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The Almighty Buck Toys Technology

European Commission To Raise Camera Costs in Europe 300

Posted by Zonk
from the maybe-they-should-start-making-cameras dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to a recent CNET article, digital camera costs could increase in Europe as result of trade inequalities. 'At the moment, all digital cameras are manufactured outside Europe. They're all imported. All of them. Currently, there's a European Commission-imposed 4.9 per cent import tariff on camcorders, but not on cameras, whatever their video-recording abilities. The EC's Nomenclature Committee has cottoned on to this and wants to slap a tax on cameras that can record at least 30 minutes of video in one go, with a resolution of 800x600 pixels or higher at 23 frames per second or higher. The Nomenclature Committee has recommended the proposal but has not, as yet, garnered the required majority vote.'" Update: 07/23 02:18 GMT by Z : Took out a bit of hyperbole.
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European Commission To Raise Camera Costs in Europe

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  • Phones? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Living Fractal (162153) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <rratnanab>> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @08:37PM (#19950791) Homepage
    So does this affect phones? Slapping arbitrary technical specs on something might later on bleed over into emerging technologies. Hell, I think my phone is almost capable of that... It's not, but it can't be long before your average phone is... So, what's the plans for that?

    TLF
    • Re:Phones? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by networkBoy (774728) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @08:39PM (#19950813) Homepage Journal
      Same issue when boarding an airplane.
      My video camera is subject to inspection, but my camera is not, even though it can record every bit as well as the "video" camera, which incidentally can record stills too.
      -nB
      • Re:Phones? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by parasonic (699907) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @09:10PM (#19951099)
        And to blur the line a little more, how about importing 10000 units of a camera that can only do stills but has a 10MP sensor, a killer image processor, and plenty of extra buffers to do "more" with? Just get the manufacturer to agree to help you with a custom firmware before you place the order, import the suckers, and flash them. Hey, they weren't capable of video when they were imported, now were they?
        • by Lisandro (799651)
          I was thinking the exact same thing. From the description of the tax they're trying to tax the hardware capabilites of the camera when much of it is actually determined by software. Expect downloadable flash files with legal disclaimers or even "secret" unlock codes for video recording and such if the tax is approved.
      • by kimvette (919543)

        Same issue when boarding an airplane.
        My video camera is subject to inspection, but my camera is not, even though it can record every bit as well as the "video" camera, which incidentally can record stills too.

        There is a distinct difference here. In the case of tariffs, the EU is attempting to encourage local manufacturing and reduce trade imbalances, whereas airline "security" is not about making flying safer, but about social engineering, making people more accepting of micro-management from a nanny state,

        • by dwater (72834)
          ...plus increasing the trade in used screwdrivers, nail files, scissors, and other 'tools'.
        • trade (Score:5, Insightful)

          by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000.yahoo@com> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:55PM (#19951887)

          In the case of tariffs, the EU is attempting to encourage local manufacturing and reduce trade imbalances

          If the EU rally wanted to correct for a trade imbalance then what they need to do is get rid of the 100s of billions of euros in subsidies given to European farmers. Because of these subsidies food grown in Europe can be exported to third world nations and sold there retail for less than farmers there can grow food. That's a big reason the WTO meeting in Geneva fell apart in the summer of 2006. India walked out because first world nations, the EU, Japan, and the US wouldn't cut farm subsidies. India has literally thousands of farmers committing suicide because they can't compeat with farmers who collect hugh subsidies. Slashing US farm subsidies [indiatimes.com] to $13 billion a year is "unacceptable," a Bush administration official said on Wednesday. All these tariffs are is protectionism.

          whereas airline "security" is not about making flying safer, but about social engineering, making people more accepting of micro-management from a nanny state, and introducing the perception of safety even though everyone knows that it won't do a lick of good.

          Yeap, our overseer lords want us all to believe the only way to keep safe is by having a nanny state. What they're really doing is a power grab, they want to tell people how to live, and if the people won't then force them to live the way they say.

          Falcon
          • Re:trade (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Corporate Troll (537873) on Monday July 23, 2007 @02:54AM (#19953203) Homepage Journal

            Not saying that it isn't true, but the (predecessor of the) EU was founded on a "never war and never hunger again" idea. So this means we need to keep our food production locally. Dependence for food on other nations is a big no-no. That said, I don't agree that they export the heavily subsidized stuff. They should just produce less, and that's often what happens: farmers are paid not to plant stuff. Overproduction is just as bad as underproduction...

            Alas, many people have forgotten the original idea of the EU.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sumdumass (711423)

            . Slashing US farm subsidies to $13 billion a year is "unacceptable," a Bush administration official said on Wednesday. All these tariffs are is protectionism.

            The reasons we have the subsidies in the first place is to ensure a diverse enough food supply in case something happens to part of it. We started this idea back durring the dust bowl just before the great depression where farmers were already missing from a good portion of America and it played hell getting food to some areas with the stock mark

      • Same issue when boarding an airplane.
        My video camera is subject to inspection, but my camera is not, even though it can record every bit as well as the "video" camera, which incidentally can record stills too.

        If this is true, then why are you bringing the video camera with you?

        For me, this isn't the case, but that's because my camcorders are HD. My camcorders and camera are have about 3MP sensors. All devices do very well with their primary marketed function. The stills from the camcorders aren't as good
        • I don't anymore.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK1romTcv4k#GU5U2sp HI_4 [youtube.com] forgive the youtube compression, but that's a video from the "still" camera. While certainly not HD it is quite passable for things like water slides in Costa Rica and other places where crushing/melting/fiery deaths are a real possibility. I do bring the camcorder when I want HD, but then I'm likely on assignment and the gear is in a Pelican or two with a lock and TSA pre-screened tag.
          -nB
        • by dwater (72834)
          > If this is true, then why are you bringing the video camera with you?

          The tone I projected onto your sentence there implies that your question is rhetorical, ie that there's no reason to take both.

          It's easy to think of reasons why the posted might want to take two, even if they're identical devices.

          In any case, I don't think he said he took both on the same trip - did he? The bit you quoted didn't make that explicit anyway.
    • by dwater (72834)
      Right. I think I read somewhere that Nokia make more cameras than any other company (even though they're part of phones).

      I don't think the N95 or N93 are quite there yet (both VGA, IINM), but it isn't long, I'm sure...
    • by cybereal (621599)
      Nokia has several models that would fall into this category if their resolutions was slightly higher.

      N95,E90, and possibly some others can do VGA @ 30fps, and fill up a 2gb memory card with it.

      No doubt in a year or so, at the rate nokia releases new handsets, they will qualify.
  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @08:37PM (#19950795) Homepage Journal
    Cause if there are people in China who are willing to work for cheaper than people in your country then you best make sure business and consumers can't benefit from that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CanadaIsCold (1079483)
      I'm confused, are we only against protecting local markets when it's in the software/IT industry? It's bad that Europe is trying to place a duty on camera's made outside of Europe. It's good when the government takes action to prevent outsourcing software development, and Tech Suport to India and Brazil? What side of this issue am I supposed to be on?
      • What side of this issue am I supposed to be on?

        The one that directly benefits you. Duh!
      • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @08:48PM (#19950893) Homepage Journal
        Personally, I'm for outsourcing of software development too.. probably because I'm in Australia and that's one of the places that US companies outsource to :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by falconwolf (725481)

        I'm confused, are we only against protecting local markets when it's in the software/IT industry? It's bad that Europe is trying to place a duty on camera's made outside of Europe. It's good when the government takes action to prevent outsourcing software development, and Tech Suport to India and Brazil? What side of this issue am I supposed to be on?

        No, it's all bad.

        Falcon
    • A rich man buys a ten dollar camera, while a man out of work does not vs. A rich man and a working man buying 15 dollar cameras, one each. I think I know which scenario I want to be in.
      • by 1stworld (929011) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @09:27PM (#19951259)
        With protectionism, Europe still doesn't build cameras, the rich man pays $15 plus higher taxes for the unemployed working man who can't afford the camera. Without protectionism, Germany sells the precision instruments to produce the optics, Japan designs the semiconductors, Taiwan fabs the chips and the Chinese assemble them with equipment bought from the West. Everyone benefits, is employed and makes enough money to buy a $10 camera. That's reality. Anything else is fiction and ignores how the global economy works.
        • by Yokaze (70883) on Monday July 23, 2007 @02:26AM (#19953085)
          > That's reality. Anything else is fiction and ignores how the global economy works.

          No. That is the world according the 18th century theory of Adam Smith, which is partly true, but hardly the whole of the story.

          Selective protectionism and its reduction after the build-up of a competitive industry with high value products was/is key to the success of large parts of Taiwan, ROK and China.

          That, of course, doesn't mean that I support the tariff, because who, but nationalists, cares, that the EU doesn't produce digital cameras, when the EU already is a region with high grade products and has a stable trade surplus.

      • by dwater (72834)
        > I think I know which scenario I want to be in.

        Care to share? It isn't clear...
    • willing, huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by caitsith01 (606117)
      Try, "with no choice but" instead of "willing" in your statement and you're closer to the truth.

      If a country had actual slave labour, would you argue against tariffs on products from that country too?

      Things are cheap in China for a lot of reasons:
      - no labour standards
      - no environmental standards
      - no intellectual property standards
      - no rights generally
      - poverty and desperation amongst the poor

      Allowing unfettered access to domestic markets only rewards China for doing nothing to change those things.
      • by QuantumG (50515)
        It's their country, it's their responsibility to improve it. Us not supporting them in the global economy isn't exactly going to *help* is it?

        • or Americans, for that matter, be forced to bring down our livelihood to help others?

          Free trade with places like China amounts to absolutely nothing else but the total undermining of our Western democracies and our respect for human rights. Trade with China says one and only one thing: Western Democracies and Values are not profitable, and the way to be competitive is to be a hell hole like China.

          As an American, I say we quarantine the sweatshop block - all nations that are undemocratic and which routinely
          • by QuantumG (50515)
            And the result will be that China will be unable to bring wealth into their country through trade and the living conditions of the people there will go down even more. Good plan.

            • But it is his prerogative as a consumer to avoid products from such countries, just as I strictly avoid WalMart.
              Consumer choice is the real power, and if enough consumers feel the same way, they can effect change.
              -nB
              • by QuantumG (50515)
                I find it kinda hard to believe that any significant number of people will choose the more expensive product because of their belief in human rights.. otherwise, those exact same people would be contributing to human rights organizations already and there wouldn't be an human rights issues in the world.

                But perhaps you have a great idea. How about governments put an import tax on any product that is made by children in sweat shops and then actually give the money they collect to human rights organizations..
            • by Travoltus (110240)
              This world is about more than just money.

              If Nazi Germany used slave Jewish labor to build cheap lamps and cars, would you still buy from them? I can show documentation that shows that you could change Nazi Germany for China and Jews for women, and find China to be far worse in every possible way.

              The living conditions of China's people is of no consequence to me, any more than the living conditions of Americans are of any consequence to China or the globalists who are enriching China at our expense. As far a
              • Yes, I know, it's protectionism, it's nationalism. But until you're willing to declare that we should all be a one world Government, protecting your own country and its people from being sucked dry economically, is a virtue. And if you believe we should be a one world Government, you're asking for much bigger horrors than protectionism and nationalism.

                I both believe in international trade and in supporting the local economy. I buy imported stuff as well as local produce, actually as a member of two loca

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                >I can show documentation that shows that you could change Nazi Germany for China and Jews for women, and find China to be far worse in every possible way.

                Go on.
            • America's wealth and living standards did not come from selling their wares as cheap as possible to other countries. Instead, they stem from America being a natural resource rich country and efficiently turning those resources into products that people like. Getting ever more efficient at this cycle is called "economic growth". (i.e.: when you only need half the amount of people to make the same amount of stuff, the other half can move on to making other stuff)

              That is how you are supposed to sustainably ind
            • That's right, just like how the west became industrially powerful and wealthy only by trading with the even wealthier civilisation of... oh wait, no, we DID IT OURSELVES BEFORE TRADE ON A MODERN SCALE EVEN EXISTED. That's right.

              To say that a refusal to buy goods made a slave-labour prices in China is somehow harming Chinese workers is twisted capitalist b.s.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by dircha (893383)
            "BTW there is nothing in what I said that says Chinese people are bad - those who want to come to the West and participate in Western values, come on over."

            Over where now? Certainly not to the EU. They aren't letting them in. Not to the US. We aren't letting them in. I don't know what world you are living in, but even among those who can afford to get into the US or EU, or for that matter are even allowed to leave their country of origin, they have no where to go because legal immigration is restricted to a
    • Come again? China has artificially kept the value of their currency down, amongst several other blatant abuses of the world market. They aren't playing fair, either, so why should Europe?
      • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:38PM (#19951737)
        Here is an interesting point. Who is this kind of market manipulation unfair to? People in Europe and the US buy goods from China at "below market" prices. That means that the Chinese are getting shafted because they are exchanging goods of greater value for goods of lesser value. Sure, they are building up treasury bills that they can exchange with us for goods and services later, but those will be worth even less when they do get around to spending them than they would be if they spent them today (and today they are worth less than the goods they originally exchanged for them).

        What is going on here? The Chinese government is selling labour at below market cost to increase its global influence and finance a rapid build up of industrial infrastructure. In the mean time, Chinese citizens are getting shafted by being forced to work more to gain less personal benefit than other people in the industrialized world. In other words, the government is accumulating power on the backs of Chinese citizens.

        Of course, it is impossible for us to reform this situation, since only the Chinese may put a stop to it by telling their government they won't stand for it any longer. Refusing to trade with China will only slow their industrial progress and make the Chinese less willing and able to stand up to these blatant governmental abuses.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drsquare (530038)
      We'll end protectionism when China has the same labour laws and environmental standards as the West. Why should Chinese companies get to produce things for lower prices because they just dump all their chemicals in the local river that the peasants have to drink out of?
    • by dircha (893383)
      "Cause if there are people in China who are willing to work for cheaper than people in your country then you best make sure business and consumers can't benefit from that."

      Or, you know, maybe the EU - unlike the US - will stand up for its principles in the world by negotiating trade deals with these countries that are tied to human rights, to having a representative, participatory democracy, and to their people being free from government infringement upon their liberties?

      But then who are we to intervene? Af
      • by QuantumG (50515)
        If that's the goal then that's admirable. However there's really no indication in this case that this is the goal.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by QuantumG (50515)

        But then who are we to intervene? Afterall, it's not our fault these poor saps over in China flunked out of interdimensional soul-school and got themselves born into the world as dirt poor factory laborers in a communist regime, right? Sucks to be them, amirite?! Damn right you should be smug! I mean, you wouldn't have been born in the good old US of A if you didn't deserve it.

        In regards to this... as much as I understand the point you're trying to make.. where I was born and who I am wasn't a lottery. My parents and their parents and their parents worked to make the world I was born into. I think it kind of sucks that you ignore all their hard work and belittle it into some sort of cosmic lottery.

  • by timmarhy (659436) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @08:39PM (#19950815)
    The less tax the better, because at it's core government is horribly inefficent, so the less money going to them the better. Sure, they are required to pay for things we couldn't be trusted to pay for ourselfs like police and the military, but taxation to protect local manufacturers who can't compete is crappy economics.
    • your logic = bad (Score:3, Insightful)

      by node 3 (115640)
      Let's look at what you said more closely:

      Claim: "The less tax the better"
      Evidence: "because at it's core government is horribly inefficent"
      Conclusion: "so the less money going to them the better."

      Even if, "at its core", government is horribly inefficient, that does not mean it's not useful, or even necessary. Of course, sometimes government is exceptionally *efficient*. Your evidence does not support your conclusion, which is just a rewording of your claim.

      Then you continue: "Sure, they are required to pay
      • by timmarhy (659436)
        as usual, people like you are incapable of reading anymore of the comment then support your own agenda.

        1. i never contradict myself at all. i made the point that there are somethings where taxation is requried, because todate it's the best method we have of dispersing the funds to pay for them, and i gave the example of police and military, because i'm hoping your clever enough to imagine what would happen if we stopped defending the country and allowed private armies to take on the roll and bid for our mo

        • by Geof (153857) on Monday July 23, 2007 @12:50AM (#19952599) Homepage

          1. i never contradict myself at all

          I'm afraid you do, though I think it's a matter of not expressing yourself clearly.

          2. . . .the fact the protectionism is BAD economics is pretty basic to understand

          Sometimes protectionism can benefit a country. Witness the success of MITI [wikipedia.org] in Japan. Beyond that, however, you must ask the question "bad for whom"? What is it that your economics is trying to maximize? Equality? National wealth? Global wealth? Well being? Sustainability? That's a moral choice, whose answer depends on your ethical framework.

          Finally, you provide a hypothetical illustration of one form of bureaucratic inefficiency. This is nothing more than anecdotal evidence... except it's not even anecdotal. It's about on the level of, "Take an American worker who watches some TV. If he's watching TV, he's not working. But the poor Chinese peasant seldom watches TV - he's always working. The Chinese also has to focus on the bottom line, because if he is inefficient he'll starve - the American will just end up on welfare."

          If you want to show that goverment is "horribly inefficient" - or, more importantly, that it is less efficient than the market - then you need to compare more than just one possible form of government behavior. There are many ways of organizing economic activity, corporations, and governments. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, which vary depending on the government, th esociety in which it operates, the specific activity in question, etc. - and which must be judged relative to what ever standard you choose for efficiency (which is again an ethical question). If you want to show that government is "horribly inefficient" - or that it is more or less efficient than the market for a particular activity - you need to explain what you mean by "inefficient" and then you need to actually make a comparsion - not just cherry-pick an example, then smack your hands together with glee exclaiming: "see! they're horribly inefficient!"

          It may be attractive to look for cute "laws" like "the less tax the better". But they don't exist. What you're stating there is not an objective characterization of the worth of goverment: it's a subjective ethical claim. If you really care about this kind of thing, you would be well advised to read some thoughtful arguments by people with varying perspectives, not run around calling people "dolts".

          As it happens, I'm with you in this particular case: I susspect it's pernicious corporate welfare. Though frankly, it's small beans compared to many other goverment activities (software patents, copyright extension, barriers to third world agricultural products, etc.).

      • by TheSync (5291) *
        Extreme anti-protectionism protects only two classes: the multinational corporations and the extremely wealthy. If you are not in either of those two classes, you are arguing against your own best interests.

        TheTheorem of Comparative Advantage [wikipedia.org] proves that it is beneficial to both parties to specialize in production of the goods that each party is most productive at (even if one party is better at producing all goods).

        It should also be noted that all taxes incur a deadweight loss [econmodel.com] to the economy.
      • by roman_mir (125474)
        Regardless of what the GP said

        Taxing to create scarcity is ridiculous.
      • And funneling your wealth out of the country is *good* economics?

        So, we shouldn't export anything?

        Extreme anti-protectionism protects only two classes: the multinational corporations and the extremely wealthy

        Anti-protectionism allows people to afford more, whereas protectionism protects inefficiency as well as raises prices.

        If you are not in either of those two classes, you are arguing against your own best interests.

        So, you get to dictate what my best interests are?

        Falcon

    • by dircha (893383)
      "The less tax the better, because at it's core government is horribly inefficent"

      Imposing import tariffs in order to penalize countries that oppress their laborers, that deny them basic human rights, that deny them democratic participation and representation in their government, in my opinion are exactly the sort of cases when countries should impose tariffs.

      Do you think those laborers want to be there? It's not their fault they were born there. And where else are they going to go, even if they could afford
      • by timmarhy (659436)
        " Imposing import tariffs in order to penalize countries that oppress their laborers, that deny them basic human rights, that deny them democratic participation and representation in their government, in my opinion are exactly the sort of cases when countries should impose tariffs."

        i agree, countries that oppress their people and violate humans rights need to be dealt with. thats what SANCTIONS are for. If anything, tariffs will make life worse for poor laborers in those countries because now the company h

      • "mposing import tariffs in order to penalize countries that oppress their laborers, that deny them basic human rights, that deny them democratic participation and representation in their government, in my opinion are exactly the sort of cases when countries should impose tariffs."

        The sounds pretty noble, and maybe an interesting way to promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The trouble is, they aren't doing this on general principles, they're doing it to promote and protect specific local indu
    • Agreed. This tax is basically helping one segment of the population by hurting another segment of the SAME population, the consumers.

      Let's say EU camera company makes a camera with 80 Euros worth of parts and Japanese camera company makes one worth 82 Euros worth of part. So the Japanese camera is better. Camera shopper in EU shops around and is notices the small price difference but the extra 2 Euros worth of features is worth it to him. The EU camera company just lost a sale.

      After the tax, the Japanes
  • by tietokone-olmi (26595) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @08:40PM (#19950823)
    I foresee special "EU edition" cameras with the video recording function switched off in firmware so it won't qualify for the tariff. Of course manufacturers will "forget" certain cheat codes in the firmware that will permanently enable said functionality. These codes will of course be mysteriously "leaked" to the internet.
    • I think I've seen stuff like that done. Going from memory, the "E" variant of a camcorder often could not do something common, like record video from the computer, I think because digital video recording decks were taxed higher or something like that, and camcorders would be playback only decks. I'm trying to remember the particulars so I can look it up, but on some forums like dvinfo.com, I've seen complaints of stuff like that happening.
    • by LoudMusic (199347)

      I foresee special "EU edition" cameras with the video recording function switched off in firmware so it won't qualify for the tariff. Of course manufacturers will "forget" certain cheat codes in the firmware that will permanently enable said functionality. These codes will of course be mysteriously "leaked" to the internet.

      Or better yet, they ship 'without the capability' but there is a firmware upgrade 3 months later that enables it. Do they tax the firmware update? How is this even enforced?

  • So why camcorders... and not all the other millions of goods that come from china/elsewhere in general.
    • Someone is losing money somewhere and goes crying to the govt because of poor business decisions.
      • Well, I'm actually surprised it's camcorders instead of regular cameras.

        If you'll remember, there were quite a few European camera manufacturers before they were completely decimated by competition from the East, mainly due to cost-cutting measures that could be taken in China and Japan, but not in Europe.

        As a result, many of these companies, Zeiss and Leica among them, were decimated. Ask any seasoned photographer who made the better products, and you'll likely hear testaments to the quality of Leica and
  • by joe_cot (1011355) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @08:42PM (#19950835) Homepage
    To put this in perspective for anyone who's not doing the math, this means the cost of a $500 camera has now increased by *gasp* 25 dollars. You pay far more tax than that when you buy a new car.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      so what, $25 is $25. Why should anyone pay this to keep someone else in business?
      • by AvitarX (172628)
        The summary said "digital camera costs could go crazy in Europe".

        4.9 percent is not crazy, it is a small bump in price. Even if it is for a bullshit reason.
    • by hibiki_r (649814)
      I guess you forgot the Sarcasm tags, because in most of Europe, you pay significantly more than just an extra 5% on a car.

      In Spain, for example, you get a 13% tax to get plates. If your car is a gas guzzler, you pay more than that. Add VAT, and 30% of a car's price is just tax. There are few items in which you'd pay more tax, like cigarettes and blank CDs.
  • Tax overhaul time? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @08:47PM (#19950889)
    It seems to me that with the constant growth & change of the high-tech marketplace the stuffed shirts responsible for levying taxes are going to have to significantly overhaul how taxes are levied in the not-too-distant future. The way this tax appears to be defined it could apply to devices that are not primarily cameras. Mobile phones are close to fitting into this definition. You can also buy binoculars capable of recording to digital media. A similar problem thats already rearing its ugly head is the recent decision by Canada to levy an "ipod tax" on mp3 players. They're already collecting taxes on the sale of music, so this in effect is taxing the end user twice. I'd be willing to bet that somebody in Canada will sue over that soon. Imagine if Canada implemented this digital camera tax and then in a few years ipods started showing up with built-in cameras... You'll end up with devices that are heavily taxed under a slew of "digital rights" taxes.
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      at least 30 minutes of video in one go, with a resolution of 800x600 pixels or higher at 23 frames per second or higher.
      I thought most consumer grade digital cameras did at best VGA (640×480) quality video.

      Do digital SLRs even shoot video?
  • eBay (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 42Penguins (861511) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @08:51PM (#19950925)
    How would eBay and other online stores fit into this little plan? I know that most online purchases here in the US aren't taxed, but how about the good old EU?
    • tax for online sales (Score:3, Informative)

      by falconwolf (725481)

      I know that most online purchases here in the US aren't taxed, but how about the good old EU?

      Actually taxes are supposed to be paid for online purchases, it's the buyer's responsibility to report the purchase to the state and pay the tax. These taxes go back to catalogue mail orders, however many people don't know this and even if they do not many will report it.

      Falcon
  • ..there is no domestic European camera industry to protect? As they say in the article, all the cameras are manufactured outside Europe. The purpose of tariff barriers is to protect domestic industry (or so I thought).
    • by Ajehals (947354)
      I would guess that this is intended to provide the incentive for someone to start producing such cameras within the EU. A tax intended to slant the playing field in such a manner that any potential EU camera producer has an immediate advantage when selling within the EU. That is not such a terrible thing I guess, however If I were in charge of a camera producing country outside of the EU, the first thing I would do the moment an EU company started producing cameras is to apply the same tariffs in the othe
    • EU policy is to use tarrifs to induce industries to locate facilities within the Single European Market. That's what the EU is all about. They're trying not to make the mistake the US did, of losing manufacturing to low-wage countries.

      • by TheSync (5291) *
        They're trying not to make the mistake the US did, of losing manufacturing to low-wage countries.

        Right, the EU prefers high unemployment rates and slow economic growth (outside of the UK anyway).
    • by JanneM (7445)
      Leica produces cameras in Europe. Don't know if Hasselblad still has a factory in Europe, though (if they do, that'd be another one). And Phase One is a Danish company, though again I don't know how much manufacturing they do in Europe. These are all niche products in any case.

      The big European manufacturers, though, are Nokia and Sony-Ericson. Cameras on phones are the by far largest segment of photography equipment today, no matter what actual photo hobbyists think of them. Go to a tourist spot and camerap
  • at least 30 minutes of video in one go, with a resolution of 800x600 pixels or higher at 23 frames per second or higherReally h/blockquote>

    How many digital cameras will this effect if this is the baseline requirements to get hit by the tax? I know digital cameras have been getting better with their video recording support but most cameras I've looked at top out at 640x480. Of course, I'm in Canada where that matches up with NTSC resolution fairly well, whereas I suppose across the pond the higher resolut

  • Simple solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xs650 (741277) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @09:07PM (#19951069)
    It will take the manufacturers all of a blink of an eye to create Euro only models by changing the firmware to limit video capabilities.

    Then buyers can change the firmware after they get the cameras.

  • by beavis88 (25983) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @09:22PM (#19951221)
    Problem solved. God, politicians are some dumb fuckers. That, or businesses are paying them off to write really dumb laws...hmm... :(
  • I hardly consider an additonal 4.9% tax, passed along to the consumer as "Yet another wonderful move by your socialist overlords" to be "Going Crazy." It's more of a reason to go out and vote differently next election cycle. After all, you've brought this down on yourselves.
  • Update: 07/23 02:18 GMT by Z : Took out a bit of hyperbole.

    Not that I can tell.

  • To posts that go this way:

    It will take the manufacturers all of a blink of an eye to create Euro only models by changing the firmware to limit video capabilities.

    Then buyers can change the firmware after they get the cameras.


    If that tax accounts for hardware capability down to anything that can record video that is capable of/over 800x600/23fps, in any way (including firmware modification?), pay up.
  • Just build cameras that record in 720x576. Or 799x599.
  • The question is not why still cameras are now considered to be the same as video cameras, the real question is why they are taxing video cameras to begin with!

    And the best solution to this "horrible" inconsistency is to abolish the tax on video cameras, not to arbitrarily extend it to other devices.
    • by cdrguru (88047)
      Simple: EU manufacturers cannot possibly compete with China and other Far East manufacturers on labor costs.

      Wait for WTO to veto this as an unfair tariff.
      • by sethstorm (512897) *
        Watch for them and another major region to drop out of the WTO when they see enough of this happen.

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