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iPod tax

I’m a lover of music. I buy my albums, cherish them and put them neatly onto my shelves. I buy the “special” editions because I get more music (for, admittedly, more money, but I can take the hit). I make sure I rip them properly to my hard-disc, that it’s all tagged properly and that I can go through my complete collection easily. I listen to that music a lot. It’s why I bought an iPod back in August last year.

When you live in the Netherlands, you’re used to some crazy stuff. Drugs legislation is an easy one, but there’s a lot more. It amazes people every single day, those from abroad and those who’ve been here for as long as they live. “Terrorists” are a Dutchman’s worst fear, but in most cases the government takes the cake. I guess I’m okay with living here.

Sometimes, stuff happens. People get together, forge insanity, sharpen it with media attention and stab right through my heart and that of many others. It will not necessarily be new to you—I recall myself ranting about this to a select few some months back—but apparently some Dutch society of music rights protection (mind you, this is not the official Buma/Stemra) got a plan through to throw many euros of tax over MP3 players. This can be as pricey as € 25 over the price of my 20GB iPod (and even more on the new 30GB and 60GB versions!). The money goes to this crowd of bright minds.

It is on moments like this that I shake my head in despair. I paid a lot of money to get my music. Many people do the same and may want an iPod just as well. I guess you can fill in the lines. What’s the next prey? Hard-discs? Of a terabyte? Thank you, so-called “music rights protector”, and good bye.

13 comments

  1. Whom exactly is the iPod tax going towards? A crowd of people can’t just form and then charge people for extras when they buy MP3 players. They must be a part of the government or something. If so, then the money can’t just go towards that crowd only.

    Good thing my iPod doesn’t live in the Netherlands.

  2. The point seems to be that they have some deals with it all, and they got a legislation of sorts through. I don’t really get it either, which is annoying.

  3. These “music rights protectors” are working for the big labels and studios that are trying to protect their interests. That is why they are having so much clout. But they are not the least bit interested in the rights of the musicians and of us people who buy and listen to this music (and the same goes for films).

    For example, I cannot buy music on iTunes or Napster and then listen to it on my Linux computer. I could try to circumvent and strip the DRM locks that prevent me from accessing the music that I would legally own — but in the States that would be a crime! Remember DVD Jon... I would not mind paying something for this music, as I would do if I could use iTunes or Napster. But they make it impossible for me to —legally— listen to this music in the environment I prefer! As long as that is the case, they won’t make money off me.

    If you have not yet read Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig, or heard the audiobook version, do so now! We need to share our cultural heritage, not lock it down!

  4. By the way, you are still linking to my old site with a comment that I’m blogging from Greece. I’ve been in London six months now. Not that I’m blogging that much...

  5. Strange, I don’t recall either hearing or reading anything about this?

    But this kind of stupid taxes are already on cd-r’s right? I have to pay extra for backing up photographs because I could burn backup copies of my cd’s on it? Whatever. It’s insane. If you ask me they only say copies cut their wins because they can make more money that way.

    But then, what happens if you import one from say... Germany? The sending costs will still be a lot less than the 20 euros tax.

  6. Tsjonge jonge Rob wat maak je je druk over die belasting. Jij hoeft hem in ieder geval niet te betalen, omdat je je ipod al hebt.

    Ook even je foto’s bekeken van Rome, maar weinig cultuur gezien.....of weinig cultuur gefotografeerd. Je nieuwe camera doet het in ieder geval goed.

    Groeten je oudste neef

  7. Is already cancelled today, was only a PR-stunt...

  8. You are damned lucky not to live in America (Especially if you’re black, gay, and/or an atheist).

    I’d say the iPod tax is an island in the stream (trivial).

    (And why don’t you translate that dutch Wikipedia article into Engles?)

  9. P.S. http://us2.php.net/manual/en/function.stripslashes.php

    It’s a good function. Use it. :p

  10. Rob,
    Here in Le Canada we have the good fortune to pay a tax on all blank media. If I buy a cassette tape (you know what that is, right? LMAO) or a CD or DVD etc., there is a surcharge on it that goes to the music industry to compensate them for piracy.

    It doesn’t matter how you use those items, they are all subject to the surcharge. That is so farked up, man. But, when you’re a little guy, what can you do to change the minds of those in power when the corporate giants are all pulling the puppet strings?

    Frustrating, maddening...it’s a farking rip-off. It only creates “justification” for P2P sharing of files.

  11. Taxes are like drugs everyone should just say NO !!

  12. I save my music on CD\DVD and sometimes download it’s to my flash-player. I don’t like player with hdd, it’s more fragile.

  13. Very interesting. I am agonize with thought about iPod taxes. If I’ll visit Amsterdam with my two 60GB iPods, do I need pay some for it?

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