An organization representing the interests of record producers and artists in Iceland has proposed a special “piracy tax” be levied on all internet users, with the proceeds going directly to musicians.
Fréttablaðið reports that the Association of Composers and Copyright (STEF) has proposed a special charge that would be placed on top of every person using the internet. The reasoning behind the idea, explains organization director Eiríkur Tómasson, is that illegal downloads deny musicians of the rightful pay they should receive from someone downloading their music. To counterbalance this, a surcharge could be placed on all internet users, he suggested, with the proceeds going to the nation’s musicians.
Eiríkur added that it is the responsibility of internet service providers to make sure that no one is using the internet for the purpose of piracy, either through downloading or sharing copyrighted material.
However, Guðberg K. Jónsson, project manager of Society, Family and Technology, contends that it is unfair to place additional internet charges on everyone, including those who aren’t downloading anything illegally.
Hrannar Pétursson, the spokesperson for internet service provider Vodafone, agrees, adding, “It is of course not that role of an internet service provider to be a law enforcement official in this context. We cannot be held responsible for what people do on the internet any more than we can be responsible for what they say on the phone.”
Ideas on how to combat piracy in Iceland are still in the beginning stages. STEF is expecting to continue to work towards a solution that will satisfy musicians, ISPs, and internet users alike.