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BizReport : Internet : January 26, 2009

British broadband tax on the cards?

In an attempt to compensate the film and music industries for losses from illegal downloads, the U.K. government is rumored to be considering a universal levy on broadband costs.

by Helen Leggatt

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a body that promotes and safeguards digital music, has released a report that claims a whopping 95% of music downloads in 2008 were "illegal and unpaid for".

With the entertainment industry yapping at the Government's heels for compensation to cover the loss of income from illegal downloads and file-sharing, perhaps the much anticipated Digital Britain report will address the matter.

But will that compensation come via a universal tax on all broadband connections? Andrew Porter, The Telegraph's political editor thinks it may, and that all will be revealed in the upcoming Government report, saying "the plan is being considered by Lord Carter, the Communications Minister, who is to unveil his new report setting out his vision for Digital Britain".

"Governments are beginning to accept that, in the debate over 'free content' and engaging ISPs in protecting intellectual property rights, 'doing nothing' is not an option," hints John Kennedy, Chairman and Chief Executive of IFPI, in its 2009 Digital Music Report (.pdf).

Tags: broadband costs, broadband tax, Digital Britain, illegal downloads, U.K. government

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