In a small but important victory for consumer rights, Dutch justice minister Hirsch Ballin has rejected a proposed tax on USB flash drives. The tax was intended to compensate music artists and recording companies for “lost revenue” due to pirating and private copying, with the tax also extending to iPods and other media player (such as the Zen). Considering the host of other uses for USB drives, with their most common use being document storage, it outraged some to consider a tax on such a device.
The companies and lobby organizations behind the proposed tax aren't done, of course, and will likely push it to a vicious end. With actions like this in the Netherlands, perhaps other countries around the world will take note and follow suit. Many countries already levy a tax on blank CDs due to piracy, regardless of what their intended use is.