On Thursday, June 22, 2006 the Spanish Congress voted to implement a tax on all blank media, including flash memory sticks, blank cd and dvd-rs, even mobile phones and printers. There is no word on how much this new tax will be, only that the revenues will be collected by the government, and will then be given to the “copyright holder.”
Is this an example of what is to come in the United States or other parts of Europe? People have long discussed this concept, known as “compulsory licensing.” Meaning that basically the government assumes people are going to be putting copyrighted material on this blank media, Other ideas in the same vein include licensing fees imposed on DSL or cable customers, again assuming they are going to be making unauthorized copies of copyrighted material.
This takes fair use and completely throws it out the window. God forbid you have taken some home videos and copied them to a blank cd or memory chip. You will be paying into some kind of fund administered by some kind of beaurocrat and overseen by some RIAA/MPAA type trade organization.
Please prevent this from happening in your country.
Here are some links to a spanish blog covering the report: