Feeds

Dutch reject USB flash drive tax

Heated debate

Application security programs and practises

Dutch justice minister Hirsch Ballin has rejected calls for a copyright tax on USB Flash drives.

The tax was proposed by Dutch industry group SONT, which two years ago also wanted to levy a tax for iPods and other MP3 players to compensate music artists for revenue lost to private copying. That proposal was also shelved by Hirsch Ballin after a strong lobby by several trade associations.

The Netherlands's largest consumer organisation Consumentenbond called the proposal for a levy of USB sticks "bizarre" as most USB keys are used to store images and documents. Originally, SONT wanted a €0.05 levy per USB key, but it also mooted a levy based on actual storage capacity. Electronics manufacturers immediately rallied against such a tax. On Monday, MP Kees Vendrik of the Dutch Green Party even called for a parliament debate.

Stichting Thuiskopie, the Dutch performance rights collecting agency, is not happy with the rejection, calling it "premature".

"There was no final proposal," its director Andre Beemsterboer emphasised. However, his organisation believes a levy is imminent, as 20-25 per cent of USB keys sold are used for music storage, it believes.

To date, few countries have proposed a music levy on flash drives. Canada's Private Copyright Collective (CPCC) is once again trying to find a way to force would-be iPod buyers to pay a copyright tax despite being told in 2004 such a levy is illegal. However, USB keys seem off the list.

The tax was proposed by Dutch industry group SONT, which two years ago also wanted to levy a tax for iPods and other MP3 players to compensate music artists for revenue lost to private copying. That proposal was also shelved by Hirsch Ballin after a strong lobby by several trade associations.

The Power of One Infographic

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.