Music Tax Not The Answer

January 11, 2008

Techcrunch has an interesting post about Trent Reznor’s comment on the idea of a music tax. Reznor was discussing the recent Saul Williams experiment. He produced The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust by Williams and they decided to make the album available for download either for free or for $5. The $5 version was higher quality but only 18.3% of fans were willing to pay.

The CNET interview with Reznor covers how he feels about this, and promises an interview with Saul Williams next week to hear his side of the story, but the mention of a music tax was the focus of the Techcrunch article:

“I think if there was an ISP tax of some sort, we can say to the consumer, “All music is now available and able to be downloaded and put in your car and put in your iPod and put up your a– if you want, and it’s $5 on your cable bill or ISP bill.” [Reznor interview at]

Michael Arrington argues very convincingly this would stifle innovation in the music industry, but that it seems likely that such a tax will be a “last stand” for the music industry as it tries to find a way to survive in the digital age.

Check out the post – and the comments from readers – at Techcrunch.