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Canada Government Media Music Politics

MP3 Player Tax Proposed In Canada 281

Posted by samzenpus
from the squeezing-out-every-last-dime dept.
Interoperable writes "The status of sharing music in Canada is, to some extent, ambiguous. This is partly due to a levy imposed on blank media, CD-Rs and cassette tapes, that compensates artists and the recording studios for a loss of revenue due to copying. Legislation proposed by the NDP and supported by the Bloc Quebecois would extend that levy to cover MP3 players with the intent of decriminalizing audio file sharing for Canadian citizens. The proposed legislation, however, faces opposition from the governing Conservative party; the Liberal party has agreed to discuss the proposed bill."
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MP3 Player Tax Proposed In Canada

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  • First psot (Score:3, Funny)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:14AM (#31522404) Homepage Journal

    First poost, eh?

  • Useful (Score:2, Funny)

    by symes (835608)
    A little bit extra for an aweful lot more - this makes perfectly reasonable sense. Lets just hope the money gets to the struggling artists!
    • Re:Useful (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mr_da3m0n (887821) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:17AM (#31522438) Homepage

      Lets just hope the money gets to the struggling artists!

      I envy your optimism. It will most likely go the recording industry -- the ones who have to be appeased over the digital equivalent of mixtapes.

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        Which artists will it go to? Who gets to decide how the money is divided up? ...or is it all spent on fancy part^H^H^H^Hmeetings where people sit around deciding how to divide up the money?

        • Re:Useful (Score:5, Funny)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:02AM (#31523044) Journal

          I think it should all go to me. So far, I have received no money at all from my music, which must be due to piracy[1]. Therefore, my sense of entitlement tells me that society owes me approximately $2m (Canadian).

          [1] The fact that I have not produced any music does not detract from this argument in any way.

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          hopefully they screw the RIAA and write in that the money collected goes directly to Canadian artists only and must have full accounting reported or heavy fines will be levied against the RIAA.

          Come on, appease and screw them at the same time.

          • Re:Useful (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:36AM (#31523434)

            It's not the RIAA up here. It's the CCRA, IIRC.

            There are three factors that prevent RIAA-style tactics in Canada.

            First, it is not illegal to download music. It is, however, illegal to upload. So in a very real way, P2P clients are illegal here. I get around this by setting my ratio to cap at 1. It's a bit jerky to the other people after me, but it's how I interpret it. (IANAL) My ISP suggests setting the upload ratio to the lowest possible setting, and lists steps for how to do so in various clients.

            The other factor is that we have a loser-pay court system. If the Canadian Copyright folks want to sue me, they would have to pay my court costs when they lose. If they drop a case, they would be out all of my out-of-pocket expenses. Since I've already paid a levy for copyrighted materials, I (or more accurately, my lawyer) would argue that I've paid for the material that is being copied. Poor logistics on the part of the store, government, and rights holders are not my problem.

            Finally, this levy is brilliant. It bypasses the conservative's attempt to make copyright violations illegal. (We've talked about Bills C-60 and C-61 before.) By adding the fee, you give the okay to piracy by charging what is, in essence, a pirate licence. (I would happily pay a few bucks extra a month to get a pirate's licence, by the way.)

            Notwithstanding all the hoopla about music, which is ubiquitous, there are real dangers in copyright violations. However, those revolve around industry. If you're doing this for personal use, it should not be illegal. Once you try to sell the stuff or engage in fraud, then it's time for the law to step in.

              1. p2p software is not illegal in Canada. You can use it to share linux distros, etc.
              2. downloading copyright music w/o the copyright owners' permission has always been a civil copyright violation. The "making private copies" is copies that YOU already have legal access to (eg: format-shifting, an extension of time-shifting from the vcr days).
              3. it is NOT a "loser pay legal system" in the sense you think. The loser is only responsible for certain costs, such as filing fees. Even if you lose, you don't pay the o
              • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @12:52PM (#31525212) Journal

                If you're quoting the Copyright Act, you should at least quote the relevant sections [justice.gc.ca] of it:

                Copying for Private Use

                Where no infringement of copyright
                80. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the act of reproducing all or any substantial part of
                (a) a musical work embodied in a sound recording,
                (b) a performer’s performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording, or
                (c) a sound recording in which a musical work, or a performer’s performance of a musical work, is embodied
                onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the musical work, the performer’s performance or the sound recording.

                Limitation

                (2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the act described in that subsection is done for the purpose of doing any of the following in relation to any of the things referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) to (c):
                (a) selling or renting out, or by way of trade exposing or offering for sale or rental;
                (b) distributing, whether or not for the purpose of trade;
                (c) communicating to the public by telecommunication; or
                (d) performing, or causing to be performed, in public.

                1997, c. 24, s. 50.

                Right of Remuneration

                Right of remuneration
                81. (1) Subject to and in accordance with this Part, eligible authors, eligible performers and eligible makers have a right to receive remuneration from manufacturers and importers of blank audio recording media in respect of the reproduction for private use of
                (a) a musical work embodied in a sound recording;
                (b) a performer’s performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording; or
                (c) a sound recording in which a musical work, or a performer’s performance of a musical work, is embodied.

                Other sections in there establish procedure for collecting the levy and distributing it to copyright holders.

      • by Rary (566291)

        Lets just hope the money gets to the struggling artists!

        I envy your optimism. It will most likely go the recording industry -- the ones who have to be appeased over the digital equivalent of mixtapes.

        The levy already exists. This is merely an extension to it. The money is distributed by the Canadian Private Copying Collective [cpcc.ca] to the various organizations that already handle royalties for everything else in the industry. In the case of songwriters, that means SOCAN [socan.ca].

        So, if you're a struggling artist, and you have not handed your copyrights over to a record company, and you're a SOCAN member (membership is free, if I remember correctly), then you are eligible to receive part of this money.

    • Re:Useful (Score:4, Interesting)

      by value_added (719364) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:23AM (#31522526)

      Lets just hope the money gets to the struggling artists!

      I'd have guess that it would be spent on either donuts or hockey tickets, but Wikipedia offers a different take:

      The private copying levy is distributed as per the Copyright Board's allocation as: 66% to eligible authors and publishers,18.9% to eligible performers and 15.1% to eligible record companies.

      Maybe my Canadian friends can elaborate as to how effective this scheme is.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        How do they determine eligibility? Do they collect a sum from sales, then divide it proportionally based on percent of actual, normal sales?

        Say Britney got 57% of all audio sales in Canada, does she (and her company) get 57% of the money?

        And is that 57% based on units sold (albums, singles) or on $ sold? If she can charge more for an album than a nobody, does each of her album sales count as more towards that percent than each album for the nobody? Like if she sold 10,000 albums at retail of $20, but the

        • by Galestar (1473827)
          Can I start my own band + label, and sell a single CD to my brother for 1 BILLYION dollars, and get ALL of the fund?? In that case, TYVM NDP!
        • How do they determine eligibility? Do they collect a sum from sales, then divide it proportionally based on percent of actual, normal sales?

          Say Britney got 57% of all audio sales in Canada, does she (and her company) get 57% of the money?

          And is that 57% based on units sold (albums, singles) or on $ sold? If she can charge more for an album than a nobody, does each of her album sales count as more towards that percent than each album for the nobody? Like if she sold 10,000 albums at retail of $20, but the nobody sold 200 albums at $10, is her share 10,000 x 20 vs. 200 x 10 for the other guy? Or 10,000 vs. 200?

          The problem is how does copying affect sales. Did the person just create an additional copy of "The Great White North" that they purchased or did they copy it from someone else? Hell, did they just buy a downloadable version? Why is someone who hates Britney (or Alanis) paying them money because they're popular?

      • Re:Useful (Score:5, Informative)

        by Yvan256 (722131) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:29AM (#31522598) Homepage Journal

        Not effective at all [wikinews.org].

        • by DarthVain (724186)

          I do not believe those are the same institutions.

          The folks to distribute the Copyright Levy Tax, are a Government appointed corporation. From my general knowlege they had a lag time when it first started years and years ago, but within 3 years or so, caught up and distributed all the money. From what I understand all the money goes out each year using set rules and equations to artists, recording companies and the like.

          That said I couldn't tell you how fair those rules are or how they are applied.

      • It's pretty effective. The prices for blank media didn't go up dramatically, and until this article, it was easy to forget I was even paying it.

        Unfortunately, this is one of those issues that you need to be partisan on; the NDP is currently the only political party in Canada that is publicly against any kind of copyright reform. Unfortunately, their plans include things like this. Still, I'd rather the NDP get their way than the Conservatives, who have already twice tried to slam the Canadian DMCA down our

    • Actually, call me a jaded old cynic, but what makes anyone think it would be different from the other levies?

      When the main medium of sharing were cassettes or CDs, did introducing those levies actually cause copying a cassette or CD to be decriminalized? Or I'm pretty sure I'm paying such an extra already both for DVD blanks and for any DVD burner I've ever bought. Does that cause them to even stop stop wasting my time with that "you wouldn't steal a car" anti-piracy warning on DVD's.

      Essentially I pay the l

    • by sonnejw0 (1114901)
      This is a ridiculous law. It's like putting an additional tax on every piece of cutlery because someone might use a knife to kill someone at some point. It's not my responsibility when I want to buy a knife to cut my steak.

      I know in Canada the assumption is guilty until proven innocent, so obviously this is a democratic way of saying "we're all guilty". Maybe the labels should actually get enough evidence together to show that they make less money because of piracy and actually go through the judicial
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:16AM (#31522432) Journal

    Indepedent artists are still left out in the cold.

    • by yincrash (854885)
      Exactly. However, if there is a way to get a share of the tax revenue, sign me up.
    • by xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:26AM (#31522562)

      That's not entirely true, depending on what you mean by "independent". So long as you are a member of SOCAN and have music tracked by SoundScan, you're eligible for the levies, regardless of whether you're signed onto a major label. This flow chart [cpcc.ca] (warning: PDF) describes the pay-out structure.

      The media have been kind of lacking here, though. I have no idea how this pay-out scheme works in practice :(. Go go go investigative journalism!

      • Non-Canadians; UPC (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:27AM (#31523318) Homepage Journal

        So long as you are a member of SOCAN and have music tracked by SoundScan, you're eligible for the levies

        So if you happen not to be Canadian yet are the author of music that has been copied in Canada, how do you get into SOCAN? And it appears you need a UPC to get into SoundScan, and to get a UPC, you need at least some sort of label (even if not major). Besides, I didn't see anything on your flowchart about download sales (e.g. iTunes Store).

        • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:40AM (#31523496) Journal

          So if you happen not to be Canadian yet are the author of music that has been copied in Canada, how do you get into SOCAN?

          You move to Canada.

          We don't do it to be righteous or to be nice. It helps foster the Canadian music industry.

          Keep the money in the Country.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by tepples (727027)

            You move to Canada.

            So once I've moved to Canada, this means that I'm not American yet am the author of music that has been copied in the United States. So now how do I get my piece of the United States' AHRA levy? And what's the easiest way for a U.S. citizen currently living in the U.S. to qualify for Canadian residency?

      • Except that in the real world, your LABEL gets the money. The artists never get anything from it. And that is the whole point.

        After all, the music industry is the natural enemy of the musician industry.

        • by ae1294 (1547521)

          After all, the music industry is the natural enemy of the musician industry.

          I for one, would like to be the first to welcome you to the tautology club [xkcd.com].

    • by JobyOne (1578377) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:44AM (#31522816) Homepage Journal

      Of course they are. They don't have enough money to be of concern to a government.

      In all seriousness though, this is how it always goes: somebody has a halfway decent idea but somewhere along the line of being implemented it gets perverted by the special interest with the most money. It's always subtle though, that way the special interests get what they need and the politicians still get PR points.

      Remember the increase in tobacco taxes here in the US recently? Pre-rolled cigarettes (made by giant corporations) saw a modest increase in taxation of about 150%. Rolling tobacco (mostly made by smaller, often local businesses) saw their taxes increase by 2,200%.

      The net result? Big tobacco actually gets more business as people ditch the now-obscenely-expensive rolling tobacco, so they're happy. Politicians get to say they're raising money and helping the budget. In reality though, we're driving small businesses down and moving smokers into spending their money to buy an arguably more dangerous cigarette while at the same time not supporting their own local economies.

      I basically assume anything I hear on the news or from a government press conference is at least a gross misrepresentation - if not a flat-out lie.

  • Common Sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Akido37 (1473009) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:19AM (#31522460)
    They pay a copying tax every time they buy media. It seems to me this implies copying is then legal.

    However, with common sense and government, only occasionally do the two meet.
    • Re:Common Sense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:28AM (#31522588)
      Exactly. They've had this CD tax for years that legalized music copyright infringement.

      Now that they're doing this for mp3 players (and I'm sure, PMPs in general), this would also imply that movie and portable game copyright infringement is legal too, eh?
      • by radtea (464814)

        They've had this CD tax for years that legalized music copyright infringement.

        It isn't infringement if its legal.

        This levy is designed to compensate for private copying, not filesharing, so it covers format shifting but not downloading.

        The Conservatives are opposed to it because they are in bed with Big Media, as are the Liberals. This is still going to play well with most Canadians because we'd like to be able to compensate artists, and a (small!) tax on mp3 players and the like is the kind of pragmatic, workable solution that Canadians love. Implementing it will give us more free

        • by dk90406 (797452)
          Well your cousins to the South do not play a levy for format shifting. That is free (if not blocked by DMCA). No reason to chuckle, as I consider that the laugh is on you.

          But the RIAA in the US would surely love to (and are lobbying for) forbid format shifting without payment to the "suffering artists". You could soon be in the same boat.
          Here in Denmark, we also have a levy. That covers the copying of music within a family (I can give my sister a copy of one of my CD's if I wish). As far as I know format

          • by mark-t (151149)
            "if not blocked by the DMCA" is the caveat to that... and a very big one, particularly in an age where an increasing amount of copyright content can end up on digital media.
            • by dk90406 (797452)
              Absolutely true. I do however not think that anyone *cares* if they rip a copy protected CD/DVD they they bought. I have never heard of anyone getting sued for it, as long as it is format shifting for personal use. Just goes to show that laws need to be fair and make sense in order for people to respect them.

              Make to many stupid laws, and people will lose faith in the law altogether.

              Getting somewhat OT now.

            • "if not blocked by the DMCA" is the caveat to that

              The Digital Millennium Copyright Act has explicit exceptions (17 USC 1201(k)(3) [copyright.gov]) for some types of analog reconversion [wikipedia.org] of music and video.

        • This levy is designed to compensate for private copying, not filesharing, so it covers format shifting but not downloading.

          But... format shifting hurts no one!

      • by Rary (566291)

        Now that they're doing this for mp3 players (and I'm sure, PMPs in general), this would also imply that movie and portable game copyright infringement is legal too, eh?

        The law explicitly states that this applies to audio recordings only.

      • I could be wrong, but I seem to recall that the current levy system includes hard drives and other storage media, which could be easily applied to MP3 players.
  • by voodoo cheesecake (1071228) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:19AM (#31522466)
    I wish they would do this with my rolling papers and decriminalize non-medicinal marijuana!
  • May not pass (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jazz-Masta (240659) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:20AM (#31522480)

    The Conservatives are opposed to the bill, and currently they have 145/308 seats in the House of Commons.

    They only have to convince 9 of the Liberals, NDP, or Bloc to agree.

    Not everything is voted on party lines, but most is. It is likely the conservatives will have to make a concession in some other form to get the Liberals to side with them. And that is extremely likely, because the Liberals no longer hold the threatening role they had a couple months ago.

    Yes, I am Canadian.

  • Hasn't the runaway success of services like iTunes and Amazon MP3 and all the rest of them mitigated the need to play this game where we supposedly all obtain our music illegally and have to pay for it with levies on media and devices?

    Right, sorry, I forgot, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Record Labels wants its $20 cut of my iPhone/Nexus One/Pre/etc. And boy do they deserve it, considering the depth and genius of the cultural patrimony they've contributed. Like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

    • by Pojut (1027544)

      My question is, what about someone like me who very rarely listens to anything that could be considered major label? Tool is about the biggest band I listen to, and everything drops off sharply from that point...most of my music comes from people like me [last.fm], guys or gals just putting stuff together in their bedroom. All of the creativity, none of the money given to the RIAA.

      • most of my music comes from people like me, guys or gals just putting stuff together in their bedroom.

        True, the major record labels doesn't get a cut from your homemade recordings, but that's because the record labels technically own copyright only in the sound recording, not the underlying musical work. But how are you sure that major music publishers don't own copyright in the musical work, the sequence of notes that you're recording?

  • by fishwallop (792972) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:24AM (#31522532)
    This proposed legislation is going nowhere in this form.

    The bill being put forward by a member of parliament from the NDP, who are at the opposite end of the political spectrum from the governing Conservative parties. It will not get enought support to make it past first reading - it would need the support of the largest opposition party, the Liberals, and they're likely to just ignore it, because politically, it looks like a tax. Also, because there's finances involved, passing the legislation might be considered a confidence vote which would bring down the government and trigger an election, and this just isn't an issue the Liberals want us going to the polls over. Canada once did have an "ipod tax" of the sort proposed. The "private copying" regime in Canada makes it legal (i.e. not a violation of copyright) to copy music (but not movies, or non-musical audio recordings) for private use onto an "audio recording media". The flip side of the legislation is that a levy (tax) is imposed on "audio recording media" to compensate recording artists for the copies of their music that are copied in this way. For example, there's a levy of about 30 cents per blank CD. However, because the law doesn't model technology very well, there is no levy on blank DVDs, and when they tried to impose a levy on MP3 players several years ago, the Court struck it down, concluding that an MP3 player is not "audio recording media". Hard drives, similarly, are not "audio recording media" because they can hold anything, not just audio. Like I said, the law doesn't model technology very well.

    • by Jabrwock (985861)

      Just a note, the reason the court struck down the MP3 player levy before was because it was going to be imposed by the copyright board. The court ruled the board had overstepped it's authority under current law. This bill is an attempt to add that authority to the law.

    • If the court argued that hard drives aren't "audio recording media" because they can hold anything, then wouldn't CDs/DVDs fall under that too? I've burned plenty of CDs and DVDs that consisted of no audio whatsoever. They contained photos, documents and other non-audio information. In fact, anything that can be stored on a hard drive can be stored on a CD or DVD (barring any space issues, of course).

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@l y n x . b c .ca> on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:24AM (#31522544) Journal
    They want to criminalize most forms of private copying in the digital age anyways, so it wouldn't make any sense to continue to have a levy for something that is illegal (contrary to what a lot of people think, the current levy only exists to compensate for private use copying, which is perfectly legal, not piracy).
    • by delinear (991444)

      [...] (contrary to what a lot of people think, the current levy only exists to compensate for private use copying, which is perfectly legal, not piracy).

      If that's true then it's seriously messed up. So I buy a CD, based on past experience and knowing they use the cheapest possible dyes and materials, I make a copy so that my original doesn't get scratched... and for that I'm expected to compensate the record labels? For providing an inferior product which is liable to be easily damaged?

      • by mark-t (151149)
        The answer to your underlying question, disregarding all notion of the actual quality of the work, is yes.
  • by Palestrina (715471) * on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:26AM (#31522570) Homepage
    Let's have a tax on crowbars, because some will use it to break into houses and not be caught. And a new tax on automobiles, because some will go through red lights and not be caught. And a new tax on shoes, because some people will jaywalk and not be caught. And a tax on thinking because some will commit thought crimes and not be caught.
    • I think this tax might not be a bad idea. The levy on blank CDs basically implied that downloading was legal. MP3 players are just an extension. It all depends on how much this tax is.
      • I don't know how it works in Canada, but in the U.S. a tax on something does not make it legal. Remember, Al Capone was finally caught for income tax evasion. That doesn't mean that his business activities were legit. And the U.S. once sold marijuana tax stamps, and I remember reading about a proposal to have a cocaine tax. It doesn't make it legal. It just gives the government another way to go after someone. In other words, it is perfectly possible to have a tax on illegal activities.
        • Not in Canada its not. You can't Tax MJ or Cocaine because that would mean there has to be a legit transaction taking place, and if any of the substances are illegal, then its not a legit transaction.

          This is why they bust people for Possession, not tax evasion.

        • Maybe he had some legitimate businesses too, it's hard not to obey at least some laws.
      • by sedmonds (94908)
        From the Copyright Act:

        Copying for Private Use Where no infringement of copyright 80. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the act of reproducing all or any substantial part of (a) a musical work embodied in a sound recording, (b) a performer's performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording, or (c) a sound recording in which a musical work, or a performer's performance of a musical work, is embodied onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitu

    • Except you've got it backwards - Here in Canada, we don't define downloading music as an illegal activity, or if we do, we do NOTHING about it. In fact, I think its only Movies (which seems kind of double standards to me but hey its Canada). I know tons of people who download entire albums and never get so much as throttling from their ISP. I know a few people who tried to download a movie from Bittorrent a few times - WOOSH Throttled down within half an hour, and an email or phone call about not downloadin

  • Fuck Off, Eh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:26AM (#31522572)
    Seriously, it boggles the mind that the media corporations have managed to brainwash people sufficiently that they have politicians proposing a tax that enables them to be paid _FOR DOING NOTHING!_ Just because they exist, they expect to be paid. It's a degree of entitlement that my brain has troubles comprehending. I want to rant more but I'm just too flabbergasted to be able to put together a coherent sentence... I clearly went into the wrong industry - I actually have to work for my pay check. I should have gone into music distribution where I can get paid just for being there.

    Seriously, the media companies (music, first and foremost among them since the RIAA and CRIA are the most antagonistic of them) need to fuck off. Eh.
    • by c_sd_m (995261)
      It's like healthcare: pay a little now and get protection from bankruptcy later. Plus it lets Canada legislate where the media tax proceeds are going.
  • Hmmm.... I don't own an MP3 player. Any MP3 files I might have are stored on my hard disk drive. If I wanted to play them on an MP3 player I'd probably build one myself (plans are available on the Internet) and store the MP3s on a USB drive. Surprising that they are stopping at simple MP3 players (which tend to be overpriced anyway) and not going after any and all data storage devices.

    Broken model --> Broken solutions.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by msisden (761674)

      The intent might have just been to extend to portable media devices, but the wording covers a whole lot more.

      The actual motion reads:

      "That the Committee recommends that the government amend Part VIII of the Copyright Act so that the definition of “audio recording medium” extends to devices with internal memory, so that the levy on copying music will apply to digital music recorders as well, thereby entitling music creators to some compensation for the copies made of their work." (http://www2.par

    • by Galestar (1473827)
      From the article:

      It would extend the private copying levy — which adds a small tax to all blank media, such as CDs and DVDs — to devices that can reproduce media, including MP3 players and computers.

      My question is; which part of the computer? I custom build all my computers, so which individual part do I need to order from the US?

      • by mrsurb (1484303)

        If common sense reigned, the sound card - without which you could not listen to the MP3s.

        If only common sense were more... common.

    • by srussia (884021)

      Hmmm.... I don't own an MP3 player. Any MP3 files I might have are stored on my hard disk drive. If I wanted to play them on an MP3 player I'd probably build one myself (plans are available on the Internet) and store the MP3s on a USB drive. Surprising that they are stopping at simple MP3 players (which tend to be overpriced anyway) and not going after any and all data storage devices.

      Broken model --> Broken solutions.

      All the music I listen to are re-performances in the Zenph sense (http://www.zenph.com/reperformance.html). Except where they use a piano and high-def MIDI, I use a different kind of electro-acoustic transducer and a different encoding scheme.

  • The original article mentions the tax is also proposed for computers.
  • by Jabrwock (985861) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:41AM (#31522774) Homepage
    I'm more interested in the other private members bill, the one that would expand the definition of fair-dealing.
  • This is partly due to a levy imposed on blank media, CD-Rs and cassette tapes,

    So, blank CD-Rs and tapes are somehow different than "blank media"?

  • Parkinson's Law (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lazarus (2879) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:49AM (#31522866) Journal

    Parkinson's Law, theorized by C. Northcote Parkinson, a British Royal Navy historian and author, explains this phenomenon by stating that "work expands to fill the time available for its completion" and in bureaucratic organizations, the number of people required to do the work will continually rise whether the actual volume of work stays the same, increases, decreases or disappears.

    The question is how much do Canadian artists get handed from the government in the existing "tax the media" scheme? I'd warrant they don't get anything and that the government keeps track of what they collect and injects "money into supporting artists, including more money for the Canada Council for the Arts and the Canada Music Fund." (from TFA). I mean, what else could they do? Say I was a terrible artist (not too much of a stretch) and I put out a terrible album with nothing on it that anybody would want. Do I have my hand out for the MP3 tax? How much would the government give me? How would they determine that?

    They can't. And they don't. This is a stupid idea based on another stupid idea.

    Want to see what they do with the money?

    So they tax our media. Then they give it to bureaucratic organizations that consume themselves. And the indy rock band gets? You guessed it. The shaft. And we are proposing to extend this to new media. Excellent. Let me just get out my wallet...

  • In Spain we have this levy for blank media but not only CD and DVD but also USB flash sticks, memory cards, hard disks and doesn't end there: It also applies to Optical media recorders and MP3 players. If you can read Spanish it's explained here http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_por_copia_privada_(Espa%C3%B1a) [wikipedia.org]. And after all of this you'd think this would legalize filesharing ....it doesn't. This is supposedly a compensation for "private copy" which is something like making a copy from the original media f
  • Try, try again (Score:4, Informative)

    by debrain (29228) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:04AM (#31523072) Journal

    I participated in the effort to defeat this same proposal in 2002-2004 [canlii.org]. However these guys never quit. The good news is that they aren't particularly inspired – or inspiring.

    It's noteworthy that I found out about the last go-around of this effort by the Canadian Private Copying Collective on Slashdot.

  • Ogg Vorbis (Score:3, Funny)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:07AM (#31523102)
    Fortunately I only play Oggs.
  • Get us this option, please.
  • Not again... (Score:3, Informative)

    by yabos (719499) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @11:08AM (#31523818)
    How many
    http://news.cnet.com/No-iPod-tax-for-Canada/2100-1041_3-5809117.html [cnet.com]
    times
    http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=235987 [nationalpost.com]
    are they going to try and bring this tax in? This has to be the 3rd or 4th time this has come up.
  • by rcpitt (711863) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @11:16AM (#31523928) Homepage Journal
    Back in 2002 I spoke before the Copyright Board of Canada about the Blank Media Levy. Then, the CPCC was asking for $10 per Gigabyte [pacdat.net] which in today's light would be even more absurd than it was then.

    The point is that no matter what the levy, in today's wired world the only losers would be the Canadian retail sellers of such items - because any levy would be enough to more than pay for the shipping of a unit from outside the country - so neither the musicians nor the retailers would profit.

    kind of makes me wonder if it is the US resellers who are behind this ;)

  • speaking as ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rgviza (1303161) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @11:50AM (#31524400)

    ... someone that pays for all of their music, without exception, I would certainly welcome such a tax. However I'd move to just copying everything instead of buying it. I wouldn't pay for my music twice ; )

    I'm pretty sure most other people would feel the same way. Doing this essentially socializes entertainment since the government becomes the record store.

    I'm pretty sure that doing this will result in a net loss for the music industry... There's no way people will buy their music unless they are idiots since this tax sanctions copying. People will just form music clubs where you can copy whatever you want without buying it.

    Record stores could simply burn mix cds for people. It's not online, the record store owner is simply copying with friends right?

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