Canadian Recording Industry Suddenly Against Private Copying Levy It Fought So Hard For

from the suing-is-more-lucrative dept

For many years, the recording industry has been able to convince the Canadian government that it needs to add a "private copying levy" to various forms of blank media, to reimburse the industry for any "private copying" that happens on that media. This is pretty questionable for a number of reasons -- basically amounting to a government tax to support a private industry and its inability to adapt its business model to the market. At times, this private copying levy can be an astounding 70% of the cost of blank CDs. Once mp3 players (specifically the iPod) started to become popular, the recording industry fought to have the private levy attached to those players as well. In late 2003, the industry got its wish -- but with a catch. A ruling found that the devices could be taxed, but if they were, then downloading unauthorized content would be seen as legal (uploading unauthorized content would still be illegal). A judge later overturned the iPod levy, but some in the industry have kept fighting for it, and the Copyright Board of Canada supports extending the levy to iPods.

However, in a surprise move, the Canadian Recording Industry Association (basically, Canada's version of the RIAA -- controlled by American record labels, of course) has come out against extending the private copying levy to mp3 players, admitting that if the levy is extended (even though it will send millions of dollars directly into recording industry bank accounts), Canadians may (incorrectly, in the view of the CRIA) start to believe that downloading is legal. Of course, some people pointed out this loophole in the recording industry's efforts to extend the private copying levy years ago -- but it seems that it just occurred to the powers that be. Once again, it's a case for the industry to be careful what it wishes for. The private copying levy makes the industry a ton of money, but does so at the expense of anger from purchasers of any blank media. Still, that anger is probably better than the anger generated by thousands of lawsuits against file sharers based on flimsy evidence.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 7:40am

    One problem with this is that it does force people who may not use the devise for copywritten material subsidize those that do.

     

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  2.  
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    mars, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 7:42am

    Money, Money, Money

    I suppose it is all a matter of making the biggest profits but the idea of taxing for private copying is outrageous. As you said very well, if they cannot adapt to the market, then too bad. So if I get it right, the Canadian Recording Industry cannot wish to install DRM on devices, because they already have a solution to make up for the lost money:taxes!
    In this case, I would rather see DRM installed on the devices, because at least it bothers only the one who wishes to copy the content..and not everybody!
    Talking about DRM, I heard about Entriq that works on the 9thExchange platform, could anybody tell me more about how it works??

     

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  3.  
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    Shohat, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 8:36am

    Mike, you US-is-the-Center-of-the-world American..

    (basically, Canada's version of the RIAA -- controlled by American record labels, of course)


    Since when are record labels American ?
    Only ONE(out of four) big record label is from the United States of America , the rest are from :
    UK, France , and Germany+Japan. (BMGSony, Universal, EMI).

    Record labels just have more affect is the US because the people are dumber, but the labels are not American in any way...

     

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  4.  
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    KB, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 8:43am

    Re: Mike, you US-is-the-Center-of-the-world Americ

    No, they're not American. But the RIAA is. And the RIAA protect the distribution and operational rights of all record companies in relation to their operations in the US. It was just badly worded.

     

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  5.  
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    RandomThoughts, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 8:48am

    If the RIAA is controlled by the labels and the labels are not American, then the RIAA is not American.

    Hey, stop blaming us Americans for the RIAA then.

     

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  6.  
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    LJP, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 9:06am

    The CRIA did not propose the original levies. The copyright levy was proposed by the members of what has become the CPCC. Two different entities.

     

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  7.  
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    TheDock22, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 9:28am

    Not so bad...

    I kind of like that reasoning. If they tax my iPod and blank media, I am allowed to download anything I want to put on them without fear of being sued (as far as music goes). That actually isn't a half bad idea. Blank cd's are so cheap anyway, I would be willing to sacrifice a couple cents a disk for freedom.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Shohat, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 9:46am

    Re:

    America is not to blame for the RIAA.
    RIAA is doing what it should be doing, and effectively uses democratic methods to push for legislation and pressure companies and organizations that might endanger the business model and revenues of the record labels.
    This is what it is created for. Every industry has such a body (RIAA represent the very small industry of music, but there are real, big industries such as steel, electronics, oil, which have unions and organizations fighting for their interests also), and RIAA is doing the right thing by fighting for theirs.
    Americans are to blame for electing people that are weak and stupid enough to end up being lobbied into pressuring other countries to listen to RIAA, via abused international agreements.
    RIAA is doing what they should be doing, the way they should be doing it. The fact that it enjoys the full support of the American people (democratically elected politicians), is annoying.
    But the labels are not american.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Matthew, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re:

    You place music on par with steel, oil?
    You say that the RIAA is doing the right thing the way it should be done?

    That's got to be the most idiotic thing I've ever heard. Music does not make the same impact on your life as steel or oil, and going around suing IP addresses for money is NOT the way to protect one's assets.

    It IS a shame that politicians feel the need to go to bed with this scum to line their own pockets, but "What is your position on the RIAA" is not a high priority question for the debates.

     

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  10.  
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    His Shadow, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 10:21am

    My brother has already beat me up on this so I am here to pass it on.

    Essentially, the CRIA has never supported the levy on CDs. And they made their opposition to the expansion of this levy a year ago or more. The levy is administered by the CPCC.

    http://neil.eton.ca/cpcc_rel1.shtml

    The CPCC is the organization which wants to expand the levy they administer and the CRIA is making their opposition to this expansion public.

    I am certainly not a fan of organizations which appear to be using the courts to prop up failing business models.

    That said, the misinformation currently spreading around the web like wildfire is painting an inaccurate picture of the situation with regard to the Canadian CD levy. The CRIA was not a member of the CPCC only apparently saw the levy as an interim measure.

    http://www.parl.gc.ca/35/Archives/committees352/heri/evidence/26_96-10-22/heri26_blk101.html#0.1 .HERI26.000001.AA1300.A

     

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  11.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 17th, 2007 @ 10:37am

    Re: Mike, you US-is-the-Center-of-the-world Americ

    Since when are record labels American ?
    Only ONE(out of four) big record label is from the United States of America , the rest are from :
    UK, France , and Germany+Japan. (BMGSony, Universal, EMI).


    EMI is headquartered in London, but the other 3 are headquartered in the US and run by US staff and have almost nothing to do with their parent companies.

    http://www.hoovers.com/Sony-BMG/--ID__135429,target__business_directory--/free-co-samp les-index.xhtml?cm_ven=PAID&cm_cat=GGL&cm_pla=CHQ&cm_ite=sony_bmg_address
    http://www.ho overs.com/universal-music-group/--ID__100557,target__business_directory--/free-co-samples-index.xhtm l
    http://www.hoovers.com/Warner-Music/--ID__103153,target__business_directory--/free-co-samples-ind ex.xhtml?cm_ven=PAID&cm_cat=GGL&cm_pla=CHQ&cm_ite=warner_music_headquarters

    Yes, they may be owned by foreign firms, but to think they're not US companies is wrong.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 11:58am

    If I don't download music or movies but buy CD's for other purposes, don't people who partake in the criminal activity of violating copyright laws owe me money? How much have they cost me? Maybe the RIAA/MPAA could include my overpayment in their figures.

     

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  13.  
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    zcat, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 12:30pm

    Waikato Linux Users Group

    I'm glad we don't have such a levy in New Zealand (perhaps we do and I'm not just aware of it) because some organizations like WLUG and NZOSS burn off fairly large numbers of blank CDs and DVDs for completely legal purposes. You think the various LUGS and Free Software promoters around Canada could file for a refund?

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 1:37pm

    question

    If I purchase media in Canada and record it in the USA is it then legal since the tax levy was paid for ?

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 1:52pm

    As far as Canada is concerned you are safe. As for the US.....

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    John, Sep 18th, 2007 @ 7:21am

    Taxing blank media is unfair; lots of people buy blank CD/DVDs for backing up their data, for pictures, and for making audio CDs from music they downloaded and bought legitimately. My guess is that they're going to start adding an extra tax on headphones soon! Aside from that, there's a great information resource out there I just discovered: http://www.diariaa.com ! Another great tool out there is http://www.gigatribe.com (which has encrypted p2p file-sharing software for use within private groups of friends).

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    willis, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 6:28am

    Re: Mike, you US-is-the-Center-of-the-world Americ

    You're one naive individual if you actually believe what you're saying. American labels are indeed ALL American.Labels were founded in America and in every other country in the world are governed and financed by their American parents.Wake up and smell the vinyl.

     

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