There are times when I read the news in the morning and I can't help but wonder what some people are thinking when they announce something new. Usually, that amazement revolves around weird products or dumb deals. But today, it's something entirely different: a tax on Internet use.
According to The Independent, Internet users could face an annual tax of 30 British pounds (about $60) to download music over the Web in an attempt by the music industry to use Internet service providers to stop illegal downloading.
"U.K. Culture Secretary Andy Burnham is supporting calls from sections of the music industry for a yearly levy of 20 pounds ($40) to 30 pounds ($60) to be imposed by ISPs on customers who want to share music," The Independent reports.
Obviously blind to the implications of this arrangement, the music industry believes it could actually help a larger portion of the public, who would have otherwise been criminalized at the hands of illegal downloading. Not to mention, it could recoup the industry's estimated $2.4 billion in annual losses at the hands of illegal downloading.
"If you get enough people paying a small enough amount of money you can turn around the wheels of the music industry," music industry veteran Peter Jenner told the publication.
"Both ISPs and the music industry need to take responsibility for this issue. But we need action as the industry is suffering," another industry insider told The Independent.
Yikes. Is this really where the music industry is going next? Sure, it's just in the U.K. right now and there's no indication that it'll go elsewhere, but don't you think that if it works there, it'll come here?
Once again, the low-hanging fruit is the victim.… Read more