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Canada Quashes Copyright Tax on MP3 Players

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the rated-q-for-quash dept.

The Courts 437

Rippy the Gator writes "The Globe and Mail says that consumers may soon be paying less for MP3 players because the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that special copyright levies applied to digital music players are not legal. You might want to keep those receipts if you're giving them as a Christmas Gift."

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What is this... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115111)

a sine tax?

First again, bitches! (1)

Ads are broken (718513) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115114)

p00p

YUO CONTINUE TO FAIL IT, FAGGORT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115125)

asdf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115119)

first post

The end of the canadian musid industry (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115120)

Look...

How will canadian artists and record companies stay in business if everybody is going to rip them off and the government isn't going to help them by encouraging consumers to pay taxes to help their brother canadians.

You're all so selfish. I feel like moving south to the U.S.

Re:The end of the canadian musid industry (2, Interesting)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115155)

You are wrong, it means that Canadians cannot anymore hide behind a levies law.
It means that soon the floodstreams of lawsuits against illegal users will flow...

Re:The end of the canadian musid industry (4, Insightful)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115489)

" You are wrong, it means that Canadians cannot anymore hide behind a levies law. It means that soon the floodstreams of lawsuits against illegal users will flow..."

No, it was ruled that the levies were illegal because only Parliament (the upper house) has the authority to enact such a levy, not the Copyright Board of Canada. Whether or not the levies make sense or are appropriate is not the issue. This ruling was simply about legal jurisdiction, and I am very sure we have not seen the end of this.

Re:The end of the canadian musid industry (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115159)

never mind the music industry, I am more interested in learning about this "musid" industry ;-)

Re:The end of the canadian musid industry (1)

3terrabyte (693824) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115222)

It's bad enough that we take food out of the starving artists in America, now we're doing it to Canadians. Just in time for a cold, cold winter.

Heh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115252)

Your post is funny but in all seriousness it's kind of odd that Canadians rant against the US music industry for its aggressive campaign against illegal file traders when in Canada, people have already been paying the music industry whenever they buy mp3 players and blank CDs. At least in the US, you get fined after breaking the law instead of beforehand in anticipation. I guess ignorance is bliss.

Re:Heh (3, Interesting)

Egonis (155154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115314)

Agreed!

I remember when CD-R's were quite suddenly affected by the recording taxes -- did you know that the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission) imposed a tax on Audio Tapes and VHS Cassettes back in the early 80's?

So many people here just don't know that these fees have been implemented into the sales structure already, and assume that things are just strange in the US.

I do think, though that these taxes are not a terrible idea, as it keeps the recording industry off of our backs for the most part.

Re:The end of the canadian musid industry (2, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115253)

If it means fewer people will be exposed to Celine Dion then it can't be a bad thing.

Re:The end of the canadian music industry (2, Funny)

wwwillem (253720) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115438)

fewer people will be exposed to Celine Dion

That's why she was exported to Las Vegas. :-)

Re:The end of the canadian musid industry (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115297)

How will canadian artists and record companies stay in business if everybody is going to rip them off and the government isn't going to help them by encouraging consumers to pay taxes to help their brother canadians.

Who cares about Canadian artists? I'm Canadian and I think they suck.

Karma (1)

dominick (550229) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115126)

All I know is that my Karma is 'terrible' and if someone mods me down one more time my karma is going to turn around and fuck me in the ass. So please mode me +5 Funny but off-topic. Thank you!

Re:Karma (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115145)

You sir, are officially ass-fucked.

Rebate (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115136)

I hope consumers who paid can get a rebate or refund of some kind.

Re:Rebate (1)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115272)

I wonder how I'd go about getting my $20 tax back on my ipod...

take the reciept to f-shop or something?

Re:Rebate (1)

Egonis (155154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115330)

Price Protection.... if/when the tax drops off of the price, F-Shop and others, provided that they have price protection, have to refund the difference.

Re:Rebate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115311)

Oh sure, and I hope it'll snow in Hell in time for Christmas.

Hooray! (4, Interesting)

mistersooreams (811324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115146)

Isn't it strange how Canada seems to have such a different attitude to copyright enforcement to America, when Europe seems to want to follow in the footsteps of American law? Canada is culturally more similar to America than Europe is, besides the obvious geographical proximity. Is this the Canadian government deliberately being contrary? I'd be interested to hear from some Canadians on the matter.

Re:Hooray! (5, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115163)

I can speak about the going ons inside the house [since I don't really care to watch] but from a "consumer" standpoint I saw visible protests by stores. It wasn't uncommon to see "you pay more because of canadian levies" in shops as huge as FutureShop [equiv to the american BestBuy].

It was quite clear that the retail outlets weren't too happy about the levies. ... Neither are the citizens since well I use my recordable media for software backups not music.

However, the canadian music industry feels they "deserve" more money. Instead of actually, oh I don't know, earning the fucking money they'd rather guilt trip the citizens and pressure the house to bend to their whims.

Tom

Re:Hooray! (1)

3terrabyte (693824) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115327)

I've always found the levies interesting. I know we have them in america, but they're so tiny no one complains. Canadian levies are crazy! And when they started looking at hard drives... holy cow.

In a similar topic, can you imagine going to college, and finding in your tuition a $90 fee to pay for the "free Napster" that the schools were suckered in to? Not only that, but most people have iPods, and would rather go with iTunes.

Re:Hooray! (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115169)

I wouldn't get too excited. They just held that the law needs to be changed as it currently does not give authority for taxes on anything other than media. If people are not going to bother burning music to CDs any more, they may amend the law to also apply to storage devices designed to store and play music.

Re:Hooray! (3, Insightful)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115192)

I'm a Canadian and this is bad news. I would prefer to have a levy on my mp3 player or any other device/recordable media.

Why? When the RIAC(dunno if that's what it's called or not just guessing) wants to start suing their customers, we point to the levy and kindly ask them to stuff it.

The Canadian way is to pay levys/taxes on everything so we don't have to worry about anything. Healthcare, perscription drugs, and social programs are just a few things that are subsidized or free because of levys and taxes. Sure people like to argue about how well the system works, but last time I checked people don't go backrupt when they get sick here.

Re:Hooray! (1)

PhrostED (785154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115273)

Seeing as I don't see my $25 dollars coming back to me anytime soon, I still plan to point to it the levy and kindly ask them to stuff it.

It was a pretty good deal though. $25 for all the music I could ever get my hands on? Now if iTunes would pick up the "Canada Levy" package...

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115298)

The Canadian way is to pay levys/taxes on everything so we don't have to worry about anything.

Hmm, so if we Americans started charging, say, a burglary tax to everyone we could not ever have to worry about going to jail for burglary. That sounds great, plea bargains before the act is even committed!

Sure people like to argue about how well the system works, but last time I checked people don't go backrupt when they get sick here.

Ah, I love this Canadian mentally that has them believing that everyone here dies on the street because they are uninsured. Sorry, but it's a huge myth. Moreover, Canada caps its doctor's salaries so most of the really good doctors who specialize in the rare and complicated diseases that save people's lives come to the US because our schools are better and you actually get paid properly for your skills. I'm not going to open the socialism debate, but it certainly has its own set of flaws.

Re:Interesting (1)

No. 24601 (657888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115425)

Ah, I love this Canadian mentally that has them believing that everyone here dies on the street because they are uninsured. Sorry, but it's a huge myth. Moreover, Canada caps its doctor's salaries so most of the really good doctors who specialize in the rare and complicated diseases that save people's lives come to the US because our schools are better and you actually get paid properly for your skills. I'm not going to open the socialism debate, but it certainly has its own set of flaws.

Canada is a democracy without all the flaws inherent to true democracy. That's it's rated #1 for standard of living in the world. Oh wait, what's this??... something to back that statement up. [english-vancouver.com] And this [wikipedia.org] . Highest paid skilled workers doesn't mean highest standard of living in the country. I'd take the latter over the former anyday.

Re:Interesting (1)

ChristianCynic (840939) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115490)

I love the "evidence" about standard of living. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Canada is a wonderful place to live, perhaps even better than the US, though I have no complaints. And while I am skeptical (or cynical ;)) about the fact that you cited a Canadian language school and Wikipedia (!!) as your evidence, what gets me even more is the very notion of "scientific" evidence for judging "QUALITY". Where is Robert Pirsig when you need him?

Re:Interesting (5, Interesting)

Egonis (155154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115436)

Hmm, so if we Americans started charging, say, a burglary tax to everyone we could not ever have to worry about going to jail for burglary. That sounds great, plea bargains before the act is even committed!

Nice comparison.... seriously! You do have a great point here....

On one hand, yes.. copying music is breaking the law, but on the other hand... the levy tax pays the record industry as a whole for their "losses" -- so there is a half-right and half-wrong to the concept of levies.

Ah, I love this Canadian mentally that has them believing that everyone here dies on the street because they are uninsured. Sorry, but it's a huge myth. Moreover, Canada caps its doctor's salaries so most of the really good doctors who specialize in the rare and complicated diseases that save people's lives come to the US because our schools are better and you actually get paid properly for your skills. I'm not going to open the socialism debate, but it certainly has its own set of flaws.

The Canadian Mentality is a feeling that everyone 'deserves' to be given health care... no matter what their circumstance. I agree with this concept, obviously...

What you see from Canadians regarding the thoughts of people dying in the streets in the US, is because of fear -- I admit that the thought of a capitalist approach to health care is frightening to me, and it paints a confusing picture to many of us, as we could not imagine getting a second mortgage for a heart bypass (provided that said person doesn't have coverage, etc, etc)

Doctors in Canada do get severely capped, and mistreated, but that's not speaking for all of them. There are many fantastic surgeons, specialists, etc here who enjoy their work, get compensated well for it.. etc.

You must consider the opposite though, the family of a friend of mine moved up here from Ohio over 30 years ago because the parents wanted to work within our health system, because they felt that American Medicare was too oppressive.

So their are many opinions from different sides, I am not knocking the american system, but I personally do feel more comfortable and loyal to the ways of my own country.

-1 Clueless (4, Informative)

alexo (9335) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115519)


Egonis (155154) wrote:
> On one hand, yes.. copying music is breaking the law, but on the other hand...
> the levy tax pays the record industry as a whole for their "losses" --
> so there is a half-right and half-wrong to the concept of levies.


Except that in Canada it is legal to copy music for personal use .
Not breaking any laws here.

Re:Hooray! (2, Interesting)

jest3r (458429) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115305)

I get the same impression ... by dropping the media levy on devices that support MP3's the Canadian RIAA can start going after Canadian MP3 file traders. On the otherhand the levy on my iPod was $25 ... which irks me enough that I make a point to copy / pirate / trade everything just to get my moneys worth.

I did buy 10 hard to find tracks from the Canadian iTunes music store when it opened last week - good experience.

Ramble on ...

Re:Hooray! (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115554)

I get the same impression ... by dropping the media levy on devices that support MP3's the Canadian RIAA can start going after Canadian MP3 file traders.

Hmm, I thought that in Canada it was always illegal to share/trade copyrighted music over e.g. P2P networks. Isn't the only thing allowed being downloading copyrighted music, and not uploading?

Re:Hooray! (0, Flamebait)

ReadbackMonkey (92198) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115397)


Why? When the RIAC(dunno if that's what it's called or not just guessing) wants to start suing their customers, we point to the levy and kindly ask them to stuff it.


So, basically because you want to steal music I should pay the Recording Industry extra? This is moronic, selfish and childish.

Sure people like to argue about how well the system works, but last time I checked people don't go backrupt when they get sick here.
No, they just die waiting for treatment. Been to a hospital lately?

Re:Hooray! (2, Interesting)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115500)

"So, basically because you want to steal music I should pay the Recording Industry extra? This is moronic, selfish and childish."

Nope, I buy all of the music I like and can find in the stores here. I may have a few tracks which are unlicensed but not many. I do however have a problem with big companies being able to demand client lists from ISPs,etc. Canada isn't a litigation state and I would like it to stay that way.

"No, they just die waiting for treatment. Been to a hospital lately?"

Yes I have been to a hospital lately - My Uncle was there not too long ago getting cancer treatment, which he would have never been able to afford if he was in the US. I think you would feel diferently about this if you actually knew what you were talking about.

Re:Hooray! (2, Interesting)

tdhillman (839276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115590)

Why is it that the quietest voices in all of this are always they artists themselves? The RIAC and RIAA don't speak for me, and despite having had my copyrights infringed many a time, I've never seen dime one in retribution. The RIAA for example doesn't give the fine money to those harmed (the artists) but rather to the organisation.

Re:Hooray! (0, Offtopic)

ChristianCynic (840939) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115597)

The Canadian way is to pay levys/taxes on everything so we don't have to worry about anything.

I would love to be able to not worry about taxes. How do you manage that? Is there a "don't worry about taxes" tax?

Come to think of it, there are plenty of other things that I worry about that I would like to pay taxes on here in the US, like the erosion of our civil liberties. Particularly:

1. The right to bear arms. See "Rosie O'Donnell".

2. Freedom of speech. Here in the US you can't "offend" anyone unless they're Christian or Republican. Then they're fair game. This trumps any other consideration, including race. Just look at the abuse Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, and Clarence Thomas get.

3. Freedom of religion. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". But just TRY and freely exercise or recognize Christmas. You'll have a lawsuit slapped on you quicker than you can say "Kwanzaa". Not to mention the fact that atheism/secular humanism/"pluralism" is THE official religion of the US, at least according to the way the courts act.

Re:Hooray! (2, Insightful)

Opie812 (582663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115225)

Sometimes it feels we *are* just being contrary. Although, in this day and age that isn't necessiarly a bad thing.

Being contrary for the sake of being contrary helps people who are insecure in the Canadian identity distingush themselves from our American cousins. You'd be surprised how many people up here are like that.

However, in this case, it may just be that we haven't been completely overtaken by our corporate overlords yet.

Re:Hooray! (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115257)

But, in America there is currently no levy/tax on mp3 players that I know of.

Re:Hooray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115287)

As a Canadian, I can tell you that Canadian copyright laws are in a state of flux at the moment. Nobody's really sure where the government is taking copyright law with specific regard to music on the net. I don't think it's a conscious effort to be deliberately contrary to American copyright law. There's a view out there, not shared by everyone, I might add, that the DMCA in the States is far, far too Draconian in punishing people who download (Whether you agree or not with that position is up to how you define "fair use" or if you assume the music is part of the private or public domain or both, but that's a side issue) So far, uploading music files is the only aspect of Canadian copyright law that is illegal - you can, as has been stated on here before, download legally. But this is very confusing, because you can't technically or legally seperate the two from each other. There's been talk of Canada adopting the WIPO's stance on downloading (a very, very strong anti-downloading stance, which isn't surprising) and there's increasing pressure on the Minister of Canadian Heritage from artists and record companies to deal with this issue in a constructive way, i.e. make it illegal to download. But a lot of people "in-the-know" in Ottawa think the artists have their heads in the sand and missed the boat on this a long, long time ago. P2P is here to stay, and to punish people for downloading and uploading music files doesn't seem like a constructive way of dealing with the problem. The squashing of the MP3 levy may be seen as a step back for artists, but I would remind those who think downloaders are "selfish" that all of these issues of file-sharing is something you should have confronted years ago. The government isn't really all that interested in moving on an issue like this, because it really isn't a government priority. I think most sensible Canadians who say that working on our socialized medicare system, reforming our foreign service and re-structuring our military are far larger priorities than artists who should be doing more to support themselves than whine to Ottawa about the "evils of downloading." Sorry boys and girls, but you didn't deal with this issue early enough and now you're going to have to deal with it.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115341)

It's great how you get fined by the government to pay private corporations before you've even committed a crime. Sounds wonderful!

Canada: "What would you like to buy today?"
Me: "I'll take two burglaries, please."
Canada: "Would you like any lies with that?"
Me: "Lies aren't free?"
Canada: "We sell perjury lies here, sir."
Me: "Oh great, that should be illegal and it might come in handy if I go to court. I'll take some of those, thank you."
Canada: "Ok, sir, that'll be $10 please."
Me: "Super!"

Re:Hooray! (1)

sim82 (836928) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115406)

Maybe it's because canada doesn't have the european commission and other dubious [ffii.org] characters decide about these matters>?

Re:Hooray! (1)

dcavens (178673) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115452)

Canada is culturally more similar to America than Europe is

Actually, as a Canadian living in Europe, I think the opposite is true. We're far closer to the European approach on many levels- i.e. taxation, governance, human rights, militarism, etc..

There's a book out that explores how Canada, which used to be very similar to the U.S. culturally, has gradually been moving farther and farther away from the U.S. (or, perhaps, that the U.S. is moving farther away from Canada)

It's quite interesting.
Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values [amazon.com] by Michael Adams

d.

Re:Hooray! (1)

c (8461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115497)

Isn't it strange how Canada seems to have such a different attitude to copyright enforcement to America, when Europe seems to want to follow in the footsteps of American law?

It's not that there's a particularly different attitude, it's just that media interests have less power in government. The Canadian recording/movie industry just can't go out and buy new laws like they can in the USA.

But give them time. The government is currently working towards ratifying WIPO and doing a bit of "cleaning up" of existing copyright laws... If things go the way they look like they might go, we're going to end up with something that makes the DMCA look like RMS ghost wrote it.

c.

The law doesn't include MP3 players (4, Informative)

HoserHead (599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115154)

According to the article, the law doesn't include any text about MP3 players, so collecting levies on them isn't allowed. As in many decisions, it has been left to Parliament to make the final choice.

The short of it is that if lobbyists get their way, the levy will be back on MP3 players; all that's needed is for an amendment to the Copyright Act to be drafted and passed.

Re:The law doesn't include MP3 players (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115170)

Canada's Copyright Act gives the federal board the authority to apply levies on blank media such as compact discs and audio cassettes. But the wording of the act has not kept up with the new technology of MP3 players, represented by the wildly popular iPod, which use an embedded memory rather than discs or cassettes, to store digital copies of songs.

Exactly! All they have to do is change the Act to include digital media players (and any possible future devices/media) so that this won't happen again.

Buy 'em now while you don't have to pay the extra tax.

As a canadian (1)

Dispo (841224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115160)

Since the taxe is on all music related product like recordable cds and MP3 player I think it is a really good idea for people like me who can, in a manner, contribute to the music industry. I would really want to know what kind of people did complain about the system that is almost invisible to customers.

Re:As a canadian (1)

3terrabyte (693824) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115264)

What bugs me the most about these costs: levies, ASCAP, lawsuits, etc, is that NONE of it is tagged for the artists. ALL of this is only for the corporation.

I mean sure, theoretically if the music industry has a banner year, they'll trickle down the money to the artists with big bonuses... Yea, I think not.

I always wondered... (4, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115161)

Those extra levies on casettes/minidiscs/CD-R and apparently also MP3 players, do they really reach the artists? How do they redistrubute, and on what criteria?

I always thought that this money will never be seen by the artists, and was essentially just a scam.

Re:I always wondered... (3, Informative)

schon (31600) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115210)

Information about that can be found here. [neil.eton.ca]

In short: yes, they redistribute the money.

Re:I always wondered... (1)

elfin_spectre (838439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115215)

Even if the levies are distributed then I bet it means Bryan Adams gets 300,000 more dollars as loose change while brilliant Canadian bands like Wintersleep or The Peter Parkers will get nothing. More likely it just goes into a slush fund for the record companies so they can pay radio stations to play their music, and hype records into the charts by buying all the copies themselves.

Levies go to the CPCC (2, Informative)

HoserHead (599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115220)

All copyright levies are collected by an independent group called the Canadian Private Copying Collective [www.cpcc.ca] . Money started being distributed to copyright holders in 2003:
CPCC began making payments early in 2003. In January, CPCC carried out the first of a series of payments being made from the over $28 million in private copying royalties available for distribution from 2000 and 2001. 2003 will also see payment from the additional $26 million available from 2002.

Re:I always wondered... (2, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115229)


I always thought that this money will never be seen by the artists, and was essentially just a scam

The money is supposed to go to the Canadian artists' collective (whatever it's called). Personally I prefer having the levies. They are what allow us to download music legally here. Now that it seems that the levies are starting to be discarded we'll probably end up with a bunch of lawsuits ala-RIAA up here.

Re:I always wondered... (4, Informative)

gUmbi (95629) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115277)


Those extra levies on casettes/minidiscs/CD-R and apparently also MP3 players, do they really reach the artists? How do they redistrubute, and on what criteria?


It's interesting that I was just looking into this yesterday. They have a website [www.cpcc.ca] that they've collected $80 million over that past 5 years and distributed $30 million of it. The distributions are based on radio airplay and CD sales. The funds are paid out by groups like SOCAN (an artist organization that handles royalties, etc.).

So, yes, the money is getting out slowly - unfortunately, it's being distributed to Celine Dion and Bryan Adams for the most part.

Re:I always wondered... (1)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115326)


it's being distributed to Celine Dion and Bryan Adams for the most part.

My girlfriend lovesBryan Adams. What's really scary is that some of his stuff actually starts to grow on you. Now if Motorhead and The Ramones started growing on her things would be perfect. :)

Re:I always wondered... (1)

schemanista (739124) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115485)

Now if Motorhead and The Ramones started growing on her things would be perfect. :)

You're not a dermatologist, are you?

Re:I always wondered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115586)

I know very few women with decent (i.e. it doesn't make me want to gouge out my eardrums) taste in music, though that's not to say all my male friends are faultless in this regard.
I think it's a chromosome thing for women though, like the male predisposition toward gadgets. ;)

Re:I always wondered... (1)

randalx (659791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115575)

And where did the other $50 million go?

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115361)

You are paying a tax to corporations to get immunity from breaking the law in the future. Great system, eh?

well it wasn't such a bad idea (1, Insightful)

R.D.Olivaw (826349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115168)

I wouldn't mind paying a 'mp3 tax' if it means that I can share MP3s with friends. Think of it like the TV tax (something that we have in some Euro countries) it's basically a tax to see TV. You pay it once a year and you have the right to have as many TVs as you like and watch as much as you want. so If they could come up with a similar yearly tax for having the right o use MP3s (or oggs or wavs or whatever the current flavor of the month) with the right to download and use any music then I would gladly pay it (as long as it doesn't cost more than 12CDs :) as I rarely like 12 CDs a year.

Re:well it wasn't such a bad idea (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115441)

Right because its so much better to be forced to pay for something you may use then to simply pay for something you will use.

Re:well it wasn't such a bad idea (2, Interesting)

R.D.Olivaw (826349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115589)

well I don't know about you but usually when I spend money on a TV or an mp3 player then I intend to use it!

Won't change anything for me... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115179)

With such advantegeous currency exchange rates, a lot less taxes, and the extra fee, I've bought my IPod on a trip to New York and ended up paying 100$ less than if I would of bought it in Canada.


Or there's always Ebay...if the US shipper agrees to indicate "Gift" on the box, you won't pay any taxes whatsoever.

Not terribly important (1)

Lonesome Squash (676652) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115182)

No real principles are at stake here. It's not like they've decided that taxing storage media to help discourage piracy is a bad thing.

All that was found was that the law that allowed them to tax blank writable media wasn't written broadly enough to include MP3 players. All they have to to help protect the poor recording industry from the scourge of piracy will be to amend the law slightly.

Will there be a big outcry if they do? Will the combination of industry pressure and promised revenue overcome whatever outcry there is?

you have to be kidding me (1, Interesting)

hsmith (818216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115190)

they are taxing consumers for an industry? holy carp

just wait until America gets a hold of this idea, the RIAA would love this. just remember, they are not taxes, they are fees ;)

Re:you have to be kidding me (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115221)

we already do pay levies for an industry.

Re:you have to be kidding me (1)

conteXXt (249905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115281)

several cases have already been won by the consumer on this issue in Canada.

The argument goes: "I already paid you leeches when I bought my cdr/dvdr disks. Piss off"

Can't have it both ways here. Either we are all thieves (Fee payers), or they can sue us for infringement.

I like the fees myself (It's pennies a disk anyway).

What do Canada and Soviet Russia have in common? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115285)

Communism.

Re:What do Canada and Soviet Russia have in common (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115323)

In Communist Canada music taxes the government!

Re:you have to be kidding me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115543)

We in the US already DO pay that same kind of tax on CD-R media to the RIAA. It is bullshit, and we need to get enough people to be aware of it and force it to be removed. No private corporation has the right to tax sales of arbitrary goods.

And the premise that we're GOING to use the media to infringe, therefore they are entitled to compensation? That's just a joke. You can not sue someone for something that they MIGHT do. But that's exactly what this illegal tax is.

Maybe we should all file a class acction lawsuit against the RIAA, claiming that they MIGHT wrongfully sue us for infringment and therefore, we are entitled to money to hire lawyers to protect us, and compensate us for the mental anguish of dealing with a bogus lawsuit.

Sheesh!

I'm a Canadian (2, Insightful)

ID000001 (753578) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115242)

.. and we have tax on CDR and tapes and other stuff for the longest time. However, the tax itself is not really meant to make copying legal. But instead, the tax were simply there to minimzes any damange that you might be doing! What if you are using the CDR for personal data only? You are technically not required to pay it. However, the process of recovering those tax are lenghty and trouble some. So most let it go. What I don't understand is. How could someone pentlies you for something you haven't done yet? I think this is where the system become flawed. Owning a tool and having the potiental of doing something is NOT a prove of being guilty. You need to have prove of using it in illegal means! Sadly enough, 80% of those devices only DO use them illegally. So the fact actually justifies the tax, even if it doesn't really make sense. The only question I got is, where did those money went? Did they actually give them to any artists? If not, why even tax it?

Re:I'm a Canadian (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115313)

If you're a Canadian, I'm ashamed of you.

That has got to be one of the worst paragraphs I have ever read.

Your Grade 9 English teacher would be mortified.

Re:I'm a Canadian (1)

Anders Andersson (863) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115601)

Owning a tool and having the potiental of doing something is NOT a prove of being guilty.

Nobody claims that every owner of an MP3 player or recordable media is guilty of anything, not even legal copying. The levy or tax is a fee, not a fine. It's like your local amusement park charging an entrance fee to cover not only normal expenses for the services you enjoy, but also for cleaning and repairing things you didn't soil or break yourself. It's easier to split the bill among all visitors, than to catch those who actually do the damage.

The problem is of course that the levy applies to any recordable media sold in your country, regardless of manufacturer, and thus you have no choice if you want to use recordable media at all. If you think the entrace fee to the amusement park is too high, you are free to visit a competitor instead, and this freedom is what keeps park owners from charging more than is really warranted. You don't have that freedom with respect to recordable media. However, the lack of freedom alone doesn't turn the fee for a product you wanted into a fine for a crime you didn't commit.

Since I'm not familiar with Canadian copyright law (I'm not a Canadian), I don't quite understand the part of the article where the legality of MP3 players is discussed. The reasoning seems to be that if MP3 players aren't considered "recordable media" subject to the levy, then they can't be legally used for any copying at all (from which would follow that also regular computers are illegal). What is the basis for this argument?

Double-edged sword (2, Interesting)

Mwongozi (176765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115243)

Digital sharing of copyrighted music in countries which put a tax on CD-Rs, MP3 players, etc. is effectively legal, since you're paying for the priviledge of doing so whether you actually are or not.

Re:Double-edged sword (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115357)

Obviously not.

Re:Double-edged sword (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115378)

Actually, while downloading or copying (for private use) is legal, sharing isn't. At least here in Finland (we pay for the compensation "tax" for analog media, CD/DVD media and MP3 players).

Canuism... (0)

doppleganger871 (303020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115244)

...kinda like communism, but with more, eh?

Re:Canuism... (1)

ID000001 (753578) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115262)

Ever since I moved to Canada, everything seem to have a little mix of communism in it. Hey, it might just be the best of both world. More freedom and less responibility.

Re:Canuism... (1)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115380)

Its very similar to the way things work here in the UK...

Canada looks a bit liek America, but works likes UK and other european countries, certainly the best of both worlds.

Re:Canuism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115304)

Does Michael Savage know you swing from his nuts and steal his quotes?

I'm a Canadian and I'm not concerned. (0, Troll)

SweetZombieJesus (788843) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115266)

That levy on MP3 players, and CD-R and CD-RW, and DVD-R and DVD-RW was a scam anyways. That money never went to the artists, it went to the labels. Only the money off of actual album sales, radioplay royalties, and touring went to them.

Remember, Canada still has it's CAN-CON laws for the radio. 1/3 of all music played on the radio has to be from a Canadian artist. Even still, in some cases it's caused more harm that good. Making people sick of local talent.

I'm still a big fan. If you looked at my CD collection, it's all Canadian or UK. Maybe I'm just a patriot, but all the mp3s of canadian artists I have I own on CD as well (except for rare deleted stuff)

Wake up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115400)

It's a scam no matter who gets the money. You're basically admitting to guilt and paying the fine before you've even done anything wrong. I can see how this is appealing to many people, though, considering how little respect most people on Slashdot have for laws.

live performances (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115268)

Guys,
Artists make most of their money from live performances anyway.

Levies are a smart system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115274)

Levies are great for Canada. Canadians can download American music without fear of repercussions, while still supporting Canadian artists who can then export their music to the US and other markets. Everyone wins :) Except those who buy the music. I'm sure I'm not forgetting anyone.

a tax on? (0)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115280)

They actually had this as a law? What a retarded law. It's like putting a tax on television sets because people steal TV's....

But hell, I don't think anyone sells a CD player that cannot play MP3's - so does that make every CD player taxable or does it have to say "Plays MP3's" on the product description? What a bogus law.

Re:a tax on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115334)

You moron. In Europe, there IS a TV tax.

And your parallel is also stupid: it should be, "it's like putting a tax on TVs because people copy TV shows..."

Oh, wait... people *do* that already.

Re:a tax on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115373)

It's nowhere near a perfect law, but its a lot better than suing anyone who makes a copy of a CD for lost revenue.

Re:a tax on? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115517)

but its a lot better than suing anyone who makes a copy of a CD for lost revenue.

No, it's not. It punishes those who have done nothing wrong. It's like having mandatory jail sentences for all citizens for crimes that they might commit at some time in the future. Will Canada pass a law that forces all 18 year olds to spend 2 years in jail? It wouldn't surprise me.

Re:a tax on? (1)

maddskillz (207500) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115398)

It's on the media, so a cd player was not taxed, regardless of what it played. The blank CD's on the other hand would be

Re:a tax on? (1)

Tuzanor (125152) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115415)

so does that make every CD player taxable or does it have to say "Plays MP3's" on the product description?

Well, no. Because you already payed for the CDR with the MP3s on it. The levy was made on MP3 players because they didn't use external media. The question I'm curious about is whether there's a levy on flash media. But anyways, what this court decided was that they didn't have the authority to levy this on the players themselves, only the media. There is still one more court that this can be appealed to (supreme).

Back to carrying your CD's (1)

Beefslaya (832030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115284)

Apparently it's not enough to buy the CD's. They are so afraid you will send copies to your friends that you should have to pay twice for your music?? And what kind of music has come out in the last 25 years that's worth paying twice for? I thought that's what 99cents per song on the iTunes music store was about? I think music, along with gasoline shouldn't be taxed. Just like food, they are necesseties. Come on Canada, wake up and smell the rats. BS

"Erode the stream of revenues to musicians..." (4, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115343)

I find it funny that the article stated, as a matter of fact, that the ruling would erode revenue to muscians. But even though there are probably tens of thousands of musicans in Canada, the journalist couldn't find even one to interview about the alleged hardship?

Does anyone have any real evidence that musicans actually get this money? Everything I've read about the music industry says they get zero.

How will the industry get paid? (3, Funny)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115348)

Does this mean the Canadian music industry will have to make a living by suing its customers, like the US industry does?

just a moment here (3, Interesting)

compro01 (777531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115394)

this only removes the tax on MP3 players. the tax on blank cds and tapes remains. but hey, it's only $0.25. i can deal with that.

and the canadian court system already informed the CRIA (canadian RIAA) that they can take their ideas to sue and stick them where the sun don't shine, so this isn't gonna change that in a hurry.

Re:just a moment here (1)

FreezerJam (138643) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115583)

"and the canadian court system already informed the CRIA (canadian RIAA) that they can take their ideas to sue and stick them where the sun don't"

My impression was that 'their ideas to sue' was about the only part of that case that did survive. But the CRIA (actually the labels) were told that they would have to justify lifting the expectation of privacy given by ISPs, and that they would have to abide by traditional rules of evidence.

The court decision is widely declaimed as terrible by the CRIA and the labels, and even some artists, when in fact it is only terrible for that *one* case. They could go back and produce a much more solid case, because the judge basically gave them a check-off list of things to do. They *could* have produced media spin declaring the case a big win for them; I can only conclude that many artists don't have the legal or technical Internet chops (why would they?) to understand that the CRIA could be actively and usefully defending their copyrights today -- but they are choosing not to.

The paranoid might even think that the CRIA would secretly prefer that the problem get far worse, so that they can get a much bigger legal club to wield against it - say, perhaps, a Canadian DMCA. Current copyright law and case law appears to be quite sufficient, but the CRIA still fails to act.

Now can I buy from the States? (3, Informative)

jimand (517224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115493)

Whenever I investigate buying a new electronic device from the U.S., I cannot complete the transaction because the vendor will not ship to Canada. I've seen this on thinkgeek [thinkgeek.com] and amazon [amazon.com] . I wonder if this is (one) bottleneck and the removal of the levy will allow cross-border shopping?

Less of a big deal than many think. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115516)

When the levy was put in place, the music industry was trying very hard to write the act in such a way as to collect money from everyone that bought any form of electronic media (SDRAM, hard disks, RAM, all forms of tape etc). Consequently, the forms of media the act applied to had to be specified. In this case, the judges have simply ruled that a SRAM module is not a CDROM.

IMO, the music industry is unlikely to gain any more ground here. The premise of the original act was borderline absurd ("CD-R is primarily used to share music") so trying to raise a stink over solid state media (used in MP3 players and cameras) may do them more harm than good particularly if the movie and software industries get it into their heads to score a piece of the pie.

So basically there's nothing to see here. It's an interesting decision because it legitimizes C-32 somewhat and it sets the boundaries but that's about it.

To Lazy to create an account... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11115561)

I just want to say that people and companies should just get over it. One simple fact is that, as long as there's an internet, people will continue to share music. Puting taxes on media that "may" be used for questionable material is just another money maker for the companies and in this case the artists. Which the artists don't seem to be very hard up at all driving around in multiple $100-$500 thousand dollar vechile's and living in their multi-million dollar mansions. Ya, they must just be getting so ripped off from all the file-sharing going on... Give me a break

If there's a good quality CD, I'll buy it, I have absoulty no problem with that. However if there's a CD with like 1 or 2 songs on it and the rest is crap. Don't waste my time, maybe the artists should be more concerned with making good quality music instead of simply trying to find the next quick buck.

Friendly Neighbor to the North (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115570)

Ooohh - Canada. The silver lining in the Global Warming cloud.

Gee, go figure that (1)

xnot (824277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11115579)

Making me pay for something I didn't choose to buy, with no return for my money, isn't legal? Imagine that. Normally, when you buy something and don't receive the thing you bought, it's called fraud. How is that any different then taxing people to support the music industry- forcing them to effectively pay for music, which is then not delivered to them?

Some of these "solutions" which are supposed to solve the piracy problem are getting totally out of hand. Just because someone has an mp3 player does not mean they have an intent to pirate music. Push the offender, not the device that does the offending.
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