Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Cloud Data Storage Hardware

Austrian Blank Media Tax May Expand To Include Cloud Storage 129

An anonymous reader writes "Depending on where you are in the world, blank media may have a secondary tax applied to it. It seems ludicrous that such a tax even be considered, let alone be imposed, and yet an Austrian rights group called IG Autoren isn't happy with such a tax covering just physical media; it wants cloud storage included, too. At the moment, consumers in Austria only pay this tax on blank CDs and DVDs. IG Autoren wants to expand that to include the same range of media as Germany, but also feels that services like Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive etc. all fall under the blank media banner because they offer storage, and therefore should carry the tax — a tax consumers would have to pay on top of the existing price of each service."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Austrian Blank Media Tax May Expand To Include Cloud Storage

Comments Filter:
  • Double dipping (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @03:13AM (#42257863)

    Wouldn't the tax have already been paid on whatever hardware the cloud services run on?

  • by ChristW ( 18232 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @03:36AM (#42257975) Homepage

    Well, I live in The Netherlands, and one of the things that we witnessed the last couple of weeks was a new law proposed by the Minister of Safety and Justice (...), Ivo Opstelten. He proposed that people who have encrypted files on their computer should be pressed into giving out their keys, "but only if they are very bad criminals, like when hiding child porn or are terrorists". Oh, so, that's OK then...

    Christ van Willegen

  • Re:Fine. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kat M. ( 2602097 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @03:53AM (#42258047)

    Actually, in Germany (and several other countries), it largely means that. The levy on blank media, photocopiers, etc. is intended to compensate authors for the right to make copies for personal use without compensating the author or owner of the copyright. Personal use does not only include for yourself, but also family, friends, and acquaintances -- basically, it excludes commercial use and making the work available to the general public.

    Whether that works well in practice is another question (DRM is a particularly tricky issue), but that is the stated intent.

  • by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @04:04AM (#42258095)

    >But this is just more shit from European countries, and why as a NZer I want the internet to be kept out of the hands of the UN. And why letting the EU be able to write laws in for every European country is a bad idea.

    Counter-argument: several of the worst laws introduced in Europe and the UK over the past decades have been defeated because they violated rights granted under European-Union law.
    It's become the most successful democratic watchdog in history - exactly the OPPOSITE of what you paint, not a power-holder but a power-restrictor.
    That is a very good thing. The EU in fact has only a very small amount of law-making power, but they have very strong rights-protecting and rights-establishing power - which PREVENTS the abuse of power within it's member states.
    This is not something the EU is doing- this is a proposal by the NATIONAL government of Austria - telling them to go fuck themselves is EXACTLY what the EU is FOR - and WHY the EU is actually a GOOD idea.

    Now of course (like everything else done by humans) it's not a perfect system - but if you actually follow the news - it's quite clear that the system with the EU is better than one without it would be. Some of the laws that got overturned just in Britain in the past few years for violating EU human rights clauses were truly terrifying, without the EU - nothing could have stopped those atrocities from happening.

  • Re:Double dipping (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sqr(twg) ( 2126054 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @04:07AM (#42258105)

    No. In most countries, the tax is only levied on private individuals (in exchange for the right to store copyrighted material on the blank media, and share with friends and family). Professional users don't pay the tax, because they are assumed to store their own data.

    But even if the tax were levied on companies like Dropbox, hardware purchases are not proportional to the number of "copies" stored. If a million users store the same movie file on Dropbox, there will only be one copiy (plus backups) on their hard drives, thanks to data deduplication.

    I'm all for this tax, because at least where I live, it would mean I'd have the right to share (legally bought) music and movies with my friends and family via Dropbox, rather than having to physically hand them a copy on a USB stick. This is very convenient, since some of my friends live far away.

  • Re:Double dipping (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Edzilla2000 ( 1261030 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @05:22AM (#42258425)

    Actually, in Europe, in most of the countries (but not all), you pay a tax on every single storage media that's called "private copy tax".

    It's supposed to compensate artists for the loss incurred because of people LEGALLY copying their music (and not because of piracy, as that would be taxing an illegal practice, which is... illegal)

    It includes cd's or dvd's, but also hard drives, phones (even dumb phones with a few megs of storage...), ipods...

    In practice, it means that you get taxed when:

    - You buy a song, and store in on your ipod : you pay

    - you then transfer that song to your hard drive: you pay

    - then you decide to copy it on your phone: you pay

    The list could go on and on...

BLISS is ignorance.