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Canadian Copyright Board Quadruples Levies on Blank Media 33

Posted by michael
from the taxation-without-representation dept.
agallagh42 writes: "Computer World Canada has a piece on increased levies for blank media. Basically, the levy was increased from 5.2 cents to 21 cents (canadian) on CD-R and CD-RW media. They seem to be using the "presumed guilty" idea, and punishing everyone who uses this technology for whatever purpose, legal or otherwise. Does this mean that, since I'm already paying the music industry for my potential pirating, that I can feel free to pirate all I want?"
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Canadian Copyright Board Quadruples Levies on Blank Media

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  • Well, we should also start taxing the musical equipment too, since that MAY be used not only to "copy" music, but to create original music of your own! Tax cameras, because the MPAA will want a share of your new indy picture. Tax paper, because you might write that great american novel (title: Jack Valenti, YOU SUCK! :p). Hell, we might as well have a tax on toilet paper...never know when Mr. Whipple want's a share of your shit!

    I think I'll close this post with a certain Beatles song...

    Let me tell you how it will be,
    There's one for you, nineteen for me,
    'Cos I'm the Taxman,
    Yeah, I'm the Taxman.
    Should five per cent appear too small,
    Be thankful I don't take it all,
    'Cos I'm the Taxman,
    Yeah, I'm the Taxman.
    If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
    If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat,
    If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat,
    If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.
    Taxman.
    'Cos I'm the Taxman,
    Yeah, I'm the Taxman.
    Don't ask me what I want it for
    (Taxman Mister Wilson)
    If you don't want to pay some more
    (Taxman Mister Heath),
    'Cos I'm the Taxman,
    Yeah, I'm the Taxman.
    Now my advice for those who die,
    Declare the pennies on your eyes,
    'Cos I'm the Taxman,
    Yeah, I'm the Taxman.
    And you're working for no-one but me,
    Taxman.

    Oh no! I had better not post this, because I might be facilitating copyright infringment with the 2kilobytes of lyrics! Oh, please don't sure Slashdot for my incredibly selfish act of piracy, PLEASE!
  • I know it's lame to reply to your own post, but after actually reading the article (hey, I couldn't do that before firing off my snappy one-liner, could I?), I see that the ambit claim was to increase the levy to $3.00!! Damn, I was just joking, but that really would have been more than people make from legit sales!

  • The tax gets more significant, not less, as the price of blank CDs drops. 21 cents per CD is insignificant if the CD itself costs $5. But when the CD is only 40 cents, that's over 50 percent. That's quite a tax.

    I fail to see how paying money to music companies keeps frozen bodies off the streets. Do you really like being forced to pay money to record companies just so you can back up your hard drive? It simply makes no sense.
  • What's funny is that they actually expect the extra twenty cents to "(...)deter music pirates from illegally duplicating recorded works(...)". Yeah right... like someone would go and buy a full price record (for a relatively big sum) just because the extra 21 cents makes the cost of blank media JUST TOO HIGH!!! I remember people making illegal copies when CDs were like almost twenty times more expensive than they are now (at least here in Argentina, where a new CD costs about 20-22 U$S and blank media goes for as low as .5 U$S). Besides, if they're worried about losses due to napster, they should tax big hard drives and MP3 players, because I bet that's where most MP3 files end up.
  • Hello:

    Aren't Canadians already allowed to make as many copies as they want of other people's compact discs? I thought I read this somewhere...but maybe I don't have it right.
    Rajiv Varma
  • Hello:

    I forgot to add the following statement: Since Canadians are allowed to copy freely, this levy increase shouldn't be a big deal, eh?
    Rajiv Varma
  • The levy isn't about illegal piracy... The rate is selected in an attempt to compensate rights holders for new consumer rights made legal when the law was introduced (e.g. unlimited copying of any works for personal use). Hint: News media (major and minor, e.g. /.) don't care about getting the facts right. This should be obvious if you know anything about anything.

    Now I remember why I stopped reading /. on a regular basis. =)
  • Well, you can only blame the general population for bad taste. =)
  • How would this work, statistically speaking? How could they predict the number of personal (covered) recordings made?
  • Seeing as circumvention is the modern Robin Hood's main weapon - anyone want to set up a high-speed huge capacity storage device just over the border and charge Canadians a cost plus 5% fee for its use? Not only is it multi-purpose, but it'll stream the media to you over a Canadian government-subsidised broadband internet link, thus effectively recouping for the public the 21c they stol.. sorry, taxed all of those budding artists who now face having their blank media purchases subsidise the revenues of articsts who have already made it.

    Fantastic political logic there....

  • It sure would be nice if the Canadian fucking gubmint would collect on all the lost shareware dollars for all of the software that I release that gets used but never gets paid for. I'm gonna have to put those nag screens back in until Jean Chretien decides that I'm being treated unfairly.
  • Someday, I'll post something on /. so Funny, Insightful, Interesting, Informative, or Trollish, that a Canadian will save it to disk.

    As such, I should be entitled to a slice of this Tax. Where do I sign up to collect?

  • Of course if you import your own cds (business trips to the states?) you are exempt from the levies. They only apply when the cds are sold.
  • "Its funny because it is true" Homer Simpson
  • Canada LOVES to tax. "Ho, diss will bee for da content provider dere" says Bent-face Chretien, but he's rubbing his greedy corpselike hands, anticipating yet more tax windfall to spend on singing fountains in rivers, lesbian porn films, dirty joke books about dumb blondes, kickbacks to himself via shady hotel deals, etc.
  • I have watched and listened to the entire world fretting and fuming over the preoccupation of the free transmission of information(with or without intelligence, for about three years now: I don't want to insult anyone, but I must inform you, if only to be "true to myself", that the government,the politicians, the petty business types of all sizes, the reviewers, the commentators, the progammers,all of Slashdot, those who would tax the little recording blanks, and to all of those who never say anything about anything except to issue useless little platitudes, and especially to those who make the original sounds colors and motions: the net result of all your efforts is to destroy the earth, leaving a cess pool of decaying matter; guarding,and quarreling over it with your entire being. The net effect of human life upon the earth, will be this dried up cesspool: The Earth: full of whimpering, foul odors, sounds and sights and signifying nothing, Thus I foretell the legacy of the united states of america.
  • I was standing in Comp USA a few weeks ago and a woman was debating whether to buy the twice as expensive "music" blank CD's or the regular blank CD's. I told her there was no fundamental difference -- from personal experience I've burned dozens of music CD's onto regular data media and there is no damn difference. But she was convinced that they would somehow be more compatible. Whatever.
  • You're not pirating anything because under our copyright law its completely legal to make personal copies of any musical work. That's why there is a levy in the first place.

    Thats also why I think Napster might have more luck up here.. But it would fuck us up because it would piss the americans off, and we wouldnt want that.....

  • A prime example of why /. needs a "Score: -1, Huh?"
  • It's actually over 100% of most CD-Rs available. That sign must have been mistaken, since you can buy CD-Rs for less than 77 cents each. I've seen spindles of 100 for less than $50. Are you sure you didn't get CD-R and CD-RW reversed?

    See here [dealsdirect.com] for a price reference. "Blank CDR Spindle 100 - OEM 80 Minute 12X (NA) $49.75"
  • Does anyone REALLY believe that this money generated is actually going to the recording artists?

    I would think we'd be lucky if half the money even went to the industry in general, and I really doubt any of that will find its way to the actual artists whom this tax is supposed to be helping.

    Pass the backbacon and touque.
  • According to the signs posted in Future Shop, as of January 1st, the levy on CD-RWs went from 5.2 to 21 cents each. The levy on CD-Rs went from 61 to 77 cents each, which is over half of the cost of most CD-Rs available.

    The signs are wrong, I guess. According to the article, the levy on CD-Rs and CD-RWs goes from 5.2c to 21c, the levy on CD-R-Audio and CD-RW-Audio (ie, the ones that can be used in crippled "CD recorder" stereos) went from 60.8c to 77c. Same with MiniDiscs. So media that is "meant" for recording music gets hit a lot harder than media that "might" be used innocently. Feh.

  • You are still, if I recall correctly, permitted to personally import blank media for personal use.

    This levy only applies to manufacturers and those importing for resale. It is not a customs 'duty' and is not a 'tax'.

    You can still order a shipment of CD's from the US, and pay normal prices for them.
  • "Besides, if they're worried about losses due to napster, they should tax big hard drives and MP3 players."
    Ssh, don't give them ideas!
  • The stupid part about this is that the price of blank media jumps 50% because of this. Yep, I pay 40c per blank disc, add 21c for the levy and that's up to 61c per disc. It's nice to know that the levy money is going to the same crooks who are pushing pathetic artists by the truckload. I don't even turn on the radio in my car anymore because I'm tired of the crap they play. At least when I pay income taxes and whatnot, I know my money's being used (in part) for the benefit of the population (which includes myself). In the case of this levy, the only people benefitting from it are the already-rich crooks who run the whole whoring entertainment business. Democracy for money, that's what it is.
  • The cost of these media has fallen so steeply in the last 3 years that the price of a few cents per CD is not significant. A couple of years ago I often paid over $23 for a box of 10 brand name CDs with jewel cases. Now that same brand box is about $12, even with the tax increase. Just how many CDs is anyone producing for their own use? If you are producing volumes of them then that is a business you are running, and this is a small cost compared to everything else involved.

    There are more significant things to be concerned about than this. It is just a hot issue for the right wing types who are always sensitive over any perceived tax grab. (This is only a minority of people in Canada. We have to be socialist due to climate, just like everyone else at this latitude. We'd rather pay a little more to the government so we don't have to step over frozen bodies on the way to work.)

  • Surprise, it includes printer/copier paper, photographic film, photons, retinas.

    These guys are scared of something. 21c ain't much of a barrier tho'

  • It does look like a good plan. Unfortunately, it crashed my browser. Twice. I also (during the little time that I was actually able to surf the site) didn't see any binding guarantee that they would actually send my money to the artists in question, or that they even knew where to send the check.

    It's a good start, but it'll have to be a bit more professional before I'll touch it.

    OK,
    - B
    --

  • by Stormie (708) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @05:00AM (#399058) Homepage

    ..if they jack up the levy just a little bit more, it'll be bigger than the amount of royalties an artist gets when they sell a legit copy (through a major label) !!

  • by Zeke42 (106405) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @03:07PM (#399059)
    Not only does this help the large recording agencies by giving them money stolen from people using cdrs for innocent reasons, it also helps them maintain their power. Any independent musicians trying to promote themselves with self-produced recordings now has to basically pay the record companies for the privelege of trying to compete with them.
  • As someone once pointed out to me: FairTunes [fairtunes.com]. Looks like a good plan.


  • Seeing as a C$0.21 tax isn't going to keep anyone from pirating music, and since it applies even to legitimate usage of the media being taxed, this doesn't represent copyright or royalty protection at all: This is a simple transfer of wealth from the Canadian taxpayers to content-control corporations, facilitated by a pseudo-democratic government that has apparently sold itself out just as thoroughly as the one in the U.S.

    This brazen pickpocketing is nothing short of obscene, and it's part of a pattern of behavior I can't support anymore; until I'm given a way to pay the artists directly, all of my new music will be pirated. It may be illegal, but when the law is crafted by people who wish to steal from me, why would it make sense for me to follow it?

    OK,
    - B
    --

  • by MattGoyer (320609) on Tuesday February 27, 2001 @12:22PM (#399062) Homepage
    It's a bit strange that it crashed your browser. Email me [mailto] with your browser specs and we'll look into it.

    I also ... didn't see any binding guarantee that they would actually send my money to the artists in question, or that they even knew where to send the check.

    While we can't offer a binding guarantee (no one can) we do try our hardest to get the money to the artist. Failing that we'll refund your money. So far we've processed 1000 contributions and only one band has rejected payment. Why trust us?

    1. We display all the transactions on our site so both fans and artists alike can check see if a transaction has been made. If the artist sees a transaction on the site but doesn't get a check then they'll know something is amiss.
    2. We've received a substanstial amount of press coverage [fairtunes.com] and if it was known we were cheating artists it would ruin us pretty quickly.
    3. So far we've processed ~$6500 [fairtunes.com]. That is barely worth skipping the country with (seeing as our investment into the company has been greater than that).
    4. We display processed cheques [fairtunes.com] on the site.

    In terms of the professionalism. No one is funding dot.coms. We're doing what we can with what we have.

    Matt. (founder of Fairtunes)

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