Feeds

Europe to axe digital kit copyright taxes

Cheaper MP3 players, phones, set-top boxes for all?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Digital music devices are set to become cheaper in Europe if the European Commission has its way. It wants to abolish levies member states' governments add to prices to compensate artists and musicians for copyright infringement.

According to an EC report, a copy of which made its way to the Financial Times, the EC wants levies dropped from devices that incorporate copy-protection technologies and those that could be used to infringe copyright but generally aren't.

Its plan is essentially a rationalisation of the rules, many of them introduced in the pre-digital era, to bring them up to date. The EC also wants the rules to be consistent across member states. Currently, not all countries apply levies to devices and media - the UK doesn't, for example, though France and Germany do.

Gadgets like MP3 players should become cheaper because they support anti-piracy technology. The downside is that there's a pressure here on vendors to support only media formats that incorporate DRM, but there's no indication yet the EC's plan is to use levies to drive DRM-only product. Indeed, the report says organisations wanting to impose a levy on a product category should be obliged to show first that the device will be used illicitly.

The FT said EC sources suggest formal recommendations derived from the report could be issued late this year or early 2007. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.