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Thursday, 8th May 2008
In General Japan News,

Copyright charges mooted for portable hardware

A special panel has been assembled to consider a proposal to charge copyright fees to those purchasing portable mp3 players in Japan, it has been reported.

The fee - which already applies to mini-disc and DVD player buyers in the country - would apply to many major brands, including Apple's iPod, according to AFP.

Hard disc video players would also reportedly be affected by the charges, which have been proposed by Japan's culture agency on behalf of copyright holders.

The panel has been formed following the agency's failure to gain support for the scheme from gadget manufacturers, who oppose any such changes to purchase policy, according to the website.

Currently, the majority of the panel are thought to be in favour of the digital levy - designed to compensate copyright-owning musicians for file-sharing activity - which could amount to several hundred yen per item for buyers.

The Japanese government recently launched an investigation into claims an iPod nano emitted sparks while being recharged.