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Manx ISP offers unlimited music downloads

Isle of Man: If you can't beat piracy, join it

The government of the Isle of Man has proposed that residents of the island pay its ISP a one-off fee for unlimited music downloads.

The Isle of Man is a self-governing British dependency and as such it can introduce its own laws. The Island's government is suggesting that broadband subscribers pay a compulsory tax, but then be allowed to download and share music without fear of legal censure.

In this way the ISP can then compensate the music industry for use of its music.

The proposal was announced at the Midem international music conference in Cannes - and immediately gained approval from the BPI (British Phonographic Industry), the music industry's trade body.

In response to the proposal, the BPI's Geoff Taylor said: "If ISPs take the position advocated in the Isle of Man, we'd be in an enormously better position."

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Taylor's wish may be naive, as the Isle of Man is something of a unique case: the island has no capital gains tax, corporation tax and income tax is 10 percent.

In a statement, government spokesman Ron Berry said: "We are not going to stop piracy, so let's embrace it."

"A blanket licence for ISPs to allow their subscribers to download music for non commercial use as an intrinsic part of their monthly ISP or MSP charge is the way forward.

"However, to enable this to happen, it needs to be a collaborative effort between rights holders, telecommunication providers and internet service providers, and a supportive government."


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