Called the "You Are All Pirates" tax, the instigator seems to be the German music rights collection society GEMA.
Most countries include a tax on blank media for funds to pay content companies for estimated losses due to piracy. This process in the US started back in 1992, the days of cassette and VHS tapes. But Techdirt just reported that the German agency responsible for taxing storage media just announced a huge increase in taxes on solid state media. Example: tax on a memory card larger than 4GB went from 8 eurocents to 1.95 euros (about 10 cents to about $2.42).
The percentage increase on memory cards is higher than that on USB sticks (10 cents to about $1.93), but the taxing agency, ZPU, gave no explanation of the difference. While memory cards are used in some mobile phones to store music, they're most often used in cameras.
Ahoy fellow pirates
Does it mean that non-commercial copying now becomes legal? If there is a private levy, how can file sharing be illegal?Anonymous Coward on techdirt.com
Just wait until they figure out what dropbox is.mxfh on news.ycombinator.com
and still they wonder why the #pirateparty in germany grows and grows.?Ralph H. on plus.google.com
If I lived in a country where the "pirate" levy was in place I would feel justified in copyright infringement because I would feel I have already paid for it.dalore on news.ycombinator.com
What are they thinking?
I suspect their reasoning for including memory cards was that video cameras relying on them can be used for recording movies in theaters.Anonymous Coward on techdirt.com
Negotiations for USB-Sticks failed, so the ZPÜ made a unilateral move and simply set the new levy to said price.jsilence on news.ycombinator.com
They should also include the fact that in Germany you are not allowed to copy material if you have to bypass a copy protection which nearly all commercial CDs/DVDs/Bluray Discs include. So you pay for something you are not allowed to do.Kevin Kruger on plus.google.com
being german this still drives me nuts. It's not only their refusal to explain why exactly they feel the need to increase these charges, it's their complete ignorance as to the actual use of these storage mediums.linhat on news.ycombinator.com
But you ARE a pirate
it's hard to find any computer user who hasn't pirated something, so yes, everyones a pirate.Anonymous Coward on techdirt.com
Germans have a right to copy stuff for their close friends. that's not piracy but a lawful right.aw3c2 on news.ycombinator.com
If you work for a content company, please tell us how much money you've received from the pool of tax money on blank media.
Now read this: