A Canadian iPod tax? - Macleans.ca

A Canadian iPod tax?

New copyright bill calls for MP3 player tax, expansion of “fair dealing”


In 2007, the Copyright Board of Canada had a plan that would see a $75 levy placed on music devices exceeding 30GB in capacity, which includes most mid-range iPods and MP3 players. Fortunately for the consumer, that proposal was shot down by a collection of retailers who would see sales drop as a result of the hefty price increase. Now, the levy is back in the form of a private member’s bill introduced by NDP copyright critic, Charlie Angus, a former musician. Bill C-499 would extend the existing private copying levy that was introduced in 1997—which taxes all writable media such as CDs and DVDs—to devices that can reproduce media, like MP3 players and computers. Angus is also calling for an expanded “fair dealing” principle, which would allow non-commercial copying for researchers, innovators and educators. “By updating it, we will ensure that artists are getting paid for their work, and that consumers aren’t criminalized for moving their legally obtained music from one format to another,” said Angus in a release.

CBC News

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A Canadian iPod tax?

  1. What exactly is a "music device exceeding 30 GB in capacity"? My phone? My computers? I'll bet it won't be very long before my car could potentially qualify as well.

    I can just see the outcry if all cell carriers suddenly had to tack on another $75 on their premium handsets. And what's premium now is what will be basic in a really short amount of time…

  2. The whole idea is ridiculous. The levy that's existed on CDs since 1997 never made sense. It taxes all media sold for the alleged benefit of the music industry, yet seems to ignore the fact that a large percentage of disks are used for storing files and other data that isn't music (or even movies).

    With everything going digital where will it stop? Hard disks and solid state memory are used for storing all sorts of data in thousands of different devices. Are they all going to be subject to this levy just because music "can" be stored on them?

    And why a levy on devices like MP3 players, when it's been shown in numerous studies that buyers of such devices are more likely to buy music legally?

  3. I love the fact that it's assumed I'm going to be filling my MP3 player with pirated music. It's very insulting.

    I mean, I haven't paid for music since 1999, but still.

  4. Charlie has too many "g"s in his name.

    You know what I do with a 30GB portable drive? Videos. That I film. And you're going to make me pay Celine Dion for that? I'd say screw you, but it's apparent the only one who's going to get screwed here is me.

  5. Good! I'll buy a lousy Chinese made MP3 and then when the copyright jackasses come knocking and ask, "Why I stole 100,000 videos, I can calmly say the NDP and the government let me pay a small levy that allows me to do what ever the F' I want too!"

    Since the inception of this 1997 tax has there been any real investment in the development and expansion of Canadian artists or actually net benefit to society? No I didn't think so.

  6. the government already charges a 14% or so sales tax (depending on the province) ..if the government wants to hand out money to the rich artists they can use some of that money …it's a very odd program to be handing the money to those who have the most ..it's kind of like an anti-robinhood thing …if they took the money and gave to the poorests artists and bypassed the record companies) that wouldn't be so bad

  7. Classic NDP.

    There isn't a problem in the world (real or imagined) they can't fix by asking Canadians to pay more for something.

  8. Angus always supports copyright changes that would benefit him personally as an "artist" who collects meagre royalties on his band's recordings.

  9. He shouldn't stop there. There are radios that could be taxed, guitar strings, instruments, anything that could be used to play the music, or lyrics. Lips would be good. Maybe if there was a tax on his lips he'd be more careful with what came out of them.

  10. $75 is a pain. what if you have a 2tb mp3 player?

  11. GREAT not like the government and artists have enough money already…

  12. In the end something will get pushed through behind closed doors. As a result everyone will simply stop buying new ipods every year and actually make the one they bought two or three years ago last twice as long. Instead of buying cd's there will just be two and three TB hard drives with endless information stored on them. This was just the built up to pay per use internet building. They are not only trying to tax you on your devices to access and use the internet, but they also are trying to force us to pay a lot more for the internet. If they cant get you on one end they will sure try to get you on the other.

  13. this is total crap!
    with the new HST in ontario, adding another 75 dollars is just going to be ridiculous! as if every other bill we pay isn't already too much (ie increase hydro, fuel etc). artists get paid to much in the first place, i dont think they need anymore