Canada One Step Closer To Adding The 'You're A Criminal Tax' To iPods

from the automatically-guilty dept

Remember two years ago when Canada’s Supreme Court said that iPods shouldn’t be subject to the blank media levy that the entertainment industry had convinced Canada to put on blank media like recordable CDs? Well, apparently the Supreme Court isn’t the last word on the matter. Earlier this year, we noted that the Canadian Private Copying Collective, the group that administers this “you must be a criminal” tax on media was pushing to get the levy included on iPods anyway. Now, the Copyright Board of Canada appears to be supporting that position, saying that it’s clearly within the law to tax iPods and other such devices. As Michael Geist notes, the ruling could also apply to such things as personal computers as well, as the entertainment industry may now start to claim that it needs a tax on anything that can store recordable content, even as it continues to fight piracy in Canada. So, at what point do people realize that the entertainment industry is getting paid twice here? First when they get the “you must be a criminal” tax and then again when people buy legitimately purchased content.

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Companies: apple

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Comments on “Canada One Step Closer To Adding The 'You're A Criminal Tax' To iPods”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Levy-free south of the border

I have a co-worker who has parents that lives in the next state over.

This state doesn’t have a sales tax, the state we’re in does. As a result
he will occasionally tell his parents to buy certain big-ticket items
before his trip home…

Don’t most people in Canada live near the US border?

Canadiana says:

Re: Levy-free south of the border

Ok, first, no Canadians do not mostly live close to the US border…get an atlas. The US is not the centre (yes, its CENTRE not CENTER) of the universe and we don’t live in igloos.
Second, What this does is make pirating legal. When someone is arrested, and charged with “stealing”, the simple defense is…no I paid…the levy on the media is payment to the artist (at least that is what they levy is SUPPOSED to be for) and thus constitutes payment for said merchandise, namely the music.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Levy-free south of the border

Well…the map of Canada shows that the northern end of country is inside
the Arctic circle. This is the cold end of the country…it’s probably
warmer to the south.

This includes the thing called the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor,
which alone accounts for over 55% of the population.

It’s quite sensiable really– build your house in a place
where it’s warm. I suspect that around there, igloos are built for fun…

Anonymous Coward says:

how are they getting paid twice, if the songs were illegally downloaded? “You’re a criminal”, well you probably are. If you took a census of all the ipods being used, the majority contain illegally obtained songs. It’s reasonable for the state to help cover artist’s losses with music piracy so rampant today. Record companies aren’t evil, you are for stealing music that people have put a lot of time and money into creating.

Joe says:

Re: Re:

Have you actually researched where the money goes when you buy a CD? Talk about inflated and misplaced value!
So where does the difference go when it’s downloaded content?
Sure you have bandwidth and storage
fees, but those costs pale in comparison.
The industry (and now politicians) have found a way to convince
consumers (legal-downloaders) to pay more for less. So when you look at
the “Record Companies” in this aspect, “evil” might be a bit strong, but it’s definitely unmoral!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Record companies aren’t evil, you are for stealing music that people have put a lot of time and money into creating.

The problem is that the money from most music sales aren’t going to the people that worked to create it. It’s going to some old guy in a suit that doesn’t do anywhere near as much work as the artist that created it.

This is just an attempt to keep their middleman role alive in a changing music distribution world.

And as for the “you probably are” card:

Most people in US prisons are young black males. Should we play the “you probably are” card here and just throw them all in jail before hand?

Most people that drive have broken the speed limit at some point. Should we play the “you probably are” card here and just start mailing speeding tickets out to drivers everywhere?

The most popular portable music player is the iPod. Should we play the “you probably are” card here and just take all other portable music players off the market?

And speaking of this levy/tax/what-the-frack-ever will only be placed on iPods?

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

how are they getting paid twice, if the songs were illegally downloaded?

For every legal purchase, they’re now getting paid twice.

Record companies aren’t evil, you are for stealing music that people have put a lot of time and money into creating.

Fascinating. I’ve never once downloaded an unauthorized song, so why would you accuse me of infringement? I’m simply pointing out that it makes no sense for the gov’t to prop up a broken business model. And, by the way, learn the difference between infringement and stealing.

sendeth says:

Re: you know what assuming does

you are assuming that everyone is a criminal. if you buy a song legally, than they ARE getting paid twice. this is just an incentive to steal all your music because you are only going to pay for it once. i intentionally steal most of my music just to say “to hell with the artist”. except the really good ones who aren’t whiny bitches wanting to sue everyone. how about embracing the new model laid out in front of them, rather than fight it and (as mc lars says) “run your label like it was 1992… you overcharged for music for years. all we are looking for is a level playing field.”

R3d Jack says:

Re: Re:

If your assessment is true, then we should simply pay the tax, which really covers unlimited downloading of material. Since we are all criminals by decree, the fact we are criminals really has no moral or ethical significance. Furthermore, everyone should download as much as possible, since we would be foolish to not get our money’s worth.
However, your incredibly self-righteous and arrogant assessment is false. The real solution is to find means to protect intellectual property without root-kitting the customer’s PC or dragging people into court, claiming damages 10 or a 100 times the actual losses. I’m no fan of piracy, but the current behavior of the media industries is intolerable.

niftyswell says:

Re: Re:

Is it just me or does it seem like the MPAA and RIAA have figured out this blog exists and always have someone quick to endorse the industry? Every time a story goes up about the assumptions of the recording industry leading to indiscriminate taxation there is immediately an anonymous coward backing the RIAA. If it werent for IPODS and their download site the industry would be all but dead by now. Keep up the taxation, lawsuits, or other ways of making money without adding any new creativity to your market and people will figure the best way to get around it is to go completely underground where they dont even engage in legitimate sales….just watch!

Wulven (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I would agree with you in point of fact if the “artist” received even a remotely fair share of the profits.. The record companies themselves are evil incarnate as they with regularity ask us to pay HIGHLY inflated media prices, put up with ridiculous laws and lawsuits, and foolish regulations (an example of this is radio stations having to pay double royalties if the broadcast their show on the internet.. Which I believe has since been removed). If the record companies stuck to doing what they should. Publishing and promoting the music artists make. Costs would go down and their profits would go up. Instead they spend ungodly sums of money “fighting” piracy, and lobbying for stronger DMCA laws, and filing stupid lawsuits.

skimo says:

the majority contain illegally obtained songs

How is Apple making money off i-tunes if the “majority” of i-pods contain pirated songs? I’m betting most i-pod users don’t even know they can buy music from places other than i-tunes. There may be a large number of pirated songs out there, but there are even more legally bought CD’s that are ripped to mp3’s and placed on DAP’s. For those of you that think i-pod is the name for every player out there, DAP stands for Digital Audio Player. Assuming that songs are illegal just because they are in digital form is unconstitutional in the US, guess not in Canada though. 😉

Canadians, squash this movement before it’s too late!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Levies aren’t a ‘tax’ on illegal activity. Indeed, private copying — the thing that the levy ‘compensates’ for — is legal in Canada. What kind of logic could a government use to justify taxing an illegal activity? It would be an unbelievable conflict of interest; there would be actual disincentive to actual prohibit the activity.

I don’t agree with the levy but this whole ‘taxing an illegal activity’ rhetoric is absurd.

Private copying should remain legal (and expanded from audio recordings) and the levy — welfare for the recording industry — should be abolished.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: dad's old tapes?

The “over the consumer owned airwaves” radio recordings are legal unless you attempt to resell them. They are there for anyone and everyone who has the equipment to receive it. The recording industry tried to sue to stop recording and the judge clarified how it was fair use of freely available content. Now we’ve got the next level of the fight with digital content.

The recording industry took a few notes last time around and went in head first into this round by sponsoring the DMCA. Before the DMCA it was gray area for all reverse engineering but commonly accepted as fair use. You can still reverse engineer physical objects as fair use but with the DMCA you can’t do anything to break digital encryption (cough, DeCSS).

The DMCA also covered the butts of the satellite industries long enough for them to all but eliminate people using signals forced upon them. Once we get high quality fiber to the home as a commonplace thing, the phone companies will quickly beat out cable and satellite providers with On-Demand HD shows. And THAT is why there is a battle over net neutrality.

claire rand (user link) says:

I presume once you’ve paid this tax, you have ‘paid’ for the content you copy to such a device yes? presumably that means it no longer matters where that content comes from?

I would assume someone with a good knowledge of the law, certainly a better knowledge than myself, could run with this. I would also have thought any possibility of a judge agreeing with it would lead to a very fast out of court settlement, or a dropping of charges totally (probably with a gagging agreement maybe).

this could well be a two edged sword.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I presume once you’ve paid this tax, you have ‘paid’ for the content you copy to such a device yes?presumably that means it no longer matters where that content comes from?

Unfortunately, no. As I understand it, the record industry claims that this tax is only payment for copying stuff that you already bought and paid for once. For example, making your own mix CDs from CDs that you already bought. The kind of thing that’s covered by “fair use” in the US. That’s why people complain about “paying twice”. The record industry claims that it is still illegal to download “unauthorized” music in Canada even with this tax.

TedK says:

Re: Makes illegal content legal?

I’d think this levy would be a good deal. Pretty hard to be accused of stealing something if you’ve paid for it:

It’s a levy on the content of your Ipod.
Therefore, any content on your Ipod has been “paid” for.
Therefore, so long as you only listen to downloaded content on the device – you are free to get the content anywhere you chose.

If there is a levy at point of purchase, proving you’ve paid for the device is proof you’ve paid for any content on it.


Nobody to blame but...

Canadians and all those who live in democracies have only themselves to blame when Government entities run roughshod over them. They voted for these people. They are only a reflection of the idiots who put them in office. When the judges start legislating from the bench (judiciall tyranny) that is a different problem but still fixable by electing the correct people to appoint these black robed tyrants. Quit whining and start voting for those who respect, love and protect freedom.

In the meantime, all Canadians are invited to buy their iPods in the good ole’ US of A.

SailorRipley says:

Re: Nobody to blame but...

and in what kind of vacuum have you been living your entire life?

people living in democracies don’t have themselves to blame for voting for “those people”…big business gives contributions to every candidate and expects “payback” once elected, regardless of what party the candidate belongs to or what platform he runs on (yes, of course there are exceptions). But to big business, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a Bush or a Clinton in the White House, or whether there’s a Republican or Democratic majority in the House or Senate, a sufficient amount of members have been bought, lock, stock & barrel, so it really doesn’t matter who you vote for

Humored (profile) says:

iPod music

I have an iPod with about 800 songs on it and ALL of them came off of LEGALLY PURCHASED CD’S by me (of which usually only one or two songs is WORTH listening to) and the rest were purchased on iTunes. I think if I purchase the music, whether it be on cd or on a legal internet site, that I should be able to put that song on any media I want for myself. I think the RI is completely full of (*&^ for saying that this music is stolen. Downloaded illegal music (that I’ve heard on others’ players’) is usually not worth buying. Seems anyone that can speak tries to “sing” and gets paid the big bucks……….witnessed on TV almost daily.

Anonymous Coward says:

Lets squash piracy by making it more costly and complicated to do things legally!

Ohh yeah, and all that money that is supposed to feed the “starving artists” instead goes to feed those “starving lawyers” who are paid round the clock to sue thousands of people for breaking unenforceable laws.

You can’t fight the future, the music and movie industry must adapt or die, thats just natural selection. People want I pods, and they don’t want to get waxed on the music they buy. The people will get what they want in the end.

Harry says:

How much money are we talking about?

This ‘tax’ is so little that it wouldn’t pay for a guitar pick!

A pack of 50 DVDs (including this media tax) costs maybe $25.00. I can copy and burn a million tunes with this much space – mighty lean pickins’ for the artists!

Same thing with iTunes – it’s a drop in the bucket. Anyone who thinks this miniscule amount of money makes an illegal act legal must be smokin something!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I have no problem buying music from artists that are not “represented” by the RIAA. At least in that case the money is actually going to the band thats busting its hump creating and playing music and all actual contributing parties involved and not going to some old guy in a suit that does nothing but sit in a boardroom counting money.

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