It’s All One Big Note

by on May 10, 2005 · 4 comments

Take a look at Frank Zappa’s “Proposal for a System to Replace Ordinary Record Merchandising” from 1983. Then read the transcript of his congressional testimony from 1985, in which he attacks a proposed “Blank Tape Tax.”

Either Zappa was 20 years ahead of the curve, or we’ve spent the last two decades running in circles.

  • matt

    i think he was 20 years ahead, and the “record companies” are 20 years behind. therefore, in say, another 17 years we may have a good solution to digital music distribution, by which point it will be 20 years too late (and woefully out of date). the only solution is for “techie class” to oust the “corporate executive class” either directly or by a (preferable) flanking maneuver.

  • matt

    i think he was 20 years ahead, and the “record companies” are 20 years behind. therefore, in say, another 17 years we may have a good solution to digital music distribution, by which point it will be 20 years too late (and woefully out of date). the only solution is for “techie class” to oust the “corporate executive class” either directly or by a (preferable) flanking maneuver.

  • http://www.julian-finn.de Julian

    In Germany there has been such a Blank Tape Tax for over 50 years, as our constitutional court ruled in favor of privacy. Back then the music industry wanted every tape-recorder registered in order to control copying, the court ruled that this was against private rights and therefore a levy on blank tapes was introduced. Sadly this tax is not extended onto the internet, so file sharing is not covered by a levy in opposite to private copying of CDs or tapes.

  • http://www.julian-finn.de Julian

    In Germany there has been such a Blank Tape Tax for over 50 years, as our constitutional court ruled in favor of privacy. Back then the music industry wanted every tape-recorder registered in order to control copying, the court ruled that this was against private rights and therefore a levy on blank tapes was introduced. Sadly this tax is not extended onto the internet, so file sharing is not covered by a levy in opposite to private copying of CDs or tapes.

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