According to AFP, Japan is considering a copyright fee for buyers of iPods and similar portable audio players, as well as hard disc video recorders.
Click to enlarge
A government panel will weigh the proposal, which was made by the culture agency in an effort to resolve a long-running row between copyright holders and gadget manufacturers, who oppose the charge, the official said.
Japan already charges such fees on Minidisc and DVD recorders.
Local media said the panel aims to make a decision this year on whether to introduce the new charge by 2010.
A majority of the committee members are reportedly in favour of a levy, which is expected to be several hundred yen (several dollars) and added to the retail price.
The charge aims to compensate musicians and other copyright owners because their work is often copied and spread among consumers.
A similar proposal was quashed by the Canadian government following protests earlier this years and here in Australia there have been mutterings of an identical levy to be place on local consumers although nothing has yet been formally proposed by the Rudd government.