Spain’s Idiotic Move of the Week

Spain Adds ‘Copyright Tax’ to Blank Media //

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.

3 thoughts on “Spain’s Idiotic Move of the Week

  1. You tell me! The “copyright holders” who are going to get the money is a mafia-like entity called “SGAE” (Sociedad General de Autores, or Authors General Association) who have the government bowing to their wishes day in and day out (and that’s why kids you should not vote for a socialist government) There are campaigns going on to boycott this thing, but basically we are screwed :(

  2. Oh, I hadn’t read your last paragraph, but I think you can guess by my response that this thing is very real (between this and choking up once again in the World Cup it hasn’t been a good week so far for us)

  3. Ouch. I’m sorry to hear that. I was hoping it would be another overblown blogosphere crack-up. On the other hand, I’m glad to see other countries have the same problems we have here in America with the recording industries running unchecked over the government. I don’t feel so alone now.

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