Feeds

Isle of Man wants legal P2P blanket

Tax haven proposes tax

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Tax haven the Isle of Man, with a population of around 80,000, wants to introduce a compulsory blanket licence for music downloads. Broadband ISP subscribers would pay a "nominal" compulsory tax, but be able to share music legally.

Surprisingly, the proposal has won approval from the chief executive of the BPI, Geoff Taylor.

"At the end of the day, we are not going to stop piracy, so let's embrace it," the Manx government's inward investment minister Ron Berry told the MidemNet conference this weekend.

The idea of legalising P2P rather than stopping it is an ancient one: it's been used to create for new technologies for over a hundred years. Where it's too complicated and/or expensive to count or police individual exchanges, a blanket licence has been issued. It's five years since Jim Griffin explained the merits of these here.

"If ISPs take the position advocated in the Isle of Man, we’d be in an enormously better position," Taylor responded.

However, many in both the tech business and the music business are wary of a government-imposed tax. A voluntary subscription scheme would provide an incentive for new services to be created - P2P service providers would compete for your custom. Such a voluntary P2P scheme is expected to be announced from a major UK ISP within a few weeks.

With a compulsory licence, ISPs would have no incentive to look after music sharers or differentiate themselves - everybody would be able to offer anything. And privately, labels are wary that collective agreements set a low floor price for music royalties.

A large record label can pocket far more by cutting direct deals with a BT or a Sky for a licence, rather than going the collective route. And as a recent survey shows, 81 per cent of users may not be considered "music sharers", so would chafe at being slapped with a tax.

But the approach has its supporters, including music manager Peter Jenner. We reported on a lively debate about voluntary vs compulsory approaches here in November. Summing up the differences at MidemNet this weekend, UK Music's Feargal Sharkey said most speakers were agreed on 80 per cent of the substance, only five per cent was hotly contested.

It's ironic that the Isle of Man is proposing a compulsory tax. The island has no capital gains tax, corporation tax and income tax is ten per cent. Industry sectors deemed to be of strategic importance - including movies and fishing - are zero rated. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.