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.

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Comments on “Canadians Say Please Tax Our Blank CDs Even More”

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cobra says:

Levy vs Downloading

Missed in the article is that as some media are charged a levy, the music industry lost a landmark legal case in Canada with regard to downloading music. The standard argument that by downloading music the artists were not compensated therefore a breach of copyright was not accepted by the court as they pointed out that infact the artist was compensated by the levy.

ehrichweiss says:

loaded words..

I bring this up every time I read something like this…

A few years ago a study was done to see how easy it was to skew a jury’s view of evidence and testimony. They used 2 groups, both were shown the exact same car accident on video. The first group was asked “how fast was the first car going when it hit the second car” and the second group was asked “how fast was the first car going when it smashed into the second car”. The second group always rated the speed 10-20 mph faster than the first group.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: 51% of income?

“But please, keep toeing that line; it keeps you crazies out.”

Try understanding some economics, and you’d understand that the inputs to the finished products got taxes, the inputs to those inputs got taxed, and everything down the line gets taxed. “embedded” taxes, so to speak.

Instead of being condescending, you could try to alleviate your ignorance, unless that’s asking too much. Yes, Canadians probably do in the end give at least half of every earned dollar to the government, directly or indirectly.

Anonymous Coward says:

The sheeple in Canada rely on the government to take care of their needs instead of themselves. This survey is no surprise although it’s fundamentally flawed in its methodology. The other problem is that problems are often artificially created in order to create a government agency that creates jobs for more bureaucrats. THAT is a big reason why taxes are so high in Canada.

Tim Bit says:

There are other uses for blank CDs

I don’t use CDs for copying or storing any kind of music, be it MP3 or something else; however, I do use blank CDs and DVDs for backing up my pictures and computer data. Why should I pay a levy to compensate music artists? Assuming that blank CDs can only be used for music is ignorance at its best. Either the people doing the survey and those who payed for it have never backed up anything in their lives, or they were especifically looking for people who, by their answers, would justify another money grab. Plus, come to think of it, this just gives me the strong desire to start downloading and copying music as I’m already paying to the artists, aren’t I? Whatever the purpose, other than paying more taxes, I don’t see how a levy helps the artists or prevents piracy in any way; if anything, it makes piracy more tempting than before.

w1nX says:

Bacon and taxes

First off – the country is fuelled on beer and hockey, not bacon ~ Oh, and it’s pronounced “zed” not “zee” =P

As far as taxes go… well there’s our lovely Goods and Services Tax (the hated GST) and then there is provincial taxes (generally between 7%-9%). That amount gets removed on our “taxable” income. Of course, we get taxed again when we spend the money, so I guess it equals to over 30% give or take.

As far as the levy goes – I can’t do anything about it. A 50pc spool of DVD’s generally goes for about $24.00 CAD, plus tax, and last time I worked it out there was 7 cents on every DVD for the levy. Do I want a higher levy? No. Will I continue to buy DVD’s/CD’s for “archival” purposes? Sure I will. Just about every game, application, movie, and ALL my mp3’s are backed up to DVD.

Does it surprise me the government, the PIAA, and everyone else wants a piece of the pie? No. Some things you just have to except.


Daniel says:

Total BS

I think the makers of this survey should be flogged. As a proud Canadian this is the first I heard of “said survey”, and they obviously made up the results… My honest opinion is if an “artist” is good and puts out a good CD where there are more than 2 good songs on it, then yes people will buy their CD. Blank CDs are way overprised as they are but most people probably didn’t even realize they paid a huge amount extra already just on these stupid levies.

Chris says:

Money for artists?

How much of and how does the money get to the”starving artists?” Does it go to the record industry? How much of the tax gets diverted to PSA’s informing the citizens of the evils of music and movie piracy? How many people actually burn cds nowadays instead of copying music to their mps player? If it was really was a good idea to begin with, it’s a day late and a canadian dollar short.

doubledoh says:

taxes = criminal extortion

I’ve said it here before and I’ll say it again. You either believe in freedom or you don’t. If you believe that it is ok for a government to force others to pay a tax on something for the benifit of another industry, that is coercion, it is theft, it is extortion, it is racketeering, it is the work of criminals. If you allow this to happen with your vote (or indeed your lack thereof to stop it), you do NOT believe in freedom. There are no exceptions, no asterisks, no footnotes…to freedom. You believe in it, or you don’t.

Thomas says:

Re: taxes = criminal extortion

In response to number #24, we don’t really get to vote in Canada (heh, where do we?). The only thing we are able to vote on is the people who are in charge. After that, it is our hope that they don’t manage to screw things up (which they tend to do a lot). No matter how many times we send in petitions, the only things that actually get heard are the ones that make them or their buddies money.

Topher3105 (profile) says:

Canadians are dumb

I know, cause I am one.

I am often dissappointed when I here stuff like this, because it just steels my believe that Canadians are nothing but passive agressive wimps that will complain and bitch bout pollitics, but do little to change the status quo.

We just don’t get politically motivated the way other countries do. Our Liberal government for 13 years basically stole from taxpayers and are corrupt con artists, yet year after year we voted them back in because, well, we don’t like changes and didn’t feel like wasting our time wondering how the other guys will do. In the last 2 electincs, we voted in minority governments.

So when Canadians say things like, we are paying too little tax on something, I just shake my head and want to cry out “Grow a freaking backbone people!”. The government rips of off, and Canadians say sorry, want some more?

Duane Nickull (user link) says:

SOCAN and the levy

There actually is a process for receiving distributions of the collected levy however I highly suspect not many collect it. YOu have to apply to SOCAN and they will assess your claim and forward you a “portion” of the collected revenue. One of my fellow musicians spent $30,000 CAD to record and distribute music has a cheque framed on his wall for $11.36. This is based on radio play and his portion of the levy.

The short answer is you’ll probably spend more on the postage stamp to mail in the form.

Rikko says:

Techdirt once again brings out the lowest common d

Good to see the ignorant, blowhard Americans are well represented on Techdirt spewing wisdom about things they think their brother once told them about Canada and the world.
Please, children, other people read your drivel and may actually start believing it as well.

51% income tax? What idiocy. Socialism? Canada is as socialist as the US is fascist.

Ed says:

Bla Bla Bla...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

This is a BIG bulshit! Waste of time!!

Talk seriously, people: a smart(and non-serious) group that had a luminous idea of share the bill with all who buy a CD or DVD, despite will be used to music or not…

They definetively thinks we are all stupid.

Open your EYES – thay are putting the velvet, long and silent fingers in your wallets!!!

Andy says:

Why would anyone want this?

Anybody who would willingly pay a levy such as this must be thinking that they are taking more value in music than they are paying in levy. Why else would any one accept paying for something for a purpose to which they may or may not ultimately put the product?

Many people put backups, photographs and home videos or other material onto these CDs and such material should NOT draw a levy.

What will they come up with next: a levy to pay when you buy a car for any speeding violations you may or may not incur when you drive? How about alcohol tax on water, which you may or may not brew into beer or wine? It all makes about as much logical sense as the CD levy.

I write as a person living in Finland which also has such a levy. It IS anti-freedom. All taxation is extortion and governments of ALL forms have repeatedly been shown to make extremely poor financial managers.

Brent Nowell says:

I work at a store that does not include it in the


Yes thats right folks, since 2k1 when it started and our store decided to charge it seperatley from the price to show consumers what they are paying for, I have heard most likely thousands upon thousands of complaints.

I think the most common complaint is this

Customer “Uh, I see that the price is 20 so dollars, I thought the cd’s were 9.49 for a ten pack?”
me “Yea the canadian government charges a levy.. “
I then point to the screen where it shows a 10.50$ charge
“on every cd so that canadian music artists can get some money back from the ‘apparent’ songs that we steal”

Customer “But I’m using these strictly for the office, that means photos and documents..”
me “Unfortunatley everyone pays the levy, regardless what they use the cd’s for”

So yes, people pay the levy whether they are stealing music or not.

Ed says:

Bla Bla Bla...

That’s it!

Andy got the point!

I’m outside Canada too. Despite the rivality of canadians and Americans. I must to say that I know good and wisdom people from both.

But I’m not outside of the same problem here. I think the Govt. “minds” thinks strait off the “ease-way-of-get-some-extra-money-from-our-wallet”

And… the history showm us that “ease money” = “worst usage”


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Ignorant fucking Americans. Arrogant pukes, no wonder their country is such a clusterfuck. It’s populated by flat-headed trailer dwelling redneck trash. Have a good look at that cesspoll you call a nation. Fact is you need us more than we need you so have a seat morons.”

Brilliant! Most well articulated, educated comment I’ve seen all day!

Compare PPP GDP per capita between the US and Canada first to correct your own arrogance, then compare the astounding history of growth in capitalist nations such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and the like along with a liberalizing (in a capitalist sense, not the american sense where liberal=socialist), then compare other historic and projected growth rates between super-socialist France and Germany, then YOU, sir, sit your arrogant, but now more educated, ass down.

People say Americans are arrogant, but I swear to god, the most truly arrogant, condescending and rude people I’ve ever met are all foreigners. We’re content with pointing to simple macro-econ concepts that factually, mathematically prove socialism to be inefficient and leave it at that, the rest of the world tries to brow-beat and whine about imperialism. (Speaking of which, Europe appeased its way in to failure in WW2, doing it again with terrorism, and the failure of the French to grow a sack and send real troops to Lebanon, along with the UN’s demands on Israel to essentially bend over and drop its pants, proves this beyond all doubt)

Canadian says:

What's the problem

As a Canadian I have no problem with paying a levi to the artists so I can download music. This levi has been around since the old casette days and as such there has been no lawsuits in Canada over downloading music as frankly I pay for the right to do that.

If the recording industry doesn’t pay the artists thier fair share of said levi then they should get thier act together and sue for it.

Music shouldn’t be free – The artists have to make a living just as much as I do. I pay then for the music everytime I buy a blank cd though.

Also there is talk about expanding the tax to all blank media to cover mp3 players

Viking says:

Canadians Say Please Tax Our Blank CDs Even More

This is bull crap, everyone I’ve talked to about this was NOT happy with a proposed increase in the levy on blanks.
I’ve been a computer tech for almost 10 years and have had the chance to pose this question to many of my customers, and they were most certainly NOT for a hike in this levy. The company that did this survey was most likely compensated for the results they came up with, becasue Canadians already get the shaft from being taxed six ways from sunday, and we really don’t need or want another tax of ANY kind.

Viking says:

Canadians Say Please Tax Our Blank CDs Even More

This is bull crap, everyone I’ve talked to about this was NOT happy with a proposed increase in the levy on blanks.
I’ve been a computer tech for almost 10 years and have had the chance to pose this question to many of my customers, and they were most certainly NOT for a hike in this levy. The company that did this survey was most likely compensated for the results they came up with, becasue Canadians already get the shaft from being taxed six ways from sunday, and we really don’t need or want another tax of ANY kind.

Andy says:

Topher3105 (25) – You know Canadian cause you are one? That’s amazing, so does that mean you know americans cause you arnt one? How is it you know that its not just people that are dumb? Are you really saying that candians are more likely to be scamed than Americans? Cause I was telemarketer for a little under 2 years and I can tell you this is not true.
The simple fact is that the avg. public can get tricked into almost anything. This is what Mike was talking about, these surveys are tricky and “everyone should realize they have little to no validity”.
And Stan (27) good for you, you can pay for medical treatment, give yourself a pat on the back and stfu it clearly has nothing to do with you then.

Anonymous Coward says:

This just in: nobody gives a fuck about the price of blank cd’s.

Harddisk prices are plummeting, and it’s just a tad bit more expensive (over here) to just buy a harddisk and an enclosure, than buying a huge amount of cd’s. And then I didn’t even talk about the portability of the harddisk in comparison with the cd’s, and the durability of a cd.

Anonymous Coward says:

“People say Americans are arrogant, but I swear to god, the most truly arrogant, condescending and rude people I’ve ever met are all foreigners.”

Well, lets do the math…
Every other country on earth thinks Americans are arrogant, ignorant cowboys that are full of their own flag waving shit. The only one that don’t are well, Americans. 5 and half billion people can’t be wrong. Pull your head out of your ass and have a seat jerk off.

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