Free money for copyright holders in Germany

According to an article on UPI, the German government has new plans to enforce a 3-year old law requiring a ~$13 + 16% tax on computers sold in the country.

It's hard to tell where the pre-paid penalty would go once it hits government coffers, but the intention is to compensate producers for lost revenue due to copyright infringement.

I don't want to get off on a rant here, but...

It seems to me that we've had these kinds of fees in the US on blank media for some time, with the idea being that it is an "appropriate" way to compensate music copyright holders for the "theft" of their wares. Despite the fact that software is often pirated by computer and is often placed on CD, we (the software producers) don't get any of the money in the tax, it all goes to the music companies.

One possible outcome of all of these laws (see my earlier story on the Canadian push to increase their fees of this kind substantially) is a move to tax users through their fees on internet services, since "that's where people steal the stuff from."

Forgetting for the moment that this is just wrong, and that there is no reasonable way to tell who's stuff is being copied, therefore guaranteeing that the publishers will push for a pro-rata payment on the basis of total revenues of each organization (assuming that the larger players have their stuff copied more), there is still the issue that this move is tantamount to declaring every computer user guilty of a crime and requiring them to pay a fine even before they have taken the computer home..html