“Producers and distributors of MP3 players and iPods have challenged the introduction of a new tax on digital music players, due to come into force on March 1,” swissinfo reports. “They have written to the Federal Court asking for a postponement so they can contest the new tariffs for authors’ rights, which they claim are ‘astronomically high.’ The tax will affect three different product categories: digital music players with flash memory (MP3s); hard drive-based music players (iPods); and audio/video recorders with a built-in hard drive. The decision to introduce the new tax was taken by a federal arbitration commission on January 17, responding to a demand by a group of collecting societies including Suisa, the organisation responsible for administering music rights. But the tariffs were only announced last week, which led to the uproar.”
“Spearheading the opposition is the Swiss Association for Information, Communications and Organization Technology (Swico), which has asked for a postponement of 60 days to prepare its case. Swico, whose 400 members include Apple, IBM and Sony, is also unhappy with what it calls “discrimination” between players with flash memory and those with a hard drive. The tax on a four-gigabyte MP3 player with flash memory will be almost SFr19 ($15), while that on a four-gigabyte iPod will be around SFr2. A 400-gigabyte DVD recorder will incur an extra SFr138 charge,” swissinfo reports. “Suisa, which represents the interests of over 20,000 composers, writers and music publishers in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, estimates that the new tax will bring in around SFr2.5 million a year.”
Full article here.
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Japan junks ‘iPod tax’ idea – December 01, 2005