As expected, a Japanese government committee has recommended that the introduction of an "iPod tax" on portable digital music players be postponed for at least a year.

TOKYO -- As expected, a Japanese government committee has recommended that the introduction of an "iPod tax" on portable digital music players be postponed for at least a year.

In a report released Nov. 11, the Cultural Affairs Agency's subcommittee on legal systems for copyrights said any decision concerning extension of the existing levy of 1% of retail price on sales of digital music players be delayed until some time in 2007. The decision covers MiniDisc players, DAT players and DVD recorders to hard-disc or flash-memory digital players such as Apple's iPod.

The subcommittee said more time is needed to examine the proposal in the light of users' convenience, price structure and international trends.

Music-industry organizations such as the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan and authors body JASRAC want the levy extended to include digital players, while public-interest groups such as the Consumers Union of Japan oppose the idea.

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