Tiga hits out at broadband 'tax' proposal

Piracy compensation burden shouldn't fall on "innocent people" warns Wilson

Tiga CEO Richard Wilson has hit out at a government idea to impose a tax on broadband users, ostensibly for the purpose of building a compensation fund for companies that suffer at the hands of piracy.

According to Wilson the idea is an "Alice in Wonderland" policy, which is wrong on moral and practical grounds.

"The idea that a universal tax on broadband bills should be imposed in order to compensate entertainment companies for losses incurred from piracy and illegal downloads is wrong in principle," he said. "Innocent people should not be required to pay heavier broadband bills because of the activities of criminals.

"The suggested policy is also wrong on practical grounds. The tax could generate perverse behaviour: individuals would have a stronger incentive to illicitly download material if they were required to pay this putative tax.

"Government policy should aim to provide broadband - an essential part of modern business infrastructure - at the lowest possible price to consumers and businesses. The last thing that UK businesses need in the current economic climate is another tax. We need to be lifting the tax burden, not adding it to it. We need to leave businesses with more money for investment, not less.

"A broadband tax makes no sense. It is the tax policy of Alice in Wonderland," he added.

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Latest comments (5)

No one said, bureaucracy had to have any sense , reason or rhyme.

Chances are, a proper consultation was not produced and someone not in the know or aware of the current dismal status of UK broadband services, decided to think up this hare brained scheme. Much like the US senator equivalent to place violence disclaimers on games.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dr. Chee Ming Wong on 27th January 2009 1:46pm

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If the government wants to assist the industry, how about stopping sites like allowing the sale of R4's and all its clones.

But no a Lord feels that a Tax to help out is a better idea.....
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
Perhaps his grounds for reason come from the US music industry that imposes a small fee on each blank CD sold in the US that purportedly goes toward a fund to offset piracy losses (though I've met many musicians and producers and none have ever received a dime from those proceeds). The logic behind imposing the fee at the time was that consumers who purchase blank CD's are doing so for the sole intent to copy music.

Both notions (this and the broadband tax) are absurd and fail (or would fail as in one case) to achieve their supposed goals.

I've come to learn that many of these 'brilliant' ideas come not from the legislators themselves but from whatever company or organization that would benefit the most as was the case with the blank CD fee being the brainchild of the RIAA.

Hmmm, looks like the RIAA may be behind this as well.
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Mat Bettinson Business Development Manager, Tantalus Media9 years ago
You've got to wonder if Lord Carter is aware of who he actually represents in government. Since when did the UK pander to industry with blanket sledgehammer hand outs like this? At a time when the government's stated goal is to deliver broadband to all, how exactly does one achieve that by slapping a tax on everyone because the record companies have failed to adapt their business model to the modern age?

It's almost like letting a whole bunch of companies run their businesses into the ground through excessive risk-taking and when it all goes horribly wrong proceed directly to court a great shaking of the nation's money tree to bail them out. No wait...
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D9 years ago
This country really is going to the dogs. Where's our heavy industry? Oh wait, it's been shipped overseas.

Sounds familiar.

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