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Austrian Blank Media Tax May Expand To Include Cloud Storage

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the making-an-actual-silver-lining-for-the-cloud dept.

Cloud 129

An anonymous reader writes "Depending on where you are in the world, blank media may have a secondary tax applied to it. It seems ludicrous that such a tax even be considered, let alone be imposed, and yet an Austrian rights group called IG Autoren isn't happy with such a tax covering just physical media; it wants cloud storage included, too. At the moment, consumers in Austria only pay this tax on blank CDs and DVDs. IG Autoren wants to expand that to include the same range of media as Germany, but also feels that services like Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive etc. all fall under the blank media banner because they offer storage, and therefore should carry the tax — a tax consumers would have to pay on top of the existing price of each service."

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Double dipping (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42257863)

Wouldn't the tax have already been paid on whatever hardware the cloud services run on?

Re:Double dipping (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42257953)

The tax under discussion was supposedly to compensate artists for pirated sonfs movies etc, not just regular taxes.

Since no one could make a rational case that the major use of disk drives was to store and distribute pirates music, the media tax never was applied to hard drives. In fact the case for taxing media for the benefit of copyright holders was rushed thru during a time when most users had very little other use of cd roms, other than to duplicate commercial cd roms. (or so the claim at the time insisted).

So no, the tax under discussion was never paid on hardware.

Re:Double dipping (2)

rioki (1328185) | about 2 years ago | (#42258005)

Except... In Germany the tax was paid already on the drives. So if they want to "expand that [tax] to include the same range of media as Germany" they would already get a tax on the drives. Then again they are probably trying to get people to pay a tax on services that where the hardware resides outside of Austria.

Why does the term "looters" come to mind? Oh well, who is John Galt?

Re:Double dipping (2)

grouchomarxist (127479) | about 2 years ago | (#42258539)

> Oh well, who is John Galt?

Here you go: John Galt [wikipedia.org]

Re:Double dipping (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258961)

And I thought, that such idiots are only in Latvia. In Latvia blank media tax includes not only CD and DVD media and HDD, but all memory cards and utilities with integrated memory, like photo or video recording devices as well along with phones, even if these are used for personal use - so basically this is one of the reasons to download something for free, because we have paid for it already.

Re:Double dipping (4, Insightful)

fuzzybunny (112938) | about 2 years ago | (#42258993)

Hey, I'm fine with it, because it means that I'm no longer a pirate. All my movies, music, games, everything, will be paid already.

Right?

Oh you silly silly fool (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#42258411)

"Since no one could make a rational case that the major use of disk drives was to store and distribute pirates music, "

You poor silly deluded fool. This case has BEEN made AND has been accepted in at least Holland (Hardware companies are suing over it).

You are forgetting just how corrupt politicians are.

Re:Double dipping (4, Interesting)

Edzilla2000 (1261030) | about 2 years ago | (#42258425)

Actually, in Europe, in most of the countries (but not all), you pay a tax on every single storage media that's called "private copy tax".

It's supposed to compensate artists for the loss incurred because of people LEGALLY copying their music (and not because of piracy, as that would be taxing an illegal practice, which is... illegal)

It includes cd's or dvd's, but also hard drives, phones (even dumb phones with a few megs of storage...), ipods...

In practice, it means that you get taxed when:

- You buy a song, and store in on your ipod : you pay

- you then transfer that song to your hard drive: you pay

- then you decide to copy it on your phone: you pay

The list could go on and on...

Re:Double dipping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258873)

Actually, in Europe, in most of the countries (but not all), you pay a tax on every single storage media that's called "private copy tax".

It's supposed to compensate artists for the loss incurred because of people LEGALLY copying their music (and not because of piracy, as that would be taxing an illegal practice, which is... illegal)

It includes cd's or dvd's, but also hard drives, phones (even dumb phones with a few megs of storage...), ipods...

In practice, it means that you get taxed when:

- You buy a song, and store in on your ipod : you pay

- you then transfer that song to your hard drive: you pay

- then you decide to copy it on your phone: you pay

The list could go on and on...

I see. And if this tax exists to compensate these artists for LEGALLY copying their work, tell me, what exactly are THE ARTISTS normally getting in revenue for work that is COMMERCIALLY copied or pressed for them?

Sorry, but in the way you've described it, the only person this tax would truly benefit from would be the manufacturer of commercially pressed CD media, not the artist, which is likely a far cry from what they intended this tax to do.

And of course the last question for anyone should be what exactly is the total cost of buying an album one song at a time with all of the additional taxes levied along the way? Something tells me it would tend to make commercial CD purchases seem cheap, but people are lazy bastards and will still pay for the luxury of not lifting more than a click finger to buy anything, which the people creating taxes like this rely on.

Re:Double dipping (3, Interesting)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | about 2 years ago | (#42258105)

No. In most countries, the tax is only levied on private individuals (in exchange for the right to store copyrighted material on the blank media, and share with friends and family). Professional users don't pay the tax, because they are assumed to store their own data.

But even if the tax were levied on companies like Dropbox, hardware purchases are not proportional to the number of "copies" stored. If a million users store the same movie file on Dropbox, there will only be one copiy (plus backups) on their hard drives, thanks to data deduplication.

I'm all for this tax, because at least where I live, it would mean I'd have the right to share (legally bought) music and movies with my friends and family via Dropbox, rather than having to physically hand them a copy on a USB stick. This is very convenient, since some of my friends live far away.

Re:Double dipping (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258385)

I like your interpretation of the tax and the rights you think you get from them.

I have a friend in Spain, where they have a similar tax on blank media. His interpretation of it is not as a tax, but as a "fine", like they're fining him in advance for copying pirated content...so he thinks he can copy such content since he had already been fined for it. Nice concept, pre-paid fines.

We should tax peoples brains (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#42259529)

Because that is the end result of this blank media tax.

Re:Double dipping (1)

aggemam (641831) | about 2 years ago | (#42259557)

More like triple dipping, since you'd also pay for the music when buying it in the music shoppe.

When will it end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42257865)

A major factor behind the push by corporations to get consumers' data on to the cloud is the desire to eliminate piracy. Obviously, they can inspect what people are storing and easily catch those who are illegally sharing content.

With this in mind, when most consumers (who don't know any better) willingly move all of their data into to the cloud prison there will no longer be any justification (as if there is already) for these sort of media levies. So will they still be charging tax on the piracy-free cloud then? My guess is that they will be.

Fine. (5, Insightful)

Fished (574624) | about 2 years ago | (#42257873)

Fine, so long as the copyright lobby agrees that "taxed media" means "copyright license for whatever I download." Oh, wait. They don't do that?

Re:Fine. (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42257913)

Fine, so long as the copyright lobby agrees that "taxed media" means "copyright license for whatever I download." Oh, wait. They don't do that?

Wasn't that the case in Canada for a while?

Re:Fine. (5, Insightful)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#42257949)

Fine, so long as the copyright lobby agrees that "taxed media" means "copyright license for whatever I download." Oh, wait. They don't do that?

Well that was basically the deal when the tax was introduced. People will copy music on tapes/cds and there is no way to stop them. So the labels agree that private copying is ok and get some money in exchange.
That was back then, before the music industry decided that the losses from outdated business models and general economic decline, where because of piracy. As far as I see it, they have to choose: Either copying is illegal and therefor must not happen, OR they agree to non commercial copying and get some compensation for it (aka music flat rate). You can choose either way, but you can't have both.

Re:Fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258065)

We have this in Croatia. We pay a blank media tax on all media (including USB keys, memory cards and hard drives).

In exchange we are allowed to download and listen to music as long as it's for personal use.

Re:Fine. (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#42258159)

Hey, wait a moment! You mean I can not have my cake and eat it too? Now that's preposterous!

Regards,

Austrian incarnation of the RIAA.

Re:Fine. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#42258767)

There is only one small problem with this - the people who get the money are virtually never those who produce the copyrighted contents.

Re:Fine. (1)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#42258815)

That is actually a completely different problem. If the "artists" weren't so reliant on the record labels, they could have a bigger share of the cake.
Even though I don't know the details of Austrian tax system, I guess it would be similar to Canadian one or the German Gema. Even though the Gema is inefficient and a general PITA when organizing concerts or festivals, it does result in a notable income stream for the artists. I'm not saying that these systems don't suck, but it might be an alternative (with room for improvement) way of handling the whole "piracy" issue.

Re:Fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258929)

"You can choose either way, but you can't have both."

They have proved that to be a logical falicy. (false dichotomy)

Ypu probably meant "In any equitable system you shouldn't be able to have both." but that begs the question.

Re:Fine. (5, Interesting)

Kat M. (2602097) | about 2 years ago | (#42258047)

Actually, in Germany (and several other countries), it largely means that. The levy on blank media, photocopiers, etc. is intended to compensate authors for the right to make copies for personal use without compensating the author or owner of the copyright. Personal use does not only include for yourself, but also family, friends, and acquaintances -- basically, it excludes commercial use and making the work available to the general public.

Whether that works well in practice is another question (DRM is a particularly tricky issue), but that is the stated intent.

Re:Fine. (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 2 years ago | (#42258183)

This is correct. Current jurisdiction is that downloading anything for personal use is legal; uploading / distributing in large quantities is not.

Re:Fine. (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about 2 years ago | (#42258441)

When the streaming service Kino.to was taken down, there was talk about going after the users. How, if downloading is legal?

The current law (Â53 UrhG) contains the clause 'unless from obviously illegal sources', and that's broad and unclear enough to catch most downloaders, if needed.

Re:Fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258053)

Yeah. Precisely. I'd be fine with a tax on storage - but only provided that having paid the tax made private non-comercial copying legal.

Re:Fine. (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 years ago | (#42258305)

Fuck that, time to push back, eliminate the taxes, and start implementing a sane copyright law.

More ideas (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42257901)

A tax on pencils and pens.. You could use one to write down 1's and 0's.

A tax on paper. because what else would you write your 1's and 0's on.

A tax on empty boxes. They could be used to store pages of 1's and 0's!

How about a tax on austria for just being fucking stupid... yeah i like that idea the best. lets tax stupid! we'll be so rich!

Re:More ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258135)

Don't you _DARE_ remember that song either. We'll tax your brain.

Re:More ideas (3, Informative)

someones (2687911) | about 2 years ago | (#42258173)

There is a tax on printers already

It's the rights organizations not the country (1)

kawabago (551139) | about 2 years ago | (#42258187)

There is probably a rights organization in your country asking the same kind of thing but absolutely no one is listening.

Re:More ideas (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258453)

Tax for the stupid. They have that already, only it's called "lottery"

Re: Wait you forgot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258781)

... a tax on HANDS!
Yes, it is the evil busy little human hands that actually do the copying, so tax them! Since everybody has 'em, well, there ya go; money for nuthin.

Yer welcome.

So... (5, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | about 2 years ago | (#42257911)

- If you get infinite storage, do you have to pay infinite taxes?
- Isn't there already a levy on the media carriers the company buys?
- Don't most cloud storage solutions simply sync so you have already paid multiple times for each computer you own even though the media is identical?
- When will the artists see any of these millions they must've collected so far. Every single artist should be a billionaire with the amount of media carriers produced in the world.

Re:So... (2)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about 2 years ago | (#42257961)

Exactly. How the fuck are they going to know how much storage I have? Are they going to track us by some national ID? Are they going to force cloud vendors to list each account owner and the amount of storage? What about blank hard drives? Are they specially taxed? What about Google Docs or Apple's iCloud? I don't pay a penny for my basic Box account, so will my tax be $0.00, or based on the storage amount?

This is all shades of wrong.

Re:So... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#42258195)

Easy: when a cloud storage provider sells their service in Austria (can see that on customer's billing/mailing address or credit card or whatever), then tax has to be paid over that amount of storage. Just like blank media sold within Austria are taxed already. The customer for such services is normally known - no need for ID or whatever - because somehow the service has to be paid for.

The government doesn't know how much storage you have. They don't care. All they care about is that when Google sells 1 TB of cloud service storage to Austrian customers, that they get paid the tax on that 1 TB of storage. You buy 100 GB and use 5 GB, you still pay tax for 100 GB. Just like you now have to pay tax for the full 500 GB of that 500 GB hard drive you use only 20 GB of.

Free cloud storage may be history under this proposal.

Re:So... (1)

dissy (172727) | about 2 years ago | (#42258115)

- When will the artists see any of these millions they must've collected so far. Every single artist should be a billionaire with the amount of media carriers produced in the world.

If I purchase a CD I want, I am buying from the artist the rights to listen to the music on that CD.

If the government forcibly takes my money to give to the artist because they have a CD, do I have the same rights to that music?

In the end its still my money going to the artist purely because they created something. Sounds like in the end I should have the right to have and listen to their music (if i wanted it or not)

I guess I should thank the government for giving me more music than I would have purchased willingly! Time to fill up that cloud storage with mp3s.

Re:So... (2)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 2 years ago | (#42258357)

I do not know how it is in Australia, but here in the Netherlands the money BREIN used to get from empty cassettes and CD's (and nowadays probably MP3 players and harddrives) is not going to the artists. The money goes to BREIN. They have some cooked up fucked up official reason why they didn't send the money to the artists (I believe they said they couldn't figure out how to do that) but the real reason is clear as day: they are crooks and don't want to hand over money to the ones who have a right to it.
By the way: downloading is legal here in the Netherlands. Uploading isn't.

Re:So... (1)

badfish99 (826052) | about 2 years ago | (#42258393)

So, if all the money goes to the BREIN organisation, who actually gets it?
Do they share it out amongst their employees (secretaries, cleaners,...), or does one person in charge get very very rich?

Re:So... (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 2 years ago | (#42259637)

Seeing what people who create such options for themselves usually do I say probably option 2, although I have no proof of that.

Re:So... (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 2 years ago | (#42258417)

s/Australia/Austria

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258121)

It will be up to the company that sells you storage. They sell you X GiB of storage, you pay X in taxes. I imagine for "unlimited" accounts, the amount you actively use would be the amount taxed.

It's not like right now they track that you purchased CDs and DVDs and tax you later. The tax on the physical media is included in the price.

Re:So... (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#42258307)

If you get infinite storage, do you have to pay infinite taxes?

Could assume it to max out at bandwidth * 1 year payable per year. ;)

More governmental abuse in Europe (0, Offtopic)

tbird81 (946205) | about 2 years ago | (#42257935)

In Slashdot, all too frequently, we witness sniping of the US from smarmy "European" people who say that "human rights abuses do not happen in Europe." Of course these cowards never seem to tell us where exactly in Europe they are from.

But this is just more shit from European countries, and why as a NZer I want the internet to be kept out of the hands of the UN. And why letting the EU be able to write laws in for every European country is a bad idea.

The more power you give an organisation, the more that organisation will abuse its power.

Re:More governmental abuse in Europe (5, Interesting)

ChristW (18232) | about 2 years ago | (#42257975)

Well, I live in The Netherlands, and one of the things that we witnessed the last couple of weeks was a new law proposed by the Minister of Safety and Justice (...), Ivo Opstelten. He proposed that people who have encrypted files on their computer should be pressed into giving out their keys, "but only if they are very bad criminals, like when hiding child porn or are terrorists". Oh, so, that's OK then...

Christ van Willegen

Re:More governmental abuse in Europe (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#42258461)

You missed the word "suspected" out of your pseudo-quote.

Or is it "alleged"? I can't tell these days. Guilty until proven innocent, and all.

Re:More governmental abuse in Europe (1)

ChristW (18232) | about 2 years ago | (#42258709)

Ow, you're right... one only needs to be "suspected" these days...

Re:More governmental abuse in Europe (2, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#42257993)

I think you have the wrong thread.....and possibly the wrong medication.

Re:More governmental abuse in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42257997)

In Slashdot, all too frequently, we witness sniping of the US from smarmy "European" people who say that "human rights abuses do not happen in Europe." Of course these cowards never seem to tell us where exactly in Europe they are from.

But this is just more shit from European countries, and why as a NZer I want the internet to be kept out of the hands of the UN. And why letting the EU be able to write laws in for every European country is a bad idea.

The more power you give an organisation, the more that organisation will abuse its power.

All that from an Austrian rights group wanting a stupid tax on cloud services? Personally I no longer log in to this shithole of a webpage because most people here have strong opinions backed up by zero insight into the issues, that includes the editors in case you're wondering.

Re:More governmental abuse in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258321)

I dunno I think that the erosion of our rights which arent on any godamn peice of paper, but innate to all humans, by our slave overlords is relevent whether its here in the US, or over in Austria, whether its over music piracy or criminal counterfiting of money by a corrupt National Bank.

Either way shit is ugly and for the guy to point out that this is bullshit is not conspiratorial or FUD.

Grow up and get the fuck off this site, and the internet in general if you cant handle opionions and stop telling everyone else that everything sucks. IF you want intelligent discussion then you have to accept that some defacto libertarian points stand, because yo, people in general are not fucking stupid.

You are a mindless mouthing zombie. There is no real fantastic science or nerdiness to discuss when politics have invaded every aspect of our lives. Whens the last real good discovery that wasnt tainted by the likes of an oil spill or some bullshit GMO patenting scheme.

Why dont you create a site to tell us about the wonderful utopia of science and human progress we live in.

Re:More governmental abuse in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42259147)

You have a black president, but even still less taxes than in 50 years, so I just suggest you try getting over it.

Re:More governmental abuse in Europe (5, Interesting)

silentcoder (1241496) | about 2 years ago | (#42258095)

>But this is just more shit from European countries, and why as a NZer I want the internet to be kept out of the hands of the UN. And why letting the EU be able to write laws in for every European country is a bad idea.

Counter-argument: several of the worst laws introduced in Europe and the UK over the past decades have been defeated because they violated rights granted under European-Union law.
It's become the most successful democratic watchdog in history - exactly the OPPOSITE of what you paint, not a power-holder but a power-restrictor.
That is a very good thing. The EU in fact has only a very small amount of law-making power, but they have very strong rights-protecting and rights-establishing power - which PREVENTS the abuse of power within it's member states.
This is not something the EU is doing- this is a proposal by the NATIONAL government of Austria - telling them to go fuck themselves is EXACTLY what the EU is FOR - and WHY the EU is actually a GOOD idea.

Now of course (like everything else done by humans) it's not a perfect system - but if you actually follow the news - it's quite clear that the system with the EU is better than one without it would be. Some of the laws that got overturned just in Britain in the past few years for violating EU human rights clauses were truly terrifying, without the EU - nothing could have stopped those atrocities from happening.

Re:More governmental abuse in Europe (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42258363)

Come and see the violence inherent in the system!

Help! Help! I'm being repressed!

Re:More governmental abuse in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258405)

This isn't even a proposal by the national government, it's a proposal by a private group.

Re:More governmental abuse in Europe (-1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#42258247)

As a resident of a small island off the West coast of Europe, and having done my research, I can tell you now that Europe as a whole is not innocent; particularly Norway, where one fifth of the child population is in State care, or the UK where children of foreign nationals from at least 116 countries including the United States, Australia, Mexico, India, Pakistan, China and the former Soviet republics are taken by the THOUSANDS by the State to feed the adoption and fostering industry.

Details to follow. Meantime, the information is ALL public domain and available on this link [whatdotheyknow.com] .

Re:More governmental abuse in Europe (1)

teg (97890) | about 2 years ago | (#42258407)

As a resident of a small island off the West coast of Europe, and having done my research, I can tell you now that Europe as a whole is not innocent; particularly Norway, where one fifth of the child population is in State care

Uhh.... what?? That claim doesn't exactly seem to match reality. Just below 4% [www.ssb.no] get some attention, and most of them get assistance in the family.

What Research? Liar! (3, Informative)

andersh (229403) | about 2 years ago | (#42258623)

particularly Norway, where one fifth of the child population is in State care

Your "research" is utter nonsense. You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. As a Norwegian I had a good laugh at your expense!

To explain what teg (97890) referred to I'll translate the important part:

In 2010 almost 50 000 children, or 4 percent of Norway's youth population (ages 0-22 years), were recipients of care measures. Measures in this context includes assistance programmes including after school activities or holidays, offers of education or work, a separate home for young adults, or an extra "support family" for regular visits, financial assistance or even supervision of the home.

Removal from the home is the final resort, which you seem to have confused with care. Your confusion is natural as the British system is not very good or remotely comparable to Scandinavian systems, and your ignorance is probably linked to your attitude towards other Europeans.

Your "understanding" is probably based on the two recent Indian families that were prosecuted in Norwegian courts for their failure to treat their children properly. We don't want their children, you're just full of lies and groundless claims. The latest family physically hurt their son! What do you expect to happen? Their children are all in India now by the way. Why is that according to you?

Kiwi Gone Wild (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258531)

The EU does not write the laws for every European country, foolish Kiwi. The EU is a group of countries in Europe, not synonymous with Europe. This law is a national matter, written by Austrians [and other countries].

olta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42257977)

olta! diese steuer ist aber echt scheiße. ich werde jetzt meine Datei in den bergen verstauen. 2500m hoch ist dann wirklich "in den wolken" oder...? besteuerst du das auch? bist du deppert? bist du verrückt geworden? leck mir mein Arsch, du Steuerfahnder, du Herumtreiber, der in wein wohl geboren ist. wein hat schon genug Geld...olta...habe ich zu viel Glühwein getrunken...

oida (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258037)

halts maule.

so what would be next? (2)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#42258013)

Hard drives and SSD's? USB thumb drives? Cell phones? any piece of electronic gear?

Re:so what would be next? (3, Informative)

scsirob (246572) | about 2 years ago | (#42258083)

That is not next, that is today. At least in many European countries it is.

Re:so what would be next? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#42258207)

You're behind the times. The cloud storage, that's the "next" part. Those are all taxed already (depending on the country - and not just in Europe, Canada for example is not far behind).

Re:so what would be next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258261)

Those are already taxed here in EU... Not 100% sure about cell phones, but I remember reading about it and sighing deeply :)

Then again I don't care - I used to buy everything, got large collection of CD's I'm proud of... but nowadays I don't buy anything - I've already paid so many media taxes that I have right to download everything for free. Pick one media industry:, either you tax me to death or I pay for what I download. Won't get both.

Re:so what would be next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258627)

Aside from storage areas inside computers and other devices, they should start tax the air. After all, the data is "stored" there while it is transmitted between nodes in a WLAN.

Re:so what would be next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258933)

Aside from storage areas inside computers and other devices, they should start tax the air. After all, the data is "stored" there while it is transmitted between nodes in a WLAN.

Please do us all a favor and don't give lawmakers any more stupid ideas. We have enough dumbass laws on the books designed to make someone rich and everyone else poor.

Re:so what would be next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42259759)

whats next?

1. keeping your "data" records, so they can go back and exploit it.
2. media lists, your on the list you can edit, produce, or publish media, your off the list, you can't. Behave or else.
3. .. Carbon Tax ..

I'm confused by the logistics (1)

frinsore (153020) | about 2 years ago | (#42258023)

As an American I don't really understand how the blank media tax is calculated. Is the tax applied based upon the size of the media or is it a flat tax on media regardless of size that is writable?

If the tax is based upon media size does data duplication and redundancy factor in? If I make a mirrored drive could I get a tax rebate because I've cut the effective space of the drives in half? Or if someone comes up with a compression algorithm that increases the effective size of the drive am I liable for more tax because I can store more songs as mp3s then as wav files? Should the cloud host be taxed based upon the advertised storage or based upon the actual storage usage? I can see most cloud storage pass through compression or data deduplication that drastically reduces the on disk size of media but shifts some data to meta data instead. Does it matter if some of that storage isn't inside the country?

The way I see it is that the cloud company probably paid a tax on writable media. And they're in essence providing a mirroring service which effectively reduces the overall unique media storage size. And the amount of data that the cloud company is actually storing is going to be significantly smaller then what I'm being provided. And if the data is being stored outside the country then the tax is effectively being levied on the import/export of the data which could be an interesting legal battle with the current state of trade treaties.

However if the tax is a flat tax regardless of media size then I'd suggest the cloud company roll out a single exabyte drive that is shared between a customer and the customer's closest 7 billion friends (with a decent user permission model of course).

Re:I'm confused by the logistics (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258091)

I cannot make my mind, are you fucking retarded, a troll, or just a lawyer that love complex things for complex sake?

Re:I'm confused by the logistics (0)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#42258457)

I cannot make my mind, are you fucking retarded, a troll, or just a lawyer that love complex things for complex sake?

He's an American. Haven't you heard how awful our public schools are?

Re:I'm confused by the logistics (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#42258221)

It's simply based on media size (in bytes) and type (phone, HD/SDD, CD, tape, USB drive). Very simple.

Compensation for Artists? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258035)

How is the revenue being distributed? If the money raised from this tax gets used to compensate the artists whose work has been pirated, I would not have a problem with it. If the artists are not receiving even the pittance they normally receive (proportionate to the amount that ends up with their labels) then I really cannot see any way of justifying the existence of this tax.

To the Associations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258541)

The revenue goes to the national associations of artists in the select European countries that have this tax.

Re:To the Associations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42259101)

Right and they are supposed to distribute the fair share of this back to the artists...but in some (most?) cases, the artists themelves have to write in and demand it, for every instance...so it could end up costing the artist more, in terms of time, to get the cash than to just let the association keep it. Brilliant system, just f'ing brilliant.

I do know a case where a the association demanded payment from a band for a concert where they played songs written by one of the band members. They agreed to pay, and also sent back a letter demanding their fair share of the performance. Letters came and went, and in the end no more money changed hands (except for between both parties and the post office). But this is the thing, artists have to stand up for themselves, every single time. Brilliant, I tell you!.

I for one (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | about 2 years ago | (#42258057)

would be quite happy to pay even 99% tax rate on what I pay for google drive.
99% of 0 = 0 after all.

*facepalm*

Of course if I pay taxes on media to cover piracy, that gives me the right to pirate right ? Right ?

Re:I for one (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#42258225)

It's not a percentage. It's a fixed amount.

They have an expression for this (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about 2 years ago | (#42258063)

Rent-Seeking: "An attempt to obtain economic rent by manipulating the social or political environment in which economic activities occur, rather than by creating new wealth." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent-seeking)

Next stop (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#42258111)

Next stop; taxing the amount of pockets in your coat, because they all offer storage.

15€ Tax to anonymous artists to store my own (3, Insightful)

mailuefterl (140499) | about 2 years ago | (#42258155)

The ridiculous aspect of this tax is, that when I fill my hard disc with pictures I took myself with my own camera I would still hav to pay for example ca 15 € for a 1TB hard disc which can be bought for as little as 63€ (external USB 3.0)

Re:15€ Tax to anonymous artists to store my o (2)

jonr (1130) | about 2 years ago | (#42259661)

Actually, this was discussed in my country when those fees where extended to CD/DVD media and drives. Technically, you should be able to go the local copyright holders office, prove that you use those disks only for your personally created content, and claim refund.

Not much money, but probably would send a strong message if enough people did it.

Hmmm. Maybe they should fight the tax (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#42258157)

Seriously, if the groups are getting this greedy, then it is time to kill the tax.

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258201)

People should stop buying music for few years so we could shut down these mafias. They are financing governs! in the world to put imposts to pay them the
quality of life that their actions doesn't justify anymore. It is not the same to produce music today that it was 20+ years ago! Distribution of music is so easy
and so cheap today that it makes no sense that music is 10 times more expensive today! World is crazy and if there is a reason why there is crisis now
is that leaders politics are useless and tries to keep the world from spinning forward. We can't spend out tax money to give that to people who doesn't do
anything useful anymore ( talking about music etc. distribuidors ).

Of course. (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#42258211)

> It want's cloud storage included too.

Of course it does. Who wouldn't want free money?

So if I went for "unlimited storage" (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#42258229)

So if I went for "unlimited storage", would In be subject to infinite tax?

Re:So if I went for "unlimited storage" (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#42258497)

Yep! Just think, they've discovered a way to pay down the debts of every nation on earth!

Re:So if I went for "unlimited storage" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258951)

So if I went for "unlimited storage", would In be subject to infinite tax?

Was there a time in your life that you were not paying a tax of some kind?

Or for that matter, your parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents?

As far as I'm concerned, tax is infinite as long as some form of greed exists. Always has been, always will be.

Re:So if I went for "unlimited storage" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42259251)

Nonsense.

You can calculate the present value for all your future tax payments, assuming enough knowledge about the future is available.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Present_value

VPN and storage overseas. Raises a digit taxwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258431)

Nuf said.

Using their logic (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 years ago | (#42258469)

They should be able to apply tax to paper as well, in fact, just about any blank surface, like a wall, your desk, a road any thing that can contain text or pictures.They should seek to apply the tax retrospectively onto primitive humans for drawing on the rock surfaces of caves.

Cloud services (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258543)

Not quite sure it will help IT
Video

Re:Cloud services (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258577)

Mistake !
Video [youtube.com]

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#42258559)

If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet

Re:If you drive a car, I'll tax the street (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#42259361)

'Cause I'm the Taxman,

Ye-ah, I'm the Taxman,

And you're working

for no one but me...

- - -

You can't have everything. Where would you put it? - George Carlin

We even pay that "tax" for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258599)

harddrives, theyre crazy ;)

my trunk has room (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258635)

maybe we can put copyright people into trunks and run the vehicles over cliffs.

Software as Copyright Subject (1)

The_Other_Kelly (44440) | about 2 years ago | (#42258889)

Someone made the interesting point that:

1. in Austria, the same copyright law that applies to creative content, Art, applies to software.
2. But collected "tax" revenues are distributed only to "Artists", via an Artists' Rights representation group. ... SO ... should enough software people form a club to represent them,
they could, legally, petition for income from the collected revenue ...

The reaction of the artists to this, is predictably, "What those techies do is not creative ..."

Artists. Hypocrites. Mostly.

Tu Felix Austria. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42258997)

As an Austrian citizen I can tell you: With our corrupt government it will be implemented in a rush before the next election and some other populist topic (immigration crisis, the upcoming referendum on our Army, or Greece) will be thrown into the discussion like a smoke grenade to divert attention. Then after it is implemented the major services will block Austrian customers for using their services because the law is such a major hassle. Just like most Amazon vendors do not ship their blank memory cards and hard drives to Austria anymore.

It is a lose-lose for everyone.

Time for action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42259665)

Listen folks. On the cloud or in your home, a hard drive is always filled with a pattern of 1's and 0's, all you do is change that pattern whenever something is written to it. No government has any say on how you arrange that pattern on privately owned items. Next the government will tax you because you have walls painted white.

Make a stand, and don't let them get away with anything else.

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