Friday, 30 January 2009

Payments for Failure

by Charles Pooter

The UK's Commuications Minister, Lord Carter of Barnes, has proposed that there should be a £20 per year broadband tax. He suggests that the revenue from this tax should pay for the upkeep of a quango who will act as enforcers for the music and film industries. The quango will act as a clearing house for infomation, coerced from UK internet service providers, about "illegal" downloaders.

The proposal is the latest attempt by the corporate state to prop up the failed business models of the traditional content monopolists. If the Governement takes up the proposal, as they almost certainly will, it will be a heavy barrage in what amounts to a war against the internet using public.

We should not fall for any rhetoric regarding creators' rights or so-called "intellectual property". This is about maintaining the ill-gotten profits of huge media corporations at the expense of our freedom and privacy.


Anonymous said...

If we are going to have a broadband tax, this would be a better way of doing it.

Anonymous said...

I think the £20 this new piece of thieving will purportedly cost us, can be likened to the £2.3Bn the drug games were going to rack up, government knowing full well at the time that the real cost would more likely be around £20Bn. Once the parasites get stuck into this one it can be expanded exponentially and a glorious new chapter in the story of control freakery will unfold.
One of the saddest things about this fatuous nonsense is that file-sharing had (or has) the potential to greatly increase interest in music, and so increase record company sales. What of course is abhorrent to them is the fact that it also required them to start to respond to market pressures to reduce prices after decades of stuffing ill-gotten gains, which derived from the Great Copyright Scam, up their noses.
We simply do not need more taxes, in numerical terms, as well as in cost. We desperately need actual numbers of taxes to cut every year, and the tax regime drastically simplified, as well as the burden slashed. Could we count on the Cameroons for salvation? Let pigs take to the air and fly off into the sunset. Cameron's idea of emulating Bliar at every turn would have landed us in exactly the same disaster area we're in now.
The difficulty which companies have in attempting to control goods which they have sold to the public, and hence have become property owned by the purchasers, underlines how misconceived such an enterprise is. Governments should never have any involvement whatsoever in these disputes.