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Old 11.07.2007, 21:49
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Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

http://www.engadget.com/2007/07/11/s...audio-players/

Un-bloody-believable. How on earth do they justify this crap? Does anyone have more details?
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Old 11.07.2007, 21:51
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

Swissinfo reporting too
thankfully the US$ is at an all-time low
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Old 11.07.2007, 22:01
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

Some more info here.
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Old 12.07.2007, 13:38
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

Doesn't this mean that if you buy a cd, rip it to itunes, and put it on your ipod, the music companies are stealing from you? Perhaps you can sue them?

I guess this means I will be morally obliged to rip music and videos from the net to play on my new gizmos.
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Old 12.07.2007, 14:02
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

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Doesn't this mean that if you buy a cd, rip it to itunes, and put it on your ipod, the music companies are stealing from you? Perhaps you can sue them?

I guess this means I will be morally obliged to rip music and videos from the net to play on my new gizmos.
It seems you are only allowed to rip your own music - it's still illegal to copy from someone else. In fact, I'm sure they will continue with their half-baked CD 'protection' schemes that try to even stop you ripping your own music.

They are essentially assuming you are going to copy other people's stuff anyway and paying the music companies compensation for any theft that you might make - by taking cash from you at point of sale.


It's absolutely unbelievable that a government could get away with introducing such a tax on the consumer and raises some serious questions about members of the Swiss government working for the music companies rather than the people who elected them. I still remember when they made sale of Region 1 DVDs illegal on the basis that they were 'coming into line with the EU' which had no such law. That stunk of big-business payola and so does this.

Clearly quite a few Swiss politicians are in the pockets of vested interests. I wonder what sort things other, more sinister, parties are paying people in the government to do for them?
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Old 16.07.2007, 14:52
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

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It seems you are only allowed to rip your own music - it's still illegal to copy from someone else. In fact, I'm sure they will continue with their half-baked CD 'protection' schemes that try to even stop you ripping your own music.
It's legal to make private copies for your friends (but the "friends from the internet" don't count, obviously). I'm optimistic that copy protection on audio CDs will disappear, because consumers have had bad experiences with it and it even resulted in legal action against Sony in the USA. On a related note, the worst has yet to come for movies. According to the German IT magazine c't, the copy protection AACS for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will require 25-30% of the CPU power of a Pentium 4, this equals a power of 15 Watts! This insanity demonstrates that the learning process hasn't started yet in the video industry...

We already pay taxes on many storage media. A list of the tariffs can be found on suisa.ch, but the English part of their website is a joke. Plus there are some other taxes that are not administrated by SUISA, like for photocopies. Here are some of the SUISA taxes:

Audio tapes: 0.33 Fr./hour
Video tapes: 0.46 Fr./hour
CD-R/RW data*: 0.05 Fr./525 MB
DVD writables: 0.45 Fr./4.7 GB
DVD rewritables: 1.15 Fr./4.7 GB
*there is a much higher tariff for CD-R/RW audio, but since nobody bought these technically identical CDs, they've misteriously disappeared from the shelves.

And from September, these are the new taxes for MP3 players and TV equipment (satellite recievers, set-top boxes, DVD-drives) with hard disks:

For solid state memory (chip cards):
< 512 MB capacity: 0.0253 Fr./MB
< 1 GB: 0.0178 Fr./MB
< 2 GB: 0.0145 Fr./MB
< 4 GB: 0.0078 Fr./MB
>= 4 GB:0.00467 Fr./MB

For hard disks:
In audio devices: 0.469 Fr./GB
In video devices: 0.346 Fr./GB

There are no taxes yet on the hard disks in our PCs, but another copyright tax already lurks for PCs with internet access: Billag is interested in making them taxable for being capable of recieving video streams, so they can milk the households that don't have a television.
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Old 16.07.2007, 23:24
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

Typical politicos getting it wrong. Don't they get it we buy most of our stuff online now legally like iTunes +?
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Old 17.07.2007, 11:21
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

I'm pretty sure that the note I received from Billag a year ago stated explicitly that a PC with broadband internet access is considered equal to having a TV. Being a law abiding foreigner, I'm paying the tax even if I don't own a TV.

So in short: This is already in effect.

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... but another copyright tax already lurks for PCs with internet access: Billag is interested in making them taxable for being capable of recieving video streams, so they can milk the households that don't have a television.
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Old 17.07.2007, 11:33
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

For the moment, it is not.

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Ich habe einen Computer mit Internetzugang. Muss ich mich nun für den Radio- bzw. den Fernsehempfang anmelden, auch wenn ich am Computer keine Radio- und/oder Fernsehprogramme konsumiere?

Laut Gesetz muss man sich anmelden, sobald ein Gerät vorhanden ist, das technisch in der Lage ist, Programme zu empfangen. Darunter fallen, wenn gewisse technische Bedingungen erfüllt sind, auch Computer mit Internetzugang. Ob die Programme auch genutzt werden oder nicht, ist rechtlich nicht von Belang.
Da die Gebühren jedoch pro Haushalt und nicht pro Gerät bezahlt werden, sind Sie für den Programmempfang möglicherweise schon angemeldet. Dann brauchen Sie wegen Ihres Computers nichts weiter zu unternehmen.
Sollten Sie jedoch über keine anderen Empfangsgeräte als den Computer verfügen, müssen Sie sich anmelden, wenn die folgenden Bedingungen erfüllt sind:

Privater Radioempfang:
  • Empfang via ISDN oder Breitbandanschluss (z.B. ADSL, Kabelnetz etc.)
  • Empfang über entsprechende Software (z.B. Mediaplayer)
Privater Fernsehempfang:
  • Empfang via Breitbandanschluss (z.B. ADSL, Kabelnetz)
  • Empfang über entsprechende Software (z.B. Mediaplayer, Realplayer)
  • Abschluss eines Abonnements für den Empfang von Fernsehprogrammen über Internet bei einem entsprechenden Internet-Anbieter (diese Voraussetzung kann in Zukunft wegfallen, wenn das live gestreamte Programmangebot, welches ohne Abonnement empfangen werden kann, qualitativ und quantitativ zunimmt und dem heutigen terrestrischen Programmangebot entspricht)
Translated: Billag radio tax for PCs with internet access and installed audio streaming software. Billag TV tax for PCs with broadband internet access, installed video streaming software and and a pay-internet-TV subscription. Billag wants to get rid of the third condition, this would rend most TV-absent households liable for the TV tax, because it doesn't matter if internet TV is actually used.


Edit (20.8.08): Please note that starting next month, registering at a free TV streaming program provider like Zattoo makes you liable, too.

Last edited by Nathu; 20.08.2008 at 13:05.
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Old 17.07.2007, 12:11
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

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Typical politicos getting it wrong. Don't they get it we buy most of our stuff online now legally like iTunes +?
We also get a lot of stuff illegally via Limewire and the like (or at least I know of a lot of people who do)

Nick.
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Old 17.07.2007, 12:39
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

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http://www.engadget.com/2007/07/11/s...audio-players/

Un-bloody-believable. How on earth do they justify this crap? Does anyone have more details?
that law is completely idiotic. Well, good thing it's legal in Switzerland to download from P2P networks. Just make sure you don't accidentally upload anything.

Until now I never downloaded anything from P2P - but I'm sure as heck ain't going to pay 2.00 for iTunes Plus music files and than another 30 bucks on my iPod because they presume I use P2P anyway.

As soon as they introduce that new tax, I'll stop buying music, it's that easy.
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Old 17.07.2007, 13:39
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

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<snip>

As soon as they introduce that new tax, I'll stop buying music, it's that easy.
Or buy your player outside Switzerland...
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Old 17.07.2007, 13:47
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

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Or buy your player outside Switzerland...
They'll still make you pay the new tax when you declare the player at customs.
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Old 17.07.2007, 13:59
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

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They'll still make you pay the new tax when you declare the player at customs.
The question is do you declare it?
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Old 17.07.2007, 14:06
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

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The question is do you declare it?
Depends on how you bring the player into the country - personally or via mail. The latter won't make it easy to smuggle, I guess :-)
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Old 20.07.2007, 09:42
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

This is really whacko. The tax is going to get 'distributed to the artists'. They don't mention it's really getting distributed to the 'con artists' that run the record labels, not the 'musical artists' that write and perform the music.

I was once at a concert of a semi-famous musician, and mentioned that I bought his CDs at the show, as I hoped he'd get a bit more cash out of the deal. He thanked me for doing that. Then he talked about how in the 60's the band's agent had run off with all the money and not paid the band a cent of the money that was owed to them. And, of course, the record company paid the agent, as he owned the record company.

Just how do the 'con artists' plan to distribute the payments? How do they know what music is going on what iPod/mp3/Zune player? What if I happen to just listen to concerts from Archive.org, or use my player as a flash drive? If I'm listening to some indy bands, will they get any of the money, or will it go off to fund the next boy band or Brittany Spears (apologies to those who actually like boy bands or Brittany Spears - it's just that the 'tax' I pay should go to those whose music I actually listen to).

This is just a money grab by these labels who are desperate now that their business model is going away. The quicker these guys go out of business the better.

I have no problem paying for music. I'd just like to see the artist actually get the money instead of the label, which these days doesn't actually add any value to the music.
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Old 20.07.2007, 14:02
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

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This is really whacko. The tax is going to get 'distributed to the artists'. They don't mention it's really getting distributed to the 'con artists' that run the record labels, not the 'musical artists' that write and perform the music.

I was once at a concert of a semi-famous musician, and mentioned that I bought his CDs at the show, as I hoped he'd get a bit more cash out of the deal. He thanked me for doing that. Then he talked about how in the 60's the band's agent had run off with all the money and not paid the band a cent of the money that was owed to them. And, of course, the record company paid the agent, as he owned the record company.

Just how do the 'con artists' plan to distribute the payments? How do they know what music is going on what iPod/mp3/Zune player? What if I happen to just listen to concerts from Archive.org, or use my player as a flash drive? If I'm listening to some indy bands, will they get any of the money, or will it go off to fund the next boy band or Brittany Spears (apologies to those who actually like boy bands or Brittany Spears - it's just that the 'tax' I pay should go to those whose music I actually listen to).

This is just a money grab by these labels who are desperate now that their business model is going away. The quicker these guys go out of business the better.

I have no problem paying for music. I'd just like to see the artist actually get the money instead of the label, which these days doesn't actually add any value to the music.
SUISA distribute to artists and composers, not record companies.
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Old 23.07.2007, 11:42
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

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SUISA distribute to artists and composers, not record companies.
Yes that's true and small artists usually register at SUISA, too. SUISA even has a fund to support newcomers. That's all laudable but this tax is still a very undifferentiated approach.
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Old 23.07.2007, 11:54
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

I love the wording in the FAQ of the SUISA website on this tax.

Quote:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Internet, MP3 / CD pressing
l) Why is SUISA demanding that iPods be subject to a licence fee? Don’t the CDs and music files you buy from an online provider already include a royalty for private use ? No. There is no remuneration charged for personal use on CDs or music files acquired via the internet. Nor is any remuneration due, since personal use is authorised by law. Anybody wishing to copy music files from a CD or the internet can do so without restriction for his personal use. The law provides for a fee on blank sound carriers which is payable, again, not by the private consumer, but by the maker or importer of the blank sound carrier.
They seem to be implying that you're not paying the tax, the manufacturer or importer is, nevermind it gets passed to you.

Last edited by cyrus; 23.07.2007 at 12:07. Reason: Typo
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Old 23.07.2007, 13:49
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Re: Your mp3 player is going to cost you more in Switzerland..

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SUISA distribute to artists and composers, not record companies.
Sounds great! Well, except that this money is probably going to the copyright holders, which are usually the record companies. And what metric do they use to distribute the money?

In any case. I've already bought the CDs or the LPs (sometimes both) or listen to concerts from bands that allow trading. Why should I pay any more for the player? Where is the added value for my money?
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