Japan may introduce a private copying levy on sales of portable digital music players and digital hard-disc recorders, according to media reports.

The government's Cultural Affairs Agency will this week propose introduction of such a levy, which could be 100 yen ($0.95) per device, meaning potential annual collections to the order of 1 billion yen ($9.5 million), according to the reports. The agency was not available for comment at press time.

A remuneration of 1% of retail price currently goes to rights owners from sales of MiniDisc players, DAT players and DVD recorders. However, it is not currently applicable to digital music players.

Music-industry organizations such as the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC), the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan and the Japan Council of Performers' Organizations have lobbied for the scheme to be extended to digital players.

But their proposal for what local media dubbed an "iPod tax" failed to get government support late 2005 after groups such as the Consumers Union of Japan and electronics manufacturers voiced their opposition to the idea.