Warner Music Group asks ISPs to enforce music tax?

By Justin Mann on March 28, 2008, 5:48 PM
In a move that is sure to spark controversy, the Warner Music Group has called for all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to begin taxing their customers in an effort to compensate the music industry and artists for losses caused by piracy. Warner has reportedly come up with a plan that basically taxes users onto their customers bills, in return for immunity or any sort of legal obligation if one of their users is pirating music. The customer, for their $5 "contribution", would get unlimited access to music on the web. We consider the proposition to be obscene.

Warner claims this kind of taxing scheme would generate "$20 billion annually". Of course, at the expense of the consumer, many of whom may want nothing to do with getting music for free or even getting it online at all. Considering that many ISPs compete fiercely on pricing, with many broadband connections starting at under $30, putting what is in relative terms a monumental tax onto a monthly bill solely for music is just ridiculous.

A "music industry veteran", Jim Griffin, believes that ISPs will embrace the plan, and cites support from certain industry players, including the EFF. However, the EFF's stance was an opt-in approach that was voluntary, not a forced tax. Somehow I don't see ISPs embracing a forced tax anytime soon.

User Comments: 7

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9Nails said:
"Jim Griffin, believes that ISPs will embrace the plan"... Probably in the same way the military recruits embrace their first hair-cut when they're shaved bald. With shock and horror. But at this point I can't see ISP's wanting to increase their customer's bills when many of them are still trying to lower costs. Curiously, I wonder if Dial-up would pay a lower rate since their download speeds are inferior to broadband?
windmill007 said:
Sure $5 music tax .. $5 movie tax... $5 games tax... Get real. It would open a pandoras box that we couldn't close. These companies need to face facts. Give people what they want at a fair price ($.99 - Isn't fair for crappy copies - Need higher bitrate) and people will pay. You will always have people sharing stuff. Get over it. Stop being soooo greedy!!!
icye said:
Unless a person is an audiophile with the best speakers or headphones, the majority of people will never tell the difference between a higher bitrate compared to a lower on.
jesse_hz said:
I think most people should be able to tell the difference between a 128kbps and a 256kbps mp3.Well at least I can and I definitely don't have golden ears™. Higher than that may be overkill.
windmill007 said:
Well in standard headphone yes maybe but when u try to play that same sound on any decent stereo or car stereo you can tell a difference between 196 and 320k. 196 sounds flat where as 320 sounds vibrant. Some people can't tell a difference between directv HD verse over the air HD. Directv uses compression and to me looks kinda crappy. But I read all the time people thinks it looks great. Sure it looks better than standard but if you have seen the best...or heard the best....better just doesn't cut it.
Xempler said:
ISP's last I heard don't work for the Music Industry nor are they required to be their own personal enforcement agency.Besides, if they allow Warner Bros to tax customers. Then what, others will want their own tax (cash grab) as well....and so on and so on.
black_adder said:
People who use torrent wont be affected either way, since most Downloads come in little parts, and most programs encrypt the transfer, wouldnt know what we were downloading.You wont ever stop people Downloading anything, or cracking games, or stealing from shops for that matter... the more you try, the harder they do.you tax them, they'll just download EVERYTHING instead of buying anything, and they'll do it more often
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