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UK Government to Tax Linux? 343

An anonymous reader writes "The UK government is looking at introducing a tax aimed at software published under GNU GPL. It claims that because programmers do it for free, it is losing out on income tax and that commercial software companies (read Microsoft) are at a disadvantage. Some pressure group has already put up a website with more details and news site Techworld have got a quote from a Treasury spokesman saying that they're only considering it."
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UK Government to Tax Linux?

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  • Very cute. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jaywalk ( 94910 ) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @03:17PM (#8739808) Homepage
    And the "what you can do" plea to get readers to get major news organizations to pick up the story is a nice touch. Nice example of viral marketing. It would be a bit more convincing -- but less funny -- if they got people to write Parliament instead.

    I'd dearly love to see Forbes get suckered by this one. They've been such dorks about anything to do with Linux, it would be par for the course. It looks like they bought [] the Google mail story hook, line and sinker.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 01, 2004 @03:20PM (#8739850)
    What the fuck? I just got mod points and I tried to mod this post up. When I did I got a message that said it was "administratively frozen" and that users cannot moderate it.

  • by pdan ( 624244 ) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @03:23PM (#8739894)
    In my country (Poland) a few years ago they decided that they should put VAT (value added tax) on free software. They found some law that enables tax officials to reassess value of goods if they seem underpriced. They assumed value of a Linux distro to be a price (not value of course) of Windows Server and for Open Office of MS Office Pro.
    Fortunately all media ridiculed this idea and they backed off.
  • Re:OK, I'm bored (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @03:23PM (#8739895) Homepage Journal
    "OK, I'm bored of the April fools jokes... 5 in one day is excessive."

    Every single April 1st, there's always some git who gets modded up for saying the exact same thing. Slashdot's been running 365/24/7, you can can take a day off for silliness.
  • Swedish tax logic (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 01, 2004 @04:08PM (#8740402)
    I fell for that april fools joke too. Here in Sweden, the authorities have in the past seriously proposed taxing things like picking berries in the forest for own consumption and heating your house with your own wood. Taxing free software would fit nicely into that logic.. /Anders
  • by zakezuke ( 229119 ) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @06:04PM (#8741691)
    a 100% sales tax on $0 = $0. sheesh.

    I wanted to give my niece my old car. The car was a piece of junk, but it was a running piece of junk. If I were to "give" her the car, then the state would charge her tax on what it estimates it's value to be, which I'm told was between $750-$1500... basicly base price for a running car. Tax in her region would have been 8.5% if i'm not mistaken... plus misc fees and such. Fair and reasonable, but still a $63.75 fee + misc other fees involved in the transfer of a car and yearly taxes.

    Even selling it to her for $1.00 the state would be skeptical as to whether this was an honest deal, or a trick to avoid paying sales tax. I had to sign an statement of the car's value. Which was fine by me.. I signed a statement saying "it's had accidents, it has over 350,000 miles on it, family $1.00, non family $100.00".

    The point is you can tax things with no value, or little value. It could be a flat non percent tax, or a tax of what the goverment believes the value should be.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas