UK Music Biz Would Rather Tax iPods Than Legitimize Format Shifting

The British record industry has challenged a UK government proposal that would legalize “format shifting” from CD to gadgets like iPods – and instead demanded portable music device makers pay a levy to support the practice.

The Music Business Group (MBG) – representing pretty much the whole of the business – criticized January’s proposal from Lord Triesman that copyright law should be amended to decriminalize personal copying. Instead, it wants a license under which format shifting could take place and for which technology makers would pay fees via the PPL and MCPS-PRS royalty collection societies. Call it an “iPod tax“.

MBG: “Unquestionably, there is a value produced by the ability to format shift. It is imperative that creators and performers should benefit directly from this value.”

But the MBG doesn’t want government to set the levy: “The licence fee would be determined by commercial negotiations between creators and right holders and manufacturers and distributors of devices substantially used or marketed for making copies of music.” In other words, record labels reckon they can convince gadget makers like Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) to pay them a tax, set at a rate they determine, for the privilege of having consumers use their product. Good luck with that. More detail at our newest site paidContent:UK