Canadian Copyright Expert On Levy Proposals: Today's Quickie Legislative Solutions Are Tomorrow's Absurdities

from the $2500-iPod dept

Howard Knopf, a well known Canadian copyright expert, recently took a look at some of the failed copyright levy proposals in Canada. The Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) administers the tax levy on blank CDs, which now accounts for almost 90% of the price. In 2002, similar proposals to extend the levy to DVDs and digital audio players were shot down. It's a good thing they were! Knopf notes that the $2.27 levy proposed in 2002 is now about 10 times the retail price of a blank DVD, and the $21/GB levy proposed for digital audio players would have left a 120 GB iPod (<$300 CAD) with a $2520 tax. You might think the CPCC would have decreased the levies over time, but the blank CD levy was just increased this past December (blank CDs cost more in Canada than blank DVDs). Even if the levies were lowered, it would be because they had already become unbearable. Imagine the bureaucracy and battles at the Copyright Board, and imagine the effect on Canadian consumers, tech companies in the meantime (what if the Blackberry was classified as a digital audio device?).

The point is that these quick solutions aren't solutions at all. Setting up "you're a criminal" taxes to collect money for companies that can't figure out how to adjust their business models is bound to block innovative new technologies, and you can't predict what technologies will drive new business models. As Knopf puts it, "all of this shows that today's quickie proposed legislative solutions and oft inflated tariff proposals to deal with supposedly serious crises arising from copyright and new technology are potentially tomorrows' absurdities or even nightmares."
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: canada, copyright, ipods, levy


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread



Add Your Comment

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



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

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



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.