An Endless Cycle: Taxing Blank Cassettes and Killing Music | Summary and Q&A

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November 11, 2017
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Today I Found Out
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An Endless Cycle: Taxing Blank Cassettes and Killing Music

TL;DR

The Home Taping Is Killing Music campaign was launched in the UK in response to the introduction of blank cassette tapes, but it failed to stop consumers from making copies of music they owned.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What was the purpose of the Home Taping Is Killing Music campaign?

The campaign aimed to discourage consumers from copying music onto blank cassette tapes by appealing to their sense of morality.

Q: How did the campaign address the issue of legality?

The advertising campaign explicitly mentioned that using the new technology to copy copyrighted material was against the law.

Q: Did the campaign succeed in stopping consumers from making copies of music?

No, despite the campaign's efforts, consumers continued to make copies of music they owned for personal and private use.

Q: How did the music industry respond to the campaign?

The campaign resulted in a push-back from consumers and musicians, with some artists even releasing tapes allowing fans to copy their songs.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) launched the Home Taping Is Killing Music campaign in 1981 to discourage consumers from copying music onto blank cassette tapes.

  • The campaign appealed to the morality of consumers rather than focusing on the legality of home taping.

  • The campaign received backlash from consumers and musicians, and it ultimately failed to prevent the copying of music.

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