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Data Storage Hardware

Portugal Is Considering a "Terabyte Tax" 353

An anonymous reader writes "As a proposal to avoid becoming the 'next Greece', a Portuguese opposition party has proposed a tax on storage. The party claims that the tax will not effect the average citizen and is mostly levied at business users, but internal storage on mobile phones means a 64GB iPhone could be €32 more expensive. From the article: 'The proposal would have consumers paying an extra €0.2 per gigabyte in tax, almost €21 extra per terabyte of data on hard drives. Devices with storage capacities in excess of 1TB would pay an aggravated tax of 2.5 cents per GB. That means a 2TB device will in fact pile on €51.2 in taxes alone (2.5 cents times 2048GB). External drives or “multimedia drives” as the proposed bill calls them, in capacities greater than 1TB, can be taxed to the tune of 5 cents per gigabyte, so in theory, a 2TB drive would cost an additional €103.2 per unit (5 cents times 2048GB)."
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Portugal Is Considering a "Terabyte Tax"

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  • Outdated (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GothicKnight ( 830786 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @05:33AM (#39670923)
    **OLD** This law draft was already discarted like 2 moths ago.
  • Maths (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spad ( 470073 ) <slashdot@spad.[ ]uk ['co.' in gap]> on Friday April 13, 2012 @05:33AM (#39670927) Homepage

    Doubling the price of a 2Tb external drive? You're going to have to pirate a *shitload* of stuff to make up for that.

  • 1tB != 1TB (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 13, 2012 @05:35AM (#39670929)

    Am I the only one that thinks that people might finally complain that they're paying tax on the extra 24 MB in every GB without getting them?

  • by Celexi ( 1753652 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @05:35AM (#39670933)
    As far i know ( i live in Portugal ) other than this being old news, it was rejected by all other parties other than the one attempting to get this passed and was rather laughed about because of it here.
  • exponential (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mechtech256 ( 2617089 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @05:36AM (#39670935)
    A tax that increases at an exponential rate, what more could a government hope for!
  • by arkhan_jg ( 618674 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @05:38AM (#39670951)

    As I understand EU free-trade rules, as long as the appropriate taxes are paid in the country where goods are bought (inside the EU), the government cannot then levy additional taxes when imported, either directly (in the boot of a car) or when shipped.

    So this just seems a great proposal to kill all domestic sales of electronic goods with drives in - iPads, smartphones, photocopiers, laptops - and relocate them to Spain instead. I'm sure the Spanish government wouldn't mind, but it doesn't like it's going to do much to help Portugese debt.

  • by moronoxyd ( 1000371 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @06:00AM (#39671043)

    That means a 2TB device will in fact pile on €51.2 in taxes alone (2.5 cents times 2048GB).

    Since when do manufacturers of hard drives use Base 2 to describe the size of their hard drives?
    They don't, so it should be 50 € (2.5 cent times 2000 GB).

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @06:58AM (#39671291)
    Canada too. Not sure about the US and UK, but wouldn't surprise me. Not as heavy, but the same idea: Tax all storage and media players on the assumption that they'll be used to infringe, and give the money to any major copyright holder with enough political clout to get a share. Independant artists obviously get screwed because it'd be impractical to administer.
  • Re:Regardless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aurispector ( 530273 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @07:44AM (#39671597)

    Yep. Pretty much the entire western world has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Yet the politicians and policy makers consistently get it backwards.

    It's the kind of magical thinking that caused Kagan to say "It's just a pile of federal money", apparently not realizing that it all comes from taxes on you.

  • Re:Dear Portugal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by plover ( 150551 ) * on Friday April 13, 2012 @08:03AM (#39671719) Homepage Journal

    No, a tax on idiotic laws. Every time someone proposes a law that will be nixed by the supreme/constitutional court because it violates other laws, tax the idiot who wasted valuable parliament time to get a moment in the limelight.

    Hell with that. I want a "three strikes and you're a despot" law. If you voted "Aye" to violate my constitutional rights with some stupid law, and the supreme court overturns that legislation, and you've done this three times, you are guilty of being a serial tyrant and should be sentenced to not less than 10 years in a federal prison. That applies to everyone who voted for the law, not just the guy who signs it (although it could certainly start with him, as he took an oath to defend the Constitution when he entered office.)

    No statute of limitations, either. You could be sleeping in your bed 10 years after leaving office, and if the Supreme Court overturns your 15-year-old crappy law, the ninjas bash down your door, haul you out of the arms of your mistress, and drag your butt to jail. None of these last minute help-my-buddy-in-the-industry-laws like pardons happening on the last days of office.

    Congressional sessions would be over pretty damn quick, don't you think? Some idiot puts up a law written by lobbyists for the industry, and every other person in congress would immediately say "Um, I vote NO, right now. Who wants to go get a drink with me?"

  • by Sam Andreas ( 894779 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @08:29AM (#39671893)

    The unreasonable part is that you're putting a tax on something that is ridiculously changeable. Right now 1 Terabyte seems a lot, so to pay an extra few euro for a hard drive seems ok.

    In 2002 the Canadian copyright lobby proposed a levy of 0.8 per megabyte on removable flash media and 2.1 per megabyte on non-removable storage in an audio player (in addition to the existing levy on blank audio tapes / cd's).

    That means that the 16GB SD card I bought recently for my camera would have cost not $10 but $141 and a 32GB media player would be an extra $688.

    Those sizes were unheard of in 2002 but only ten years later are commonplace. In another ten years, a gigabyte tax will probably be just as absurd.

  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @09:47AM (#39672623)
    Actually the cost per GB has exceeded Moore's law, in 1980 the cost per GB for HDD storage was $1,000,000, thirty years later it was $.10 exceeding Moore's law by over 3 18 month cycles. citation [ns1758.ca].
  • Re:Regardless (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 13, 2012 @10:05AM (#39672841)


    You've simultaneously told us exactly how you (Mr. "Right") oversimplify the issue while also informing us about how you imagine the issue is perceived by anyone who ever disagrees with you about anything.

    Yes, there are two sets of people. I'm going to call you "Einstein."

  • Re:Regardless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by khallow ( 566160 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @10:41AM (#39673351)

    but it is much easier to fix the structural flaws in a growing economy vice an economy in an austerity death spiral.

    One of the structural flaws being that there's not enough political will to address them until the economy falls into the above trap. As I see it, repeatedly and routinely getting into the above situation is worse than a rare bout of "austerity death spiral" which is combined with credible structural reform.

  • Re:Regardless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Friday April 13, 2012 @12:29PM (#39675107) Homepage

    Yes. That is a spending problem. No one planned for the likelihood that revenues might decrease and that we could have a "lean year". This is a basic fundemental problem that humans have been dealing with since the beginning of civilization.

    You save up for a rainy day.

    Yes. Having no rainy day fund is a spending problem.

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