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[theregister.co.uk] Isle of Man wants legal P2P blanket

Tax haven the Isle of Man, with a population of around 80,000, wants to introduce a compulsory blanket licence for music downloads. Broadband ISP subscribers would pay a "nominal" compulsory tax, but be able to share music legally.

Surprisingly, the proposal has won approval from the chief executive of the BPI, Geoff Taylor.

"At the end of the day, we are not going to stop piracy, so let's embrace it," the Manx government's inward investment minister Ron Berry told the MidemNet conference this weekend.

The idea of legalising P2P rather than stopping it is an ancient one: it's been used to create for new technologies for over a hundred years. Where it's too complicated and/or expensive to count or police individual exchanges, a blanket licence has been issued. It's five years since Jim Griffin explained the merits of these here.

It's ironic that the Isle of Man is proposing a compulsory tax. The island has no capital gains tax, corporation tax and income tax is ten per cent. Industry sectors deemed to be of strategic importance - including movies and fishing - are zero rated.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/19/isle_of_man_music_tax/