Canadians Say Please Tax Our Blank CDs Even More
from the does-that-make-sense? dept
It’s quite common to see surveys released by various groups to support whatever position they have on things, but in almost every case, if you dig deeper into the actual survey questions, you find that they’re heavily biased in the way they’re worded. Often this means leading questions, or using “loaded” words to make people answer the way they want to. When it becomes really dangerous is when these types of misleading surveys as a basis for making or changing laws. Everyone should realize they have little to no validity — but they’re often taken as representative. Take, for example, the news coming out of Canada that Canadians have no problem with being charged extra for blank CDs as a way of compensating the music industry for the potential. Actually, it’s not just that they have no problem with it. The study found that many people believe they pay too little, and they’d happily pay more. It should immediately make you wonder what’s going on with a study when the results suggest people aren’t just happy about being taxed, but that they think it would be grand if they were taxed even more.
Michael Geist points out just a few of the problems in the actual survey — such as noting the price of the levy, but not putting that into context of how much of the sale price it represents. He notes it also doesn’t ask important questions about how much private copying of music people actually do. If the levy is supposed to pay for such uses, you would think that would be at the top of the list of any such survey — unless those conducting it are afraid of what they might find out. If you look at the wording of the actual survey questions, they are certainly loaded… bringing up such things as whether or not people feel artists should be compensated for their music. Of course people feel the artists should be compensated — but that doesn’t mean that a blank CD levy is the best way to do so. What becomes clear as you read through the survey is that they ask these questions in a vacuum — as if there were no other way to compensate artists, and then ask people about whether they think the various dollar amounts are fair. It should be clear to anyone reading the actual survey that there are still plenty of questions about how Canadians really feel about a blank CD levy — but it’s unclear if the decision-makers will bother to notice that.