Canadians Overpay On Copying Levy — Money 'Reimbursed' To Industry

from the not-quite-how-it-was-supposed-to-go dept

As I’m sure many of you know, Canada has a “private copying levy,” which is a fairly large tax on blank media, that is supposed to pay the content industry for the private, non-commercial copying that people do at home. Of course, some might note that private, non-commercial copying is the sort of thing that’s legal fair use of content and shouldn’t be charged for in the first place. Others might note that even with this tax, Canadians are told that it’s illegal to share music online. It’s all a bit of a mess. However, the truth is that it’s free money for the industry, and they don’t give up on that without a fight. Remember last year, when they came out with a ridiculous poll that actually suggested Canadians wanted to pay an even higher levy on blank CDs? The latest report is that the board that sets the fees wanted to raise them again, but actually agreed to keep some of the fees the same, while lowering some others. However, this resulted in a problem. The group realized that there’s been a $2.5 million overpayment in the last three years. That is, consumers were charged $2.5 million more in these fees than they should have paid. The obvious solution is to give that money back to consumers in some manner… but instead, the group that manages the money plans to reimburse “importers and manufacturers.” Yes, read that again. They’re going to reimburse companies that didn’t pay the fee and stiff those that did. How nice of them. Why do I get the feeling that these reimbursements won’t find their way down the line to cheaper blank media prices?

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Comments on “Canadians Overpay On Copying Levy — Money 'Reimbursed' To Industry”

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Canadian guy says:

it's ok though.

don’t worry, we don’t mind paying it, since it’s not really that bad. After all, as long as we are paying for the right to copy, the big bad music/movie people can’t do anything to us. After all, what charges do you lay against someone that’s paying you an amount you agreed on to copy your stuff?

that’s why no one in canada is being attacked by madona / metallica etc

*copy protection on the cd? can’t put it on my mp3 player… well if your going to force me, i’ll just download it. gotta love the way they punish those who purchase.

thecaptain says:

Re: Everything is ok in Canada

Socialist government hardly? Get your head out of your butt.

As for the “tax” (its a levy, which is a little different), well its not QUITE a ripoff, it has basically stalemated the bullshit that the RIAA is pulling in YOUR oh-so-wonderful land-of-the-free.

Basically, in Canada, in part because of the levy, our copyright laws basically allow copying of music/movies for personal use, and that p2p services do not amount to distribution as the RIAA would like to claim.

Which means, since the Sony bullshit and the HBO’s consumer “enablement”. I can download LEGALLY to my heart’s content and tell them to shove their DRM and doublespeak until they come up with a better way of retaining me as a consumer.

I’ll take THAT over your “Possibility of jail for LIFE if caught using pirated software” Alberto Gonzales bullshit (see other techdirt story).

Its ironic that up here, in our “socialist” society, we’re more free than you are.

Fred Flint says:

Re: Everything is ok in Canada

Canadians are awesome. They don’t mind being taxed at all. I think some of the people who want to turn the USA into Canada should go there. Please. I really do NOT want a socialist government here.

What the Hell does a tax that funnels money directly into the pockets of some of the biggest, wealthiest corporations in the world have to do with Socialism?

Jeeze, I’m getting cranky with idiots these days. Would it be too much for you to think before you start typing?

Just in case you still don’t “get it”, no Canadian ever wanted to shell out money to big corporations for nothing in return. Nobody!

Every time a Canadian buys a CD to make a data backup, they have to pay the fracking music industry. Just like in the States, the big corporations finance the politicians and the politicians are just returning the favor. Canadian Conservative politicians just have more of a free hand than American neocons.

Canada isn’t “socialist”. Canada is more insanely Conservative than most other countries; they just hide the corporate theft more effectively because only a few rich people own all the damned media and nothing gets reported properly.

Now the music corporations want Canadians to pay for p2p file sharing on top of the fracking tax! Already getting paid for nothing is not enough for the greedy bastards!

Everything is NOT OK in Canada!

Uno says:

Same tale in Spain

In Spain, we pay the tax and have to endure tax-paid advertisements by the culture ministery in cinemas and TV on how downloading is, supposedly, piracy (which it isn’t by our fair use doctrine).

Just recently the law was refurbished to include p2p as delictive and out of fair use; instead of reducing the tax, it is going to be increased, and the collecting entities (private enterprises, by the way) were pushing for its application to hard drives and ADSL lines. Fortunately this last lunacy was avoided, it was too outrageous for the times. It will arrive in due time, I’m sure.

The tax collected amounts are published and they grow exponentially with the sales of blank CDs each year. I’m sure Spanish people are overpaying millions of euros that then go to the more powerful authors within the collecting entities. Nauseating.

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