“Japan is forgoing a copyright law revision to charge royalties on digital music players – a proposal dubbed the ‘iPod tax’ – after discussions in a government panel produced no consensus on ways to police violations,” Yuri Kageyama reports for The Associated Press. “The decision Thursday from the Cultural Agency committee followed yearlong debate over how outdated the nation’s system for levying an extra copyright fee on gadgets had grown, given the dramatic social changes in recent years in the digital content business, said government official Hiroyuki Suzuki.”
“Since last year, recording companies and other lobbies here have been grumbling that the same system should be applied to recording devices with hard-drives, including MP3 players like Apple Computer Inc.’s iPods as well as flash-memory players,” Kageyama reports. “Although the media here is calling the system the ‘iPod tax,’ the money goes to recording companies, composers and artists and so it’s technically not a tax. Similar systems exist in European nations… Apple in Japan had no comment on the government decision. The iPod, which controls about 70 percent of the global market, has been a big hit in Japan, the home turf of rivals like Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp., which make their own music players. Recently, iPod’s market share in Japan has grown to 60 percent.”
Full article here.
Japan music labels look to impose ‘iPod Tax’ while Sony, Warner still not signing with Apple iTunes – October 10, 2005
Supreme Court of Canada: No levy on Apple iPods – July 28, 2005