Imagine that it’s the turn of the century. The automobile is brand new and horse buggy manufacturers are concerned so they convince the government to levy a tax of $100 per HP on the $700 vehicle.
Or perhaps the concerned candle manufacturers force the levying of a tax on the new electric light bulbs.
These ideas would have chilled the acceptance of innovation and halted the progress of the industrial revolution.
Unfortunately cooler heads are not prevailing these days as the recording industry convinces governments to tax any competing technology as in this case where the Netherlands is considering a tax of $4.30 per gigabyte on all MP3 players sold.
It is unfortunate that the Netherlands, with a great history of innovation including CDs and DVDs and much more, would want to punish users of that new technology in order to protect the status quo. Sad too that it assumes that all MP3 owners are guilty of infringement, in much the same way that Canada already does.