Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

European Commission To Raise Camera Costs in Europe

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the maybe-they-should-start-making-cameras dept.

The Almighty Buck 300

An anonymous reader writes "According to a recent CNET article, digital camera costs could increase in Europe as result of trade inequalities. 'At the moment, all digital cameras are manufactured outside Europe. They're all imported. All of them. Currently, there's a European Commission-imposed 4.9 per cent import tariff on camcorders, but not on cameras, whatever their video-recording abilities. The EC's Nomenclature Committee has cottoned on to this and wants to slap a tax on cameras that can record at least 30 minutes of video in one go, with a resolution of 800x600 pixels or higher at 23 frames per second or higher. The Nomenclature Committee has recommended the proposal but has not, as yet, garnered the required majority vote.'" Update: 07/23 02:18 GMT by Z : Took out a bit of hyperbole.

cancel ×

300 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Phones? (5, Insightful)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950791)

So does this affect phones? Slapping arbitrary technical specs on something might later on bleed over into emerging technologies. Hell, I think my phone is almost capable of that... It's not, but it can't be long before your average phone is... So, what's the plans for that?

TLF

Re:Phones? (4, Interesting)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950813)

Same issue when boarding an airplane.
My video camera is subject to inspection, but my camera is not, even though it can record every bit as well as the "video" camera, which incidentally can record stills too.
-nB

Re:Phones? (3, Interesting)

parasonic (699907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951099)

And to blur the line a little more, how about importing 10000 units of a camera that can only do stills but has a 10MP sensor, a killer image processor, and plenty of extra buffers to do "more" with? Just get the manufacturer to agree to help you with a custom firmware before you place the order, import the suckers, and flash them. Hey, they weren't capable of video when they were imported, now were they?

Re:Phones? (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951309)

I was thinking the exact same thing. From the description of the tax they're trying to tax the hardware capabilites of the camera when much of it is actually determined by software. Expect downloadable flash files with legal disclaimers or even "secret" unlock codes for video recording and such if the tax is approved.

Re:Phones? (1)

brotherash (4278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951109)

My video camera is subject to inspection.
Anyone know why this is? I've actually never heard of this. What is the reason for inspecting video cameras (aside from the fact that they might look like bombs)?

Re:Phones? (1)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951293)

They think my iPod is a bomb half the time. If I have it in my carry-on when I fly I get pulled aside for the explosives residue test every single time. Take the iPod out and they let me pass without issue. Add to the fact that I look nothing like your stereotypical "terrorist"...

Re:Phones? (2)

arootbeer (808234) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951303)

It's probably because they've got all that extra space in them (where the cassette goes) that a digital camera just doesn't have. It doesn't take a large explosive to do a whole lot of damage on an airplane.

I feel really bad because I worry a little about publishing the second sentence of that answer...

Re:Phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951435)

You've got a video camera covered in blue LEDs and powered by D-cell batteries? Where can I get one?!

Re:Phones? (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951531)

Same issue when boarding an airplane.
My video camera is subject to inspection, but my camera is not, even though it can record every bit as well as the "video" camera, which incidentally can record stills too.


There is a distinct difference here. In the case of tariffs, the EU is attempting to encourage local manufacturing and reduce trade imbalances, whereas airline "security" is not about making flying safer, but about social engineering, making people more accepting of micro-management from a nanny state, and introducing the perception of safety even though everyone knows that it won't do a lick of good.

Re:Phones? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951601)

Same issue when boarding an airplane.
My video camera is subject to inspection, but my camera is not, even though it can record every bit as well as the "video" camera, which incidentally can record stills too.

If this is true, then why are you bringing the video camera with you?

For me, this isn't the case, but that's because my camcorders are HD. My camcorders and camera are have about 3MP sensors. All devices do very well with their primary marketed function. The stills from the camcorders aren't as good as that in the camera, and the video from the camera basically just sucks, despite being the same brand.

Articles (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19950849)

What's happening here in /. Why is every article Zonk post so boring, let alone newsworthy. I remember last time this guy posting an article about someone switching from Linux to Mac OS....ROFLMAO. Heh Zonk, we know that you're a Mac fanboy, so please stop littering /. with all your bullshit articles. Please don't turn /. into Dig.

Re:Phones? (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950953)

I thought the same thing. Guess we'll see a lot of phones being software-capped to recording only 29:59 at a time

Re:Phones? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951087)

So, what's the plans for that?

Another tax, what else?

...Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don't take it all.
'Cause I'm the taxman,
Yeah, I'm the taxman.

if you drive a car - I'll tax the street;
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...

Go the protectionism (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950795)

Cause if there are people in China who are willing to work for cheaper than people in your country then you best make sure business and consumers can't benefit from that.

Re:Go the protectionism (3, Insightful)

CanadaIsCold (1079483) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950845)

I'm confused, are we only against protecting local markets when it's in the software/IT industry? It's bad that Europe is trying to place a duty on camera's made outside of Europe. It's good when the government takes action to prevent outsourcing software development, and Tech Suport to India and Brazil? What side of this issue am I supposed to be on?

Re:Go the protectionism (1)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950871)

What side of this issue am I supposed to be on?

The one that directly benefits you. Duh!

Re:Go the protectionism (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950893)

Personally, I'm for outsourcing of software development too.. probably because I'm in Australia and that's one of the places that US companies outsource to :)

Re:Go the protectionism (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951071)

A rich man buys a ten dollar camera, while a man out of work does not vs. A rich man and a working man buying 15 dollar cameras, one each. I think I know which scenario I want to be in.

Re:Go the protectionism (5, Insightful)

1stworld (929011) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951259)

With protectionism, Europe still doesn't build cameras, the rich man pays $15 plus higher taxes for the unemployed working man who can't afford the camera. Without protectionism, Germany sells the precision instruments to produce the optics, Japan designs the semiconductors, Taiwan fabs the chips and the Chinese assemble them with equipment bought from the West. Everyone benefits, is employed and makes enough money to buy a $10 camera. That's reality. Anything else is fiction and ignores how the global economy works.

willing, huh? (2, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951135)

Try, "with no choice but" instead of "willing" in your statement and you're closer to the truth.

If a country had actual slave labour, would you argue against tariffs on products from that country too?

Things are cheap in China for a lot of reasons:
- no labour standards
- no environmental standards
- no intellectual property standards
- no rights generally
- poverty and desperation amongst the poor

Allowing unfettered access to domestic markets only rewards China for doing nothing to change those things.

willing, huh?-Globalization is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951369)

Agreed. Globalization as originally envisioned (and argued by supporters) is dead! Cheapness as a metric of success is flawed.

BTW ALL countries practice protectionism to various degrees. From taxes and fees to rules and regulations that need to be met. Either pretend it's all bad and should be eliminated, or realize that it serves a useful purpose, and quit with the dancing around.

Re:willing, huh? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951417)

It's their country, it's their responsibility to improve it. Us not supporting them in the global economy isn't exactly going to *help* is it?

Why should Europeans (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951483)

or Americans, for that matter, be forced to bring down our livelihood to help others?

Free trade with places like China amounts to absolutely nothing else but the total undermining of our Western democracies and our respect for human rights. Trade with China says one and only one thing: Western Democracies and Values are not profitable, and the way to be competitive is to be a hell hole like China.

As an American, I say we quarantine the sweatshop block - all nations that are undemocratic and which routinely allow sweatshops, pollution, and worker abuse - and end all trade with them now. Destroy all trade barriers with Western nations NOW. Establish a Western trade block where we renew and strengthen our pledge to cut pollution, enforce human rights, and preserve our Western democracies from being overwhelmed by a handful of wealthy corporate interests.

If necessary, America can build the cameras and ship 'em to Europe, Europe can make the steel and ship it to us.

Yes, this will cost more money for the consumer, but the end result is we will not continue to thoroughly discredit our way of life and reduce the Western world to the horrible nations that we currently are exporting jobs and debt to.

BTW there is nothing in what I said that says Chinese people are bad - those who want to come to the West and participate in Western values, come on over. But by all means leave the "baby girls are a burden - kill them" attitude behind. Is it racist to want to leave the baby killing behind? Fine. It's racist. Bite me. I don't ever, as long as I live, apologize for not ever wanting to buy a single thing from a country whose citizens murder their daughters en masse.

Re:Why should Europeans (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951545)

And the result will be that China will be unable to bring wealth into their country through trade and the living conditions of the people there will go down even more. Good plan.

Re:Go the protectionism (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951161)

What exactly is wrong with promoting a regional economy instead of depending on a complex web of corrupt globalist ties? I'd say an investment in your own people and your own culture rather than perpetuating a globalist materialist culture is well worth the "cost".

Go the substandard goods. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951465)

"What exactly is wrong with promoting a regional economy instead of depending on a complex web of corrupt globalist ties?"

Actually I just remembered one downside of globalization. Remember the pet food scare? How about the tainted human food? Those drugs? Medical data for sale? Would the US really have had these kind of problems under our umbrella?

Makign decisions on the margin (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951453)

"Cause if there are people in China who are willing to work for cheaper than people in your country then you best make sure business and consumers can't benefit from that."

Yes, because hollowing out your locally-controlled manufacturing infrastructure and outsourcing their tasks to a foreign country not necessarily aligned with your ethics or interests, where work is carried out in social and environmental conditions your own nation's citizens consider unethical, is always beneficial to all concerned. And there'll always and forever be an extremely cheap oil-fuelled transport grid on a global scale, and never any possible spike in insurgency, piracy or other kinds of tensions that might make shipping more costly. Importing goods from distant places that could be manufactured locally incurs no energy efficiency costs, and the countries from which we import them will always wish to trade with us and never impose any kind of embargo for military or political reasons. We can fully trust every external organisation with which we deal, corporate or national, even if they are in outright competition with us, the only criterion being that they supply us right now with the absolute rock bottom prices available on the short-term market. Really, it's just common sense - when it all comes down to it, the only evaluation factor we ever need, as thinking humans, for trustworthiness, environmental sustainability or long-term future planning is one single figure: the end-user cash sale price.

Besides, employees are always just a cost factor, after all. It's not like they ever invest anything back in their local economy through purchases. Unlike hard-working executives, for whom every cent in income is a chance to sponsor yet another risky, farsighted, and rational venture that ennobles the human condition.

Re:Go the protectionism (1)

TheGreatHegemon (956058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951557)

Come again? China has artificially kept the value of their currency down, amongst several other blatant abuses of the world market. They aren't playing fair, either, so why should Europe?

Re:Go the protectionism (2, Interesting)

drsquare (530038) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951617)

We'll end protectionism when China has the same labour laws and environmental standards as the West. Why should Chinese companies get to produce things for lower prices because they just dump all their chemicals in the local river that the peasants have to drink out of?

There should be a law... (-1, Offtopic)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950811)

There should be a law that punished with death penalty any attempts to raise taxes.

Re:There should be a law... (0, Flamebait)

Aokubidaikon (942336) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950883)

It's because of people like you that the US has no universal health care and most students spend half their lives paying of their loans.

Re:There should be a law... (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950917)

It's because of people like you that the US has no universal health care and most students spend half their lives paying of their loans.
Taxation in general is an inefficient allocation of resources with significant deadweight losses.

Re:There should be a law... (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951113)

So that's why we kept the free market during WWII.

Re:There should be a law... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951243)

I wouldn't say that government is the solution for everything, but especially in the case of students trying to enter the work force, paying for school can be a nightmare. The government could at the very least be providing interest free loans for students if not actually INVESTING in them in the form of free rides through school. The students will be entering into the workforce and paying taxes soon enough.

Everybody wins - except the loan sharks.

Most of the arguments against government involvement in our day to day lives are an admixture of reactionary opinions of corrupt and ineffective government mixed in with corporatist "free market" propaganda.

Re:There should be a law... (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951323)

It's because of people like you that the US has no universal health care and most students spend half their lives paying of their loans.
Taxation in general is an inefficient allocation of resources with significant deadweight losses.
It's funny. You wrote that as though it's a meaningful response.

Regardless, it seems you are stuck on the assertion that taxes are a generally inefficient way to allocate resources.

Let's assume that's true. Two questions arise:
- What about the situations where it *isn't* inefficient?
- Is the inefficiency in the more common cases worse than the alternative?

Interestingly enough, on the topic you replied to, public healthcare in the US is actually *more* efficient than private healthcare. And, even if it weren't, even inefficient healthcare is *infinitely* more desirable than no healthcare at all.

Re:There should be a law... (1)

sfjoe (470510) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951327)

Taxation in general is an inefficient allocation of resources with significant deadweight losses.

That's a load of Republican propaganda (i.e. bullshit). Taxes build the infrastructure (roads, schools, firehouses) that allow the markets to exist.

Re:There should be a law... (1)

Guuge (719028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951263)

Corollary: There should be a law that punished with death penalty any attempts to raise prices.

tax = bad (2)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950815)

The less tax the better, because at it's core government is horribly inefficent, so the less money going to them the better. Sure, they are required to pay for things we couldn't be trusted to pay for ourselfs like police and the military, but taxation to protect local manufacturers who can't compete is crappy economics.

Re:tax = bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19950979)

Haha. You know that this article is about Europe right?

And you know, I prefer anarchy, too, because then it's perfectly legal for me to find you and kill you for posting something uneducated and unsupported.

You know that the the government pays for things like roads and schools too. and in some countries (because I'm assuming that you're an American) healthcare, and other fun things. Public Transportation.

Re:tax = bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951183)

and sanitation! . . . and its safe to walk the streets at night...and aquaducts!

Re:tax = bad (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951231)

"Sure, they are required to pay for things we couldn't be trusted to pay for ourselfs like police and the military"

learn to read fuckwit. as i stated, taxes ARE REQUIRED for some things, but protecting businessmen from their failing companys is not one of them.

"(because I'm assuming that you're an American)"

You try call me out on posting unsupported views, but make one HELL of an assumption on your own, which is incorrect as a matter of fact. You reckon you could hunt me down and kill me, but your too spineless to post has yourself? fucking pussy.

Re:tax = bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951283)

Sit down and shut the fuck up.

Re:tax = bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951383)

Back away from the computer and take a time out. You're taking this whole "Internet experience" far too seriously.

Bad grammar, bad punctuation, and calling someone a "fuckwit" indicates you're losing your grip and/or sense of proportion.

Re:tax = bad (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951449)

i'm taking it too seriously, but your picking my grammar and punctuation? right.

Re:tax = bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951115)

The less tax the better, because at it's core government is horribly inefficent, so the less money going to them the better.
What government is inefficient? Well, we are going to have to appoint a commission with a full staff to investigate this phenomena!

Re:tax = bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951215)

at it's core government is horribly inefficent

I hear this said all the time, but never with any kind of evidence or justification. Sure, there are plenty of instances where governments haven't performed as well as private enterprise, but it's also the case that there are plenty of instances where the opposite is true. Privatisation has been a disaster in many cases. So instead of being a capitalism fanboy, how about you justify this claim?

taxation to protect local manufacturers who can't compete is crappy economics.

No, you're confusing amoral selfishness with crappy economics. Presuming the goal is to make the country you represent wealthier, then it's actually good economics.

Re:tax = bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951295)

Improve the government then. If your government is not living up to standards you hoped them to, then re-design it. Don't shun the idea of governmental involvement and the possibility of effective allocation of taxes just because the management is bad.

Government is actually more efficient because they sit at the top, don't pay taxes to themselves, and don't have to worry about the rules of the marketplace.

The real reason why government is so ineffective is largely due to mass democracy and hyper pluralism. Too many people with different interests have their hand in the jar. Promote regional governance and economies and demand a single unifying culture within those boundaries.

I tend to say that some Europeans have better governments and are more accepting of their influence because they feel more like they are part of their land tied to the blood of their people. Americans don't have that and are so incredibly individualistic that they will not even trust their neighbors.

your logic = bad (3, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951365)

Let's look at what you said more closely:

Claim: "The less tax the better"
Evidence: "because at it's core government is horribly inefficent"
Conclusion: "so the less money going to them the better."

Even if, "at its core", government is horribly inefficient, that does not mean it's not useful, or even necessary. Of course, sometimes government is exceptionally *efficient*. Your evidence does not support your conclusion, which is just a rewording of your claim.

Then you continue: "Sure, they are required to pay for things we couldn't be trusted to pay for ourselfs like police and the military,"

This completely contradicts your conclusion above. If "the less money, the better", then you can't get better than zero. However, zero and the above are contradictory.

Finally: "but taxation to protect local manufacturers who can't compete is crappy economics."

And funneling your wealth out of the country is *good* economics? Extreme anti-protectionism protects only two classes: the multinational corporations and the extremely wealthy. If you are not in either of those two classes, you are arguing against your own best interests. Congratulations.

Re:your logic = bad (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951585)

as usual, people like you are incapable of reading anymore of the comment then support your own agenda.

1. i never contradict myself at all. i made the point that there are somethings where taxation is requried, because todate it's the best method we have of dispersing the funds to pay for them, and i gave the example of police and military, because i'm hoping your clever enough to imagine what would happen if we stopped defending the country and allowed private armies to take on the roll and bid for our money "to keep us safe".

2.Show me where i advocate extreme anti protectionism or "funneling" wealth out of the EU? there's no significant camera production done in the EU anyway, and if there isn't one by now there probably never will be a viable industry without the tax, so why not let it die a natural death. the fact the protectionism is BAD economics is pretty basic to understand.

3. since you seem to not understand why government is horribly inefficent, i will clarify it for you. Take a government department with a budget of 1 million for the year. If said department does not spend that budget, the following year when budgets are reviewed they will have it cut to their previous years spending (if they can't make a VERY good case for why they need more). Hence all deparments always try to spend 110% of their budget to allow them to make the case for an increase for next year. This culture is present to an extent in private companys as well, HOWEVER, a company can't just demand money from me in the form of TAX, they have to earn it somehow. They also have a focus on the bottom line which limits all over spending (or the company goes down). governments have no such restrictions. there is nothing to prevent them bankrupting a country (has happened a lot in the past) in typical tax and spend style (no i'm not suggesting the EU is going to bankrupt itself over cameras, dolts).

Re:tax = bad (1)

dircha (893383) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951629)

"The less tax the better, because at it's core government is horribly inefficent"

Imposing import tariffs in order to penalize countries that oppress their laborers, that deny them basic human rights, that deny them democratic participation and representation in their government, in my opinion are exactly the sort of cases when countries should impose tariffs.

Do you think those laborers want to be there? It's not their fault they were born there. And where else are they going to go, even if they could afford to leave, even if their countries of birth would let them leave? Not to the E.U. Not to the U.S. We won't let them in. And you and I no more deserve the countries of our birth than they do theirs. The least we can do as decent human beings is to at least try to leverage our positions of power to help them along on their path to prosperity.

Now, I know these countries are imposing tariffs just to protect local economies not out of any genuine empathy, and I know that they will not negotiate treaties or pursue policies specifically to use those tariffs as leverage to improve the freedom and quality of life of foreign laborers, but that speaks against the practice, not against the principle. And in spite of their motivations, there is still great potential for good to come of it.

And I'll tell you what, I am libertarian leaning, and to the best of my ability I have been a strong supporter of Ron Paul; he's my candidate. That's my general philosophy toward government, But at the same time I believe there are some fundamental inequalities in this world, the chief of which is our country of birth, and in spite of my political persuasions, I will continue to advocate for basic human decency in government and business dealings. Screw the Randroid assholes.

Well that's clearly a winning plan (5, Insightful)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950823)

I foresee special "EU edition" cameras with the video recording function switched off in firmware so it won't qualify for the tariff. Of course manufacturers will "forget" certain cheat codes in the firmware that will permanently enable said functionality. These codes will of course be mysteriously "leaked" to the internet.

Re:Well that's clearly a winning plan (1)

Kyrubas (991784) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951031)

Or perhaps the firmware will make that feature slightly below the taxation specs so that the average Joe can still use it and go searching for a way to improve their purchase since they know the feature is there.

Re:Well that's clearly a winning plan (1)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951179)

That, or it becomes common knowledge that many cameras sold in Europe without video recording can have it switched on after purchase. Maybe camera shops will do that for you, as a service, along with the firmware upgrade they'll give you when you first purchase the item. Hell, forget about secret codes -- just "forget" to disable video recording in the first firmware upgrade they'll get when they first download images off the camera. (Assuming cameras still do the USB storage device thing. It'd be cruel to force grandma to fiddle with a microSD card after all.)

I mean, most people are perfectly happy with a bleeding pustule in their left buttock as long as they can sort of sit on the right one without _too_ much discomfort. Unless it's well known, they're not going to go seek out extra functionality on a rumour.

Re:Well that's clearly a winning plan (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951637)

I think I've seen stuff like that done. Going from memory, the "E" variant of a camcorder often could not do something common, like record video from the computer, I think because digital video recording decks were taxed higher or something like that, and camcorders would be playback only decks. I'm trying to remember the particulars so I can look it up, but on some forums like dvinfo.com, I've seen complaints of stuff like that happening.

just another way the EU is screwing their citizens (2)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950829)

Yay. Another tax. If a product is invented, you can be rest assured that the people whos' salaries are paid for by taxes will apply a tax to it!! Let's see, we'll tax your commerce, your income, your morality, your charity... is there anything left???

Re:just another way the EU is screwing their citiz (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951143)

The street, your seat, the heat, your feet. Oh, and the pennies on your eyes, if you should die.

So why camcorders... (2)

woodchip (611770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950833)

So why camcorders... and not all the other millions of goods that come from china/elsewhere in general.

follow the money (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950897)

Someone is losing money somewhere and goes crying to the govt because of poor business decisions.

Re:follow the money (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951473)

Well, I'm actually surprised it's camcorders instead of regular cameras.

If you'll remember, there were quite a few European camera manufacturers before they were completely decimated by competition from the East, mainly due to cost-cutting measures that could be taken in China and Japan, but not in Europe.

As a result, many of these companies, Zeiss and Leica among them, were decimated. Ask any seasoned photographer who made the better products, and you'll likely hear testaments to the quality of Leica and Zeiss products produced over half a century ago. Even simple 35 or 50mm lenses made by Zeiss decades ago sell for thousands of dollars on eBay today.

As long as the import tax is equal to the comparative difference in the standard of living between the two countries, competition will be preserved. Make the tax too low, and domestic businesses go belly-up -- make the tax too high, and the domestic businesses become complacent as a result of having no legitimate competition.

The world's going to end over a 4.9% tax? (4, Funny)

joe_cot (1011355) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950835)

To put this in perspective for anyone who's not doing the math, this means the cost of a $500 camera has now increased by *gasp* 25 dollars. You pay far more tax than that when you buy a new car.

Re:The world's going to end over a 4.9% tax? (1)

woodchip (611770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950901)

That $25 could have been spent on a decent memory card.
Or 1/2 a tank of gas.
or season 3 of Futurama on DVD.

$25 may not sound much. But it still less money than I would have had otherwise.

Re:The world's going to end over a 4.9% tax? (2, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950943)

so what, $25 is $25. Why should anyone pay this to keep someone else in business?

Re:The world's going to end over a 4.9% tax? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951025)

The summary said "digital camera costs could go crazy in Europe".

4.9 percent is not crazy, it is a small bump in price. Even if it is for a bullshit reason.

Re:The world's going to end over a 4.9% tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951049)

It also said that all cameras are imported, so who are these someoneelses who are being kept in business by this?

Re:The world's going to end over a 4.9% tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951583)

The OP did not say the tariff was OK, only that people needed a little perspective.

Re:The world's going to end over a 4.9% tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19950975)

Let's see... You buy a $500 camera. You pay 5% VAT (basically sales tax), which is $25. On top of that you pay this new digital camera tax of another $25. Next the EU decides to levy an "ipod tax" like Canada and their definition of mp3 players includes digital cameras since they can be used to store files like a hard drive. That's another $25. Then they really go nuts and decide that since cameras can be used for copyright infringement by digitally duplicating existing copyrighted works that they'll have to add another 5% tax. Pretty soon you're paying $100 in taxes on a $500 camera. Where does it end?

Re:The world's going to end over a 4.9% tax? (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951021)

I guess you forgot the Sarcasm tags, because in most of Europe, you pay significantly more than just an extra 5% on a car.

In Spain, for example, you get a 13% tax to get plates. If your car is a gas guzzler, you pay more than that. Add VAT, and 30% of a car's price is just tax. There are few items in which you'd pay more tax, like cigarettes and blank CDs.

CDs in Spain pay something else than Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951357)

The "canon" is not a tax. Tax are handled by the state, to pay roads, health care and other things. This one, which is based in size of CD or DVD but normally ends meaning around double price (example 700MB CD has a surcharge of 24 cents, while media price is 19-70 with VAT already included, varies with brand, total quantity in pack or case provided, so it means ~33-125% overprice), is handled by a private organization, SGAE, which for now seems to run without any check like you could ask for official agencies. The "reason" they provide is this compensates for the "private copy" right. Funny you have to pay for rights, and no matter what use you do.

The USA equivalent of SGAE is ASCAP, but the methods are more like MAFIAA ones, asking bars to pay money for music (and then losing in courts after proving the music is CC licensed, or even just not from SGAE members). So please, stop saying it is a tax, it is not, and it is hurting local shops, people that use optical media as backup or transfer media, and making some "musicians" some extra money.

Re:The world's going to end over a 4.9% tax? (1)

woodchip (611770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951097)

It not keeping *ANYONE* in business, except the government. The summary says there are no cameras made in the EU, so the tax is applied to ALL cameras. If you are in the EU you have no choice to pay the tariff if you want a camera. AT BEST, this only encourages a non-currently-existent European manufacture to make cameras in the EU since they will end up with a 4.9% cost advantage. Which of course that cost advantage disappears fast when you factor in Europe's high cost of labor and other taxes.

Re:The world's going to end over a 4.9% tax? (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951425)

AT BEST, this only encourages a non-currently-existent European manufacture to make cameras in the EU since they will end up with a 4.9% cost advantage. Which of course that cost advantage disappears fast when you factor in Europe's high cost of labor and other taxes.

Or it'll encourage non-European camera manufacturers to open up fabs in Europe, similar to how Honda, Toyota, BMW, and Mercedes opened up car manufacturing plants in the US to avoid import taxes on popular models (most Accords are made in the US, for example). This actually makes Honda and Toyota cars more "American" than the big 2.5, who outsource most of their manufacturing to Canada and Mexico (yay NAFTA!).

With enough automation, the cost of labor in differing markets is negligible. The only remaining quesiton is whether the cost of land and more stringent pollution control in developed countries is cheaper than the import tariff. If so, the companies will open up new plants. If not, they'll pass the tariff prices on to the consumer.

How many cameras can do that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19950861)

with a resolution of 800x600 pixels or higher at

How many cameras can record at a resolution higher than 640x480? I wasn't aware that many non-camcorder cameras were able to do that.

Go crazy? (1)

Alexei (548402) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950873)

5% is signficant, but it's not going crazy. Also, the vast majority of digital cameras at the moment wouldn't fit in with this definition anyway--800x600 at 23 fps?

Re:Go crazy? (1)

woodchip (611770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950935)

I recently bought a camera for around $200 that is able to do that. So if you spending more than $200 you are probably going have that feature.

Tax overhaul time? (3, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950889)

It seems to me that with the constant growth & change of the high-tech marketplace the stuffed shirts responsible for levying taxes are going to have to significantly overhaul how taxes are levied in the not-too-distant future. The way this tax appears to be defined it could apply to devices that are not primarily cameras. Mobile phones are close to fitting into this definition. You can also buy binoculars capable of recording to digital media. A similar problem thats already rearing its ugly head is the recent decision by Canada to levy an "ipod tax" on mp3 players. They're already collecting taxes on the sale of music, so this in effect is taxing the end user twice. I'd be willing to bet that somebody in Canada will sue over that soon. Imagine if Canada implemented this digital camera tax and then in a few years ipods started showing up with built-in cameras... You'll end up with devices that are heavily taxed under a slew of "digital rights" taxes.

Re:Tax overhaul time? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951271)

at least 30 minutes of video in one go, with a resolution of 800x600 pixels or higher at 23 frames per second or higher.
I thought most consumer grade digital cameras did at best VGA (640×480) quality video.

Do digital SLRs even shoot video?

eBay (2, Interesting)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 7 years ago | (#19950925)

How would eBay and other online stores fit into this little plan? I know that most online purchases here in the US aren't taxed, but how about the good old EU?

Why have a tariff if... (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951035)

..there is no domestic European camera industry to protect? As they say in the article, all the cameras are manufactured outside Europe. The purpose of tariff barriers is to protect domestic industry (or so I thought).

Re:Why have a tariff if... (1)

Petra_von_Kant (825352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951203)

There is a venerable company by the name of Leica, Ernst Leitz. Oskar Barnack from there invented 35mm still photography back in the early 1900s, with the first small hand held 35mm camera available to the general public in the late 20s early 30s (I inherited one, the Type D).


Whilst I own a couple of modern (M6 & R6) Leicas which a all German made, I'm not sure where their digitals come from though, although knowing Leica, they may well produce some at home (Germany) and some offshore.



"You've got a chart filling a whole wall with interlocking pathways
and reactions to shock and the researcher says "If I can just control
this one molecule/enzyme/compound I'll stop the whole negative
physiologic cascade of post haemorrhagic shock." Yeah, right."

Re:Why have a tariff if... (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951219)

I would guess that this is intended to provide the incentive for someone to start producing such cameras within the EU. A tax intended to slant the playing field in such a manner that any potential EU camera producer has an immediate advantage when selling within the EU. That is not such a terrible thing I guess, however If I were in charge of a camera producing country outside of the EU, the first thing I would do the moment an EU company started producing cameras is to apply the same tariffs in the other direction, of course by that point the EU would have a camera producer so I guess that would mean the tax was a success.

What I would like to know is what actually constitutes building such a product, after all it is made up of many many parts, do you just need a plant that puts together bits from all over the world, or do you actually need to produce, some/all of those parts within the EU too?

There used to be a domestic industry. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951285)

EU policy is to use tarrifs to induce industries to locate facilities within the Single European Market. That's what the EU is all about. They're trying not to make the mistake the US did, of losing manufacturing to low-wage countries.

Re:Why have a tariff if... (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951427)

Leica produces cameras in Europe. Don't know if Hasselblad still has a factory in Europe, though (if they do, that'd be another one). And Phase One is a Danish company, though again I don't know how much manufacturing they do in Europe. These are all niche products in any case.

The big European manufacturers, though, are Nokia and Sony-Ericson. Cameras on phones are the by far largest segment of photography equipment today, no matter what actual photo hobbyists think of them. Go to a tourist spot and cameraphones will be more common than any other type combined.

In any case, with the specs listed this just seems like a way to avoid having video equipment manufacturers slap a "photo mode" onto their stuff and avoid the tariff; no device primarily meant for photography has that kind of video abilities as far as I know. Why there is a tariff in the first place is a separate, good, question of course, but that segues into the wider issue of USA, EU and Japan trade barriers in general.

Re:Why have a tariff if... (1)

jon287 (977520) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951519)

The purpose off most import taxes these days is simply to raise money. Its often possible for government (and even quasi-government) agencies to do these kinds of things with little or no oversight and certainly no voting by the people. Its just a good way to get a bit more taxation without representation past the unsuspecting sheeple.

Hmmmm... (1)

Shrubbman (3807) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951055)

at least 30 minutes of video in one go, with a resolution of 800x600 pixels or higher at 23 frames per second or higherReally h/blockquote>

How many digital cameras will this effect if this is the baseline requirements to get hit by the tax? I know digital cameras have been getting better with their video recording support but most cameras I've looked at top out at 640x480. Of course, I'm in Canada where that matches up with NTSC resolution fairly well, whereas I suppose across the pond the higher resolution might be more common as being closer to PAL video... Still at the very least this probably wont affect the lower end of the market much at all because of these minimums and if you're going for mid to high end kit you're already committed to spending a small fortune anyway, if you can afford it now then you can probably afford another few % tacked on anyway.

Taxing "creative devices" stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951061)

This would be really stupid. Slapping extra tax on devices that can create creative content is plain fakin stupid.

Re:Taxing "creative devices" stupid (1)

cioxx (456323) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951245)

Slapping extra tax on devices that can create creative content is plain fakin stupid.

Any device in the hands of a creative person can be classified as a "creative device" ...even timber

Re:Taxing "creative devices" stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951447)

Yeah, you are right... creative lumberjack...

Simple solution (2, Insightful)

xs650 (741277) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951069)

It will take the manufacturers all of a blink of an eye to create Euro only models by changing the firmware to limit video capabilities.

Then buyers can change the firmware after they get the cameras.

Examples of Idiocy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951123)

Examples of Idiocy: How /. has become.

Articles like this [slashdot.org] and this [slashdot.org] are the reason slashdot is no longer taken seriously.
Please read the rest of the article here. [encycloped...matica.com]

An articles devoted to Zonk. [encycloped...matica.com]

So limit your cameras to 22 fps (2, Funny)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951221)

Problem solved. God, politicians are some dumb fuckers. That, or businesses are paying them off to write really dumb laws...hmm... :(

oh those poor! (1)

micktaggart (1047954) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951267)

It find it funny how all these etatists talk about the growing "gap" between rich and poor, while at the same time preventing low-cost goods from entering a country or the European Union. The logical consequence of this etatist argument is that trade barriers should be erected everwhere, between countries, states, provinces, counties, cities, towns, burroughs, and last but not least people. The gap between rich and poor might be gone then, but so will civilization.

I Hardly Consider This... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951319)

I hardly consider an additonal 4.9% tax, passed along to the consumer as "Yet another wonderful move by your socialist overlords" to be "Going Crazy." It's more of a reason to go out and vote differently next election cycle. After all, you've brought this down on yourselves.

But Leica makes a digicam in Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951321)

Leica claims to make the M8 digital rangefinder [leica-camera.us] in Germany, so not ALL digicams are imported to the EU.

About that Update... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951331)

Update: 07/23 02:18 GMT by Z : Took out a bit of hyperbole.

Not that I can tell.

Re:About that Update... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951385)

We can barely see it but I think he took {(x,1/x): 4.9<x<5}.

About that Uprising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951555)

Hyperbole is to slashdot what Viagra is to an old man.

Wimps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19951361)

*NM*

Pay up if firmware crippling is counted. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951363)

To posts that go this way:

It will take the manufacturers all of a blink of an eye to create Euro only models by changing the firmware to limit video capabilities.

Then buyers can change the firmware after they get the cameras.


If that tax accounts for hardware capability down to anything that can record video that is capable of/over 800x600/23fps, in any way (including firmware modification?), pay up.

Small exception (1)

imarsman (305818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951429)

Leica makes the M8, a digital rangefinder. It's manufactured in Germany and Portugal. Admittedly, its sales are a drop in the digital camera sales bucket.

Simple workaround: (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951455)

Just build cameras that record in 720x576. Or 799x599.

the real question (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#19951541)

The question is not why still cameras are now considered to be the same as video cameras, the real question is why they are taxing video cameras to begin with!

And the best solution to this "horrible" inconsistency is to abolish the tax on video cameras, not to arbitrarily extend it to other devices.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?