[pp.int.general] [Cafe] levies

Reinier Bakels r.bakels at planet.nl
Mon Mar 24 18:03:29 CET 2008

>> If the state should take a more active part in the relation between 
>> economy and culture, it would probably be better to
>> tax things other than broadband, like carbon dioxide emissions or 
>> something. Taxes in general are usually best used to
>> limit consumption that's less good for society, and shouldn't punish a 
>> natural development of the market.

> I see a risk with that approach: merging levies and State role in culture, 
> thus losing the focus.

I guess state-funded broadcasting societies can serve as an example here. 
They are usually paid by the taxpayer (in NL) or from some aspecific special 
tax (like in the case of the German GEZ). By a proper organisation, state 
funding does not jeopardise editorial independence. The BBC is probably the 
best example. In NL, funding from advertising is a major source of income 
even for public broadcasters, which makes them dependent.

But let's face it: most artists in history who were important for culture 
were not succesful commercially. Many of them died poor. Those who make most 
money work in the entertainment industry. I won't disparage entertainment, 
but the role of copyright here is pretty far from fostering "Culture" with a 
capital C. In sum, (pseudo-)market models are ineffective for culture. 
Diffierent resouce distribution schemes must be developed. Which is 
difficult, but not impossible.

If the market would be decisive, we would only have two- or three chord 
music left (C-F-G7-C).


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