Canada has long had a blank media levy on things like blank CDs, which is a sort of "you must be a criminal" tax on things. Of course, what it really does is drive down the usage of blank CDs by making them ridiculously expensive -- such that, in some cases, it accounts for 90% of the price
of a blank CD. There have been failed efforts to extend such a levy to things like iPods, and Michael Geist
alerts us to the news that the Writers Guild of Canada is proposing extending levies to all distribution and storage
-- including things like DVRs. Yes, because when you time shift that TV program, you're a thief and should have to pay extra for it. Beyond just being a "you must be a criminal" tax, this really seems like a way of double, triple or quadruple charging people for the same media. Say you buy a song on iTunes, which you've paid for. But then you also need to pay the levy to the ISP for distribution. So now you've paid twice. But then you need to pay a levy for your hard drive to store it. So that's three times. Oh, and then another levy on your iPod to transfer the song to that. So you've paid four times for the same song. That makes so much sense, doesn't it?