Canadian Copyright Expert On Levy Proposals: Today's Quickie Legislative Solutions Are Tomorrow's Absurdities

from the $2500-iPod dept

Howard Knopf, a well known Canadian copyright expert, recently took a look at some of the failed copyright levy proposals in Canada. The Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) administers the tax levy on blank CDs, which now accounts for almost 90% of the price. In 2002, similar proposals to extend the levy to DVDs and digital audio players were shot down. It's a good thing they were! Knopf notes that the $2.27 levy proposed in 2002 is now about 10 times the retail price of a blank DVD, and the $21/GB levy proposed for digital audio players would have left a 120 GB iPod (<$300 CAD) with a $2520 tax. You might think the CPCC would have decreased the levies over time, but the blank CD levy was just increased this past December (blank CDs cost more in Canada than blank DVDs). Even if the levies were lowered, it would be because they had already become unbearable. Imagine the bureaucracy and battles at the Copyright Board, and imagine the effect on Canadian consumers, tech companies in the meantime (what if the Blackberry was classified as a digital audio device?).

The point is that these quick solutions aren't solutions at all. Setting up "you're a criminal" taxes to collect money for companies that can't figure out how to adjust their business models is bound to block innovative new technologies, and you can't predict what technologies will drive new business models. As Knopf puts it, "all of this shows that today's quickie proposed legislative solutions and oft inflated tariff proposals to deal with supposedly serious crises arising from copyright and new technology are potentially tomorrows' absurdities or even nightmares."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 3:36pm

    Perhaps suggesting it would be better to more aggressively enforce copyright laws in Canada rather than applying tarif bandaids.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 4:06pm

    http://blaise.ca/

    I have to ask Blaise: What part of your CV makes you an "expert"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    lavi d (profile), Jun 1st, 2009 @ 4:07pm

    Bright Side

    Yes, but at least in Canada, because you're paying that levy, you can legally burn all the copies of music CDs you want.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    lavi d (profile), Jun 1st, 2009 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Bright Side

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    lavi d (profile), Jun 1st, 2009 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Bright Side

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    lavi d (profile), Jun 1st, 2009 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Bright Side

    I give up.

    I can't make the and gt and and lt things work...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 4:23pm

    Sadly, these kinds of taxes are the future for Obama's America.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 4:54pm

    Re: Re: Bright Side

    try using & g t ; and & l t ; without the spaces for > and <. Post as HTML.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 1st, 2009 @ 4:56pm

    Hey you Canucks!

    90%! Holy crap!

    I've got some friends who still live close to the border. Anyone willing to trade medicine for CD-Rs?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 5:05pm

    Actually, Howard Knopf is a well known "copyright reform advocate". Not entirely clear that his study would have revealed anything else other than the result given.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Trails, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 5:20pm

    As well...

    The CPCC got the levy by crying "oh think of the starving artists".

    When asked more recently how they were doling the money out to the artists, they basically said they were giving it to labels, and leaving it up to labels to distribute the money to artists, claiming it wasn't their responsibility to ensure the money got to artists. How much you think the labels are giving to artists? None!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 5:51pm

    Re:

    citation please

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    CleverName, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 5:52pm

    How to remove a leech

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Jun 1st, 2009 @ 8:42pm

    Re:

    The "expert" text at the bottom appears on any posts from the Insight Community that make the Techdirt front page.

    Any comments on the actual post?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Jun 1st, 2009 @ 8:49pm

    Re:

    Well, this wasn't so much a study as an observation. Yes, he's been an advocate against the levy, probably because he thinks a $2500 levy on a $300 ipod would have been a bad idea.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:03am

    Re: Re:

    No need, just wait 1 year and watch all the new taxes that were put in place. But if you really want one; just look at the fact that the VAT is being discussed. Talk about an economy killer!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Techflaws.org, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:44am

    Re: Bright Side

    You're sure about that? Germany has similar laws, only that you pay a tax for blank media (you might as well be using for other stuff) and STILL are not allowed to copy any CDs or download it via filesharing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So basically you are just spewing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nope, just stating the obvious. Money doesn't grow on trees so paying back the bailouts not to mention our normal deficit isn't going to happen by wishful thinking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    spaceman spiff, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 7:46am

    CD's are too bulky

    Well, I copy my CD's to a disc array for backup, but I rip them to mp3s and stuff them onto a micro sd flash card for travel. At home, I mount the backup copy on my computer for daytime listening. Although my car stereo has a cd player, it also has a USB port, which I use instead. A 2gb micro sd flash card can hold about 20 CD's worth of 192kbps mp3s, plus I can rewrite them as desired.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Jesse, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 8:17am

    I for one would like to see such a levy passed. Perhaps that will be enough to open the general public's eyes, and to have them question why we even need copyright in the first place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ... and the way in which the present administration intends to fund those liabilities is with copyright levies ?

    Where do you get this inside information ?
    Because I do not recall this snippet being in the news.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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