UK Entertainment Industry Proposes Tax On Broadband Access

| 24 Jan 2009 11:14

The entertainment industry in the UK has approached the government with a plan to compensate them for their loses through piracy by applying a levy to broadband access.

UK Minister for Communication, Lord Carter, who clearly has never heard of perverse incentives, is said to look favorably on the plan, although has stopped short of actually endorsing it due to its potential impact on his vision of universal broadband access by the year 2012.

Previous attempts to tackle piracy in the UK have had very little success, with the BPI, formerly known as the British Phonographers Industry, saying that its industry alone had lost £180 million to piracy in 2008. A recent report also showed that while internet music sales had become a multi-billion dollar industry, legitimate music sales accounted for only 5% of the total downloads last year.

But is taxing legitimate users really the answer? Many will resent the price increase in their broadband bills, and there is the risk that it will make piracy seem even more appealing to those who previously have sat on the fence about the issue, as EA saw with Spore. Surely, the goal of anti-piracy measures is to make piracy seem less appealing, not more?

Source: The Telegraph

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