When Is A Camera Not A Camera?

01/19/202039 Comments

Here's a riddle for you: When is a camera not a camera?

It may not sound as important as The Riddle of the Sphinx, but let me assure you it speaks to the very nature of the reality we live in. And it has a simple answer: When is a camera not a camera? When the EU says it isn't.

Discover the weird truth about why your DSLR camera is manufactured to be defective (and what it tells us about the world we live in) in this week's edition of The Corbett Report Subscriber.

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  1. manbearpig says:

    I’m sure I’m going to regret this question, being a victim of doing too many things too hastily…

    so arbitrarily going from an untaxed recording device to a taxable digital camera…?

    Your point, I believe, is well-taken, but… is the “not” in the sentence below intended…? my weary brain’s been tied up in negatives and is spinning in neutral:

    “…to be classified as a digital camera, equipment must not be able to record at least 30 minutes of a single sequence of video…”

    or is it the recording devices that’re taxed? but: the manufacturers have responded by simply eliminating that option from their cameras . . . I mean, their “recording devices.”

    “To avoid being slapped with a gratuitous tax equipment must not be able to record at least 30 minutes of a single sequence of video…”


    anyhow, back to a rather dreary grading marathon…

  2. Howser says:

    We’re dealing with snow here the The Great White North. You need a license to go around and help people dig out their cars. Just like a lemonade stand.
    If you hold the legal title, you don’t own the equity. Therefore, you must have a license to use the equity. Crazy world of legal deception for control.

  3. cooly says:

    I live in a state in the US. I’m a homeowner. (Not really, The Machine owns the house but they’re kind enough to let me live here if I keep paying on time).
    I have two cars, and a one-car driveway. So I would park one on the street. After a while I started parking it straddling the curb. Two wheels on the street, two on the grass (weed) strip that runs along side the sidewalk. Just to be a little more out of the road. I thought, My, I’m such a Thoughtful Citizen. I got a ticket. $170.
    My driveway divides my front lawn in two. One side is just the right width to park a car. So I thought I would do that. Then I had a hunch…and called the city to see if that was cool. No. A car has to be parked on concrete.
    I thought, what? This is My. Fucking. Property. Oh, wait. No it isn’t. Not really.

  4. davidbmcbain says:

    When is a war not a war? BTW, when is January 20th not January 20th? When it’s January 19th in Scotland.

  5. ben7 says:

    In Australia (NSW) our lovely cops can now book us for leaving our cars unlocked if we’re more than 5 metres from the car (windows can be open only 2cm). Case in point, a woman in a shop told me she was standing talking to a cop who was giving her a ticket for parking in the wrong direction in front of her house (so she could unload some heavy things) and while she was talking to him she unlocked her car remotely. He promptly then booked her for having her car unlocked and being 5 metres away.
    Here I was thinking I’d prefer if some young punk wanted to steal the loose change from my car I’d prefer they didn’t smash a window so generally don’t lock my ( 20 year old) car. Serve and protect….the corporations…

    • calibrator says:

      Obviously they still think they are running a prison…

    • wylie1 says:

      One of Martin’s of ArmstrongEconomics.com blog categories is called [The Hunt For Taxes]. He describes how governments world wide are desperate for money. Thus govts continually come up with new laws, fines, and ways of bilking the public.

      Similar things have been occurring in the usa, for a number of years. A quite nasty approach is escalation. If they stop you for some supposed violation, they may go on a fishing expedition in attempt to increase the fines or put you in jail where the revenue to the county govt(and lawyers) will rise dramatically. And of course they get brownie points for putting supposed criminals away. The county prosecutors and many of the judges they collude/conspire with are nothing short of evil.

      Welcome to Marxism. Where the laws mean what the Judge says, not what their words mean.

      Not that we should need a Constitution but a great many laws the police and courts use are unConstitutional.

      Who is to stop them? Certainly not [the people] who absolutely refuse to gather together to easily and non-violently heavily screen to put their own decent honorable, penalty contracted to perform prescribed tasks, into office… rather than depending on other “political parties” to do that job for the lazy public.

  6. cooly says:


    Damn. That’s even more retarded than my story. Again, it’s all about revenue. That and teaching obedience I guess.
    And what are cops in general, for the most part? People who are emotionally immature and get off on having arbitrary power over people.
    Serve and protect-
    From the reading I have done local police departments originated because the ruling class, the owners of industry, etc., feared the common rabble. They might get too pissed off and start stealing their shit or vandalizing them. So they wanted protection.
    Serve and protect.

    • ben7 says:

      You’re right Cooly, and it gets worse.

      People fleeing fires here, with as much as they could fit in their car were then booked on entering the closest town for having too much stuff in their cars. And the worst one I heard was a woman who was fined for having her pet goat in the car. Obviously she should have let her pet die in an inferno.

      At a time when the community was coming together, where the real things that matter were at the fore of everyone’s mind, sharing food, offering shelter, looking after each other, the cops had an opportunity to at least pretend they were a part of the community but clearly they didn’t get the memo.

      Add to that the constant roadside swab testing regime where people are losing their licences for 6 months or more for smoking a joint 3 days before and it’s abundantly clear we live in a police state. Criminalise, fine and control everyone..except the psychopathic fuckers at the top of the food chain.

      I can only hope more people are waking up to the reality of the ever encroaching control grid that is clearly here. But mostly it seems people are more concerned about CO2.

      • HomeRemedySupply says:

        Interesting anecdotes guys.

      • wylie1 says:

        Super sad indeed. One of the tricks is hiring new police from outside the area so they care not about the locals. No kin, no kindred spirit. Even so, one wonders how they rationalize it. They likely get rewarded in some way, which could be as little as keeping their job, under the threat of the lowest revenue producer gets fired… and bring in another non local to keep the pressure on.

        I think I’m going to start asking this to anyone bringing up CO2:

        What happens when you pump CO2 into a greenhouse? Does it grow more green stuff? Or did the major media and their charlatan scientists disprove photosynthesis? So if you were a group of so called elites who wanted several billions less people on the planet to make them easier to control, would you want more or less CO2 as we move into the next global cooling phase?

        • cooly says:


          Escalation is a nefarious one, isn’t it. Very much baked into the pie. The parking ticket I payed cost me double because I didn’t pay fast enough. Another dirty trick is suspending one’s driver’s liscence for an offense. Why? So maybe you can’t get to work, lose your income, and you are stuck on the fine-paying hamster wheel.
          And hiring non-local cops. I’ve heard of that. Quite pragmatic and psychopathic. How do those cops rationalize what they do? Yea, job security most likely. That, and they enjoy what they do. Most low-level cops are not deep thinkers, in my own experience. That is of course a generalization. No offense intended to any cops who are reading this forum who can think and see beyond their badge and gun.

  7. Extremely valuable piece of information for use in debates with the typical mainstream academia graduate who is absolutely certain that there could never be a situation in which all leading manufacturers in a particular market, from all over the planet, would covertly agree to gimp/cripple/limit their own product in such a way.

    • wylie1 says:

      Covert agreement? How did you come to that? Unless I missed something, it seems the manufacturers are merely responding to the tax category; nothing covert. There are manufacturers who do make digital cameras with longer record times, you just have to pay more, due to the additional tax.

      Is it truly “arbitrary” or to help out some Euro manufacturer or potential manufacturer?

      The same thing happened with motorcycles imported to the usa a number of years ago. They applied a larger tax on bikes over 999cc. So then you saw many more bikes in the 900cc or so category.

      You could still get 1100 and 1200cc bikes, you just had to pay much more than seemed reasonable, due to the larger tax. One could also guess that the 900cc category, having more supply, became more competitively priced creating an even greater disparity with the larger sized bikes. I’m guessing same same with the Digital cameras with under 30min of record time.

      It was quite some time ago, don’t know if it was removed or not at some time after … but I’m guessing it was to help out the in country manufacturers such as Harley Davidson which were struggling at the time.

    • wylie1 says:

      Also, a number of years ago, a prime example of Intel gimping a product: Intel added an extra chip to limit the computing ability of the main chip and selling that limited {SX chipset} version, costing more to produce, for less than the original (DX chipset).

      My guess is that the engineers found that more expedient to accomplish than the time to engineer and test a lower cost version the marketers demanded in order to keep the average price of all sales higher while having higher average sales.

  8. thomas.j says:

    Broadcasting in Canada. There is a similar law in EU for streaming services:


    I guess for the tech company back-doors a solution could be using some version of Linux. It would be hard for law makers to prevent back doors being closed in open-source software. Though there is a certain learning curve.

  9. scpat says:

    War is not murder because the government says so.
    Taxation is not extortion because the government says so.

  10. scpat says:

    If you guys can actually believe it, I’ve taken a picture of the Eiffel tower at night. What an adrenaline rush!!!

  11. Octium says:

    Just convinces me more that voting is a sin.

    Also I believe that some cameras have vulnerabilities that allow open source firmware to be installed.


    Yay, the revolution can take longer than 29.999 Minutes now and still be filmed!

  12. a822 says:

    Very interesting,
    What’s the point of gaining monopoly over some territory
    if not to tax whatever trade’s taking place there 
    and even impact on products themselves?
    I remember a documentary that showed the Brussels commissioners
    having neverending breakfasts, lunches…tough days,
    where they ended up feeling more like food critics than bureaucrats.

    There seems to be a hacking solution to the 30 minute limitation,
    not enough of a geek to know if it works:

  13. alexandre says:

    If I start with how it is here in Brazil I wouldn’t stop until my death – or yours. I always thought that Latin America was the model for the 1st world, but apparently every place on Earth that is not the 1st world was a model, test ground etc, so now, after the testing phase, they’re executing the plan on the 1st world. The good aspect of the Latin American dimension – and you kids should learn from this – is that many times shit doesn’t work and when it works, it’s because the victims (sorry, the people) obey faithfully (or fearfully) and act accordingly. So, thanks to the extreme incompetence typical of this land, we’re not all already dead or in jail. The bureaucratic mess is so surrealistically thick that no system can work at all. THAT, I suggest, is the great answer to Technocracy; INCOMPETENCE!

  14. Gary says:

    Not a lot of silly stuff goes on around here in Kentucky that I’m aware of, and I’ve been here for 20 years. Cops do their jobs but tend to be lenient and friendly. Nothing to really complain about if you don’t cause trouble. Kentucky used to be part of Virginia once upon a time, and became the 15th U.S. State after Vermont. We still grow tobacco, invented bourbon, and yet cannabis is still illegal. Go figure. We’ve grown more cannabis than tobacco for decades. Ohio license tags are a $35 flat fee for cars, but are six percent of fair market value of the car in Kentucky. Can’t think of anything really silly like a camera isn’t a camera because ‘x’ happens.

  15. wylie1 says:

    Any tax affects how people (producers and consumers) act.

    To call any market which is taxed, a free market, is absurd.

    All tax is monetary redistribution = Collectivism(Socialism, Progressivism, Marxism, Communism, Fascism/Corporatism)

    If one wonders how the government can help the poor without collecting taxes… maybe they ought to be wondering how the government can hurt you, the poor, or anyone else, without collecting taxes. An individual or a group can find a way to truly help, without any government.

    Taxes are a vote buying scam, implemented by playing on the emotions of the gullible, to supposedly help some group. Overwhelmingly, the group that is helped is the government, to the detriment of all, if not monetarily then psychologically.

    So then is government the highest societal evolution of mankind or the lowest?

  16. Similar Kafkaesque is everyday’s bread-and-butter of every Windows and macOS user (not just administrator). New software is quite often NOT better, by design (case: the entire Adobe suite).

    Since every multinational corporation functions as a self-proclaimed and self-governed, exteritorial monarchy, ruled by greed of gold only – they too exhibit exactly the same traits.

    I won’t point fingers which exactly camera manufacturer lobbied this exact absurd law in EU, but I would bet all my photoequipment that Canon had something particular to do with it – which seems logical, if you track how Canon has been treating it’s customers for more than 10 past years (and why https://magiclantern.fm/ was born, is still actively developed and has no actual equals among other manufacturers’ copycat hacking projects).

    It all points back to the authors of the rule of greed, and TINA (There Is No Alternative) which was so well commented and ridiculed by “Spitting Image” series (funny enough – even the post-mortem https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03yg3yn is officially “unavailable”) among countless others. Ridiculous lawmakers didn’t come up with these ridiculous rules just by themselves – they are by definition unable to think creatively.

  17. Ethan Hunter says:

    Wonderful piece.

    This gives us insight into the current Brexit phenomenon and populist phenomena around the world.

    The reason for this awakening is for the silly regulations like this and others that stifle innovation, creativity, business growth, etc.

    If only there could be the same pushback on the WTO, UN, and other international bureacracies that meddle in national affairs and jurisdictions.

    For example, the UN just recently ruled that migration is a human “right” due to “climate change”. You can read about that here:


  18. zyxzevn says:

    For fun:
    Sen. Mike Lee explains the problems of the Green New Deal

    • cooly says:


      Thanks for that. I felt like I was watching a comedy sketch (RIP Terry Jones).
      Spoken like an obedient Mormon and politician, Mr. Lee.
      American kids are more likely to be successful and affluent than kids in other countries? Maybe in your gated community, asshole. Your kids won’t have to become mercenaries for corporations because they have few options.
      And more kids=more taxable people. And more tithings to the (totally corrupt) church.
      With all due respect, and I mean this in the nicest possible way Mr. Lee- Fuck off.

      • pearl says:

        (RIP Terry Jones)

        Cooly, in case you haven’t read it already, I thought you’d appreciate this from off-Guardian:


        • cooly says:

          Thanks pearl-

          There has been so much on the net since he died. Deservedly so. This morning I read a quite interesting interview with him at the Vulture website. Check it out. It’s by Mike Sacks, and the title of the post is “We weren’t concerned with making anyone but ourselves laugh”.
          Last night I watched Life Of Brian again. It’s been a while. It was nice to laugh out loud for a change. That doesn’t happen much anymore for me these days.
          To have such a mind, and lose it to dementia. Man. Life is a mean place.

          • pearl says:

            Yes, nice to laugh out loud, but do take extreme caution lest you die laughing.

            Thanks for pointing me to the interview; I just read it. Imagine! The BBC was on the verge of erasing the first season of tapes to make room for other recordings, and were it not for that insider tip moving them to smuggle those tapes out, where would comedy be today?

            • cooly says:

              Hey pearl-

              Where would comedy be today if that disappeared? Who knows. Remove an element of evolution, biological or cultural, and everything changes. To the point where we can’t imagine it. It’s a different reality. Perhaps the pinnacle of comedy would be the corporate tools on the late night shows. Who knows. I don’t.
              And dying laughing…
              I would choose that cause of death over everything else that is offered at the mortality buffet.
              Cheers darling.

  19. paul823 says:

    What will they tax next? Thingy?

    Here in Queensland there is a law that if you build a new house with an outside porch you have to have a ceiling fan installed (on the porch that is). No one can tell me why.

    And the temperature of the hot water in our homes is regulated to 50 degrees celsius. We had our hot water unit replaced a few years back and the plumber HAD to fit a temp regulator on it, he also had to take a picture of it (so I couldn’t convince him to leave it off) and send it in to the dept. of silly things.

    On the one hand it’s beyond pathetic that we can’t get the the support of the masses to ignore or overturn this crap, but on the the hand I’m glad it’s a global thing and not limited to ‘straya. Not much consolation though.

  20. mayordomo says:

    Excellent observations by James
    and subsequent commentary!
    Small point: in the spirit of the impeccable
    Corbett research, I’d like to point
    out that the Eiffel Tower was built a bit
    earlier than quoted (1923)–it was the
    centerpiece of the 1889 World’s Fair at Paris,
    and completed that same year. Ironically,
    this adds even more strength to James’
    argument as it’s silly
    “copyright” status expired even longer ago!

    • Corbett says:

      Ahhh, yes. Thank you for pointing that out. That was an error on my part. The law actually copyrights the work for 70 years after the death of the artist. In this case, Gustav Eiffel died in 1923, thus the copyright expired in 1993. I have added a correction to the article.

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