60SEK(0.1788EUR) but merely 62.5% are inclined in tax; ~1SEK(8.9466EUR)/CDR

She pointed out that it's not yet time to promote further taxes, more investigation is needed to eg. find out how well one can compress media on a single CDR, she used the example of using MP3 to fit the entire ABBA collection on one single CDR.
When I pointed out the existance of Ogg Vorbis she immediately noted this as an even more aggressive format in need of consideration.

So, one can blow this whole deal of and learn a lesson about the otherwize well respected Idg.se...

Although, in the future one can expect a pretty massive extension of the taxes as written in the article, but it will then have grounds for printing, and not as in this case, being without grounds and claims.

edit: EUR/SEK are based on values of 2003-10-06

 
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