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Canada Government Media Music Politics

MP3 Player Tax Proposed In Canada 281

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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  • Re:Useful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mr_da3m0n ( 887821 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:17AM (#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.

  • Common Sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Akido37 ( 1473009 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:19AM (#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.
  • by voodoo cheesecake ( 1071228 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:19AM (#31522466)
    I wish they would do this with my rolling papers and decriminalize non-medicinal marijuana!
  • by fishwallop ( 792972 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:24AM (#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.

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

    by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:26AM (#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.
  • Re:Common Sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kryptonian Jor-El ( 970056 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:28AM (#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?
  • Re:Useful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NotBornYesterday ( 1093817 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:48AM (#31522850) Journal
    Yvan [] already debunked this. The recording companies aren't paying artists properly already. This tax will be another form of corporate welfare, pouring money into the pockets of the real music pirates ... Sony, BMG, etc.
  • Parkinson's Law (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lazarus ( 2879 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:49AM (#31522866) Homepage 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...

  • Re:Punk Kids (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pulse_Instance ( 698417 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:49AM (#31522868)
    The last time I even bothered looking into it, which was probably 5 years ago, they were selling music and data CDs as separate products and the levy only applied to music CDs and not data CDs.
  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @11:20AM (#31523258) Journal

    >>>People who are both stupid... to add a line to their user CSS

    The what? I had no idea such a thing existed in my web browser (IE, FF, or Opera). And I don't consider myself "stupid"..... maybe "ignorant" but not stupid.

    >>>adds a small, superscript, [PDF] after each link to a PDF

    Or just look at the status bar before clicking a link, and it will tell you what you're opening.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Thursday March 18, 2010 @11:23AM (#31523286) Homepage Journal

    People on Windows, who have to live with Adobe Acrobat.

    How? Foxit Reader > Adobe Reader.

  • Re:Useful (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SIBM ( 1114319 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @11:23AM (#31523290)
    This "tax" is imposed to try and help avoid an American DMCA style law that would, in the end, screw everyone. If the "industry" gets their share then they will, hopefully, back off and let Canadians be free from their oppression.

    They charge high prices then wonder why people don't buy their product. If they were a small business then they would go belly up, but since they are large they are safe and can bully everyone into bowing to their whim. They must have understood this at one point or they would not have gotten to where they are today. THe economy in Canada, and around the world is going towards a Less for More model. THe consumer gets less for their buck which they are just ignore because their corporate profits are more important. (Sad)
  • Non-Canadians; UPC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Thursday March 18, 2010 @11:27AM (#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 commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @11:29AM (#31523336) Journal

    Politicians == control freaks.

    It is not linear. Or liberty. It is serfdom.

  • Re:Useful (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sunshinerat ( 1114191 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @12:17PM (#31523950)
    I think you will not be happy with paying income tax over that $1Bn revenue.
  • speaking as ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rgviza ( 1303161 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @12:50PM (#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?

  • I've had some luck with SumatraPDF, but I don't use windows much any more.

  • Re:Useful (Score:2, Insightful)

    by firefly4f4 ( 1233902 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @03:36PM (#31527074)

    Unlike similar levels on blank media, at least an MP3 player is designed with a PRIMARY purpose of playing music, as opposed to the levy we currently pay on blank DVDs and the like.

    With that said, I'm sure this won't make people who legally pay for music via iTunes and the like happy.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham