On Thursday, June 22, 2006 the Spanish Congress voted to implement a tax on all blank media, including flash memory sticks, blank cd and dvd-rs, even mobile phones and printers. There is no word on how much this new tax will be, only that the revenues will be collected by the government, and will then be given to the “copyright holder.”
In the eyes of Spain’s government, buying blank CD media is tantamount to admitting to piracy. It’s not conceivable to their government that you might be buying a CD to backup important files you created, or listen to Creative Commons-licensed podcasts, or burn songs you’ve legally purchased with a license to burn copies of. Nope, you’re paying no matter what.
It reminds me a bit of the way Linux users wind up paying for copies of Windows they never use just to buy a computer. And then Microsoft won’t honor their own EULA when said customers try to return Windows for a refund.
The one detail left out of this story that I’d love to know is, “Who are the copyright holders who get this money?” They don’t know whose stuff you’re theoretically pirating, so who gets the money from the taxes they collect on this?
That’s the detail that makes me partially suspect the whole story is an urban legend. I’ll keep my eyes open for that.