Canadian iPods Not Subject To The "You're A Criminal" Tax

from the nice-of-them dept

Canada has had a long tradition of charging extra fees on recordable media, as a way of “subsidizing” the potential for losses to the entertainment industry. There are, of course, a number of problems with this (including the somewhat obvious question wondering if you’re paying that subsidy, does that then give you the right to copy unauthorized files?), but it’s why blank CDs and such tend to be more expensive up north. Two years ago, the government extended that fee to mp3 players, but a court later struck that down after retailers (and Apple) complained. The Canadian Supreme Court has refused to hear the case, meaning that iPods and other such music devices won’t be taxed for such potential losses any more. Of course, the recording industry is upset, but in their typically clueless way: “Obviously we’re disappointed. We felt it was self-evident that those products are sold for the purpose of copying music.” Someone want to let them know that these players aren’t for copying music, but for listening to music.


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Comments on “Canadian iPods Not Subject To The "You're A Criminal" Tax”

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3 Comments
Adam says:

Legal Downloading

IANAL, but I am a Canadian… My understanding is that a provision of the “copying fee” legislation makes it completely legal to download copyrighted media content for personal use. Hence the fee: to subsidize the industry for those downloads. Though I am a rather ardent opponent of the recording industry in general, it seems to me like a good arrangement.

The catch, of course, is that it’s still illegal to upload copyrighted material, which means that many file-sharing situations (where you’re simultaneously uploading and downloading) put you at legal risk.

Roy says:

Re: Legal Downloading

From the Canadian Copyright law FAQ (University of Ottawa, Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinid).

http://www.cippic.ca/en/faqs-resources/copyright-law/#faq_fair-dealing

Why do I have to pay a “tax” on audio cassettes, compact discs, MP3 players, etc.?

Until recently, copying a recording of a musical work without the copyright holder’s permission was illegal under the Copyright Act, unless it was for “fair dealing” or other permitted purposes. See What is “fair dealing”/”fair use”?. In practice, copyright holders were unable to either prevent or license private copying since such activities, by definition, took place in private. Consequently, in 1998, Parliament legalized the copying of music by an individual for his or her private use and, in exchange, copyright holders were allowed to impose a levy on blank audio recording media, such as CDs. See What are “audio recording media”?.

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