A proposed "iPod tax" on hard-disc and flash-memory music players has been given a final thumbs-down by a Japanese government committee.

A proposed "iPod tax" on hard-disc and flash-memory music players has been given a final thumbs-down by a Japanese government committee.

In a report released Dec. 1, the Cultural Affairs Agency's subcommittee on legal systems for copyrights said that it would be next to impossible to punish violators and that the existing system should be subjected to a "radical review." Under the present system, sales of MiniDisc players, DAT players and DVD recorders are subject to a levy of 1% of their retail price in order to compensate rights holders for copying of their music.

Music industry organizations such as the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan and authors body JASRAC wanted the levy extended to include hard-disc and flash-memory digital players such as the popular iPod, while public-interest groups such as the Consumers Union of Japan opposed the idea.

The committee, which had previously recommended postponement of any decision regarding extension of the existing levy, pointed out that the levy is unfair because it is imposed on consumers regardless of whether they record music privately.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print