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.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

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

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
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).

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”?.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...