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Canada's CD Tax Out of Hand?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the eventually-part-of-my-paycheck-will-just-go-to-them dept.

599

CRIA Watcher writes "The Canadian Copyright Board has just announced that it is bringing back the tax on blank CDs, called the private copying levy, in 2007. Michael Geist demonstrates how the tax has created a huge distortion in the retail price of blank media on his blog with as much as 70 percent of the purchase price now heading directly to the music industry."

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In related news... (3, Funny)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809837)


Sales of blank CDs in Detroit area soar! Details at eleven!

Re:In related news... (1)

Quickfry (799118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809957)

Everybody knows Windsor == Canada.

Fair Trade.... (1)

vwjeff (709903) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809982)

We go to Canada for the cheap drugs, they come here for the cheap CDs. Sounds fair to me.

Re:In related news... (1)

RobinH (124750) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810177)

Sales of blank CDs in Detroit area soar! Details at eleven!

That's alright... I'll just pay the tax, thanks. :)

Darn (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14809840)

That sux

Hosers! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14809841)

First post, eh?

Assumed Guilt (0, Flamebait)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809843)

Nice culture.

Re:Assumed Guilt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14809887)

Yeah, that's why we have so many blacks in our jails and invade countries based on insufficient information!

Re:Assumed Guilt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14809929)

Or lock people up in foreign countries with no right to trial and abuse them because they were wearing a Casio digital watch [bbc.co.uk] . Don't you wish you could be civilised like that?

Re:Assumed Guilt (0, Offtopic)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809949)

1 - You have criminals in jail. if they are mostly black, then thats the way the card fall. You sound like a racist to me.

2 - Some of the facts may not have turned out to be as reliable as was first thought, but there was no where near 'insufficient' cause for any invasion in recent history. In this case you sound blind to reality to me.

Either way, take your garbage elsewhere, it doesnt hold water here.

Re:Assumed Guilt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14810082)

Your definition of "some" is what the rest of the world calls "all". Just thought you'd like to know. Do you also think Iraqis did 9/11? I don't think you live within a Big Bang of what people call reality.

Re:Assumed Guilt (1, Offtopic)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810090)

Remove race from the picture, and you are left with the following facts:

1) The poor are more likely to be in jail than the wealthy.
2) A poor person is more likely to be given a jail sentence (or at least, a longer sentence) than a wealthy person who has committed a similar crime.

Wealth can buy better legal representation, simple as that. Now, to touch on race again, a larger percentation of the black population in the US is porr than in the white population. Therefore, a black person is more likely to spend time in jail than a white man. Furthermore, a man is more likely to spend time in jail if his father has spent significant time in jail.

Now, even if we are to assume that this is not an issue of race, at least at the start, it's easy to see how this can quickly evolve into a race issue. Consider how long this has been the status quo, and can you then honestly say that race has nothing to do with this?

I don't see how you can just blow off the argument about race in your first argument, and then make a claim that the other is "blind to reality" in your second.

Re:Assumed Guilt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14809958)

Yeah, like black october and the war measures act right.

Re:Assumed Guilt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14810056)

...and invade countries based on insufficient information!

If by "insufficient information" you mean "an inside job, where the government murdered their own civilians swaying us to support both domestic and foreign policies, and to justify the hoax that is the war on terror," then yes, you are correct.

I DARE you to watch this film in its entirety, and tell me you still believe the perpetual lies spewed by the media and the American government.

Loose Change 2nd Edition [letsroll911.org] You can legally download a copy from TorrentSpy.

Re:Assumed Guilt (3, Insightful)

SeeMyNuts! (955740) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809956)

Sigh. I have never illegally downloaded music. 9 out of 10 CD-Rs I use are for data backup, and occasionally I do make a fair-use copy of a CD I bought.

It has been said a thousand times that the revenue losses for piracy are basically made up. Pulled out of thin air. I know, because I was a teenager once. I went to college and lived among other students. The basic fact is that people buy the things that are important to them, and anyone who "pirated" music or games valued their collections so little that a failed hard drive or lost disc simply meant nothing. A shrug of the shoulders, and they move on. The perception of value is what drives the free market, right?

The only successful competition for Free is Better Than Free. Apple seems to have learned this. Red Hat is still in business. Somehow, GNOME and Firefox have found corporate backing. Or, am I dreaming all of this?

Re:Assumed Guilt (1)

sumday (888112) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810060)

The other week i upgraded my OS from Ubuntu 5.04 to Ubuntu 5.10. I thought i had backed all of the music i'd downloaded since installing ubuntu back in august '05, but it turns out i hadn't. So I lost about 7 gigs worth of music. When i considered that it was mostly music i hadn't really had the chance to listen to properly yet, i was completely devastated. But that only lasted for about a day, then i shrugged and moved on, scouring the blogosphere for tasty new mp3s to download.

Unfair (4, Interesting)

spikestabber (644578) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809845)

This is a load of crap, I'm sick and tired of paying a fortune for blank CDR's while the Canadian Recording industry is out to call everyone a criminal and lobbying to cripple our rights by introducing ludicris laws to ruin what us Canadians take for granted. Either fuckoff trying to take our rights away, or do away with this stupid tax!

Re:Unfair (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809865)

On the other hand, if they kept the tax and at the same time passed a law (or had the courts rule) that to penalize people for copying music files while they're paying the tax would be double jeapordy for the same crime, then this could actually be rather nice.

Re:Unfair (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809885)

Um, no. Paying a tax does not constitute jeapardy.

Re:Unfair (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809983)

You're paying what is basically a fine for what they assume is breaking the law; if they sue you again, you're having to pay the same fine again. But, a poor choice of words, perhaps. Double payment, if you prefer.

Re:Unfair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14810144)

Your comments would hold more if you could spell jeopardy.

Re:Unfair (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14809928)

Which is incidentally what the Ontario Court of Appeals said, and why there was no levy for a while.

Who uses blank CDs? (1)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810007)

I have several spindles of blank CDs that I doubt I will ever use. These days I back the computers up to a portable 400Gb drive and if I was going to use disks for backup I would buy a DVD-RW burner.

I do not use CDs as anything other than a distribution medium for buying music at this stage. I listen to most music on my MP3 player or occasionally a computer. This seems to be what most people do.

Re:Who uses blank CDs? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810062)

Blank CDs are still useful when you want to give someone a large blob of data. I generally don't like to send more than a few tens of MBs over the Internet (less if the recipient is on dial-up). Burning a disk that you can give to someone and not worry about getting back is sometimes very convenient.

Re:Who uses blank CDs? (1)

fugu (99277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810197)

Large blobs of data like all those TV shows that I downloaded ;)

Re:Who uses blank CDs? (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810092)

That's nice. I DO use CDs, because often I have less than 600MB of photos (that I own the copyright to under Canadian Law) that I want to give to someone else, but it's too much data to email (80MB tiffs).

Just because YOU don't use something does not mean that EVERYONE does not need it.

Re:Unfair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14810125)

It is a complete pain in the butt. I have almost 2 gigs of family photos and documents for both sides of my family so far. Burning CDs is a semi-regular occurance for me for these files. Why should I subsidize legal crooks in the music industry for allowing me the privilige of making copies of my work! As an example my in-laws had their 50th anniversary last year. My wife and myself scanned in almost 1,000 photos and slides and burned approximately 25 CDs for family and friends. On my side of the family I have many original family documents that other members were interested and I burned CDs without a thought. Why? simple I own the photos and why should I pay a third party money for something that they down't own or own the rights to?

I still have over 5,000 photos, slides and negatives along with other family documents just for my side of the family. I figure it will be in the range of 1 to 2 gigs just for these. At this rate a complete copy of family documents for one person will be 4 CDs. I use CDs as not everyone has a DVD drive yet.

The above also excludes my photography work. I have done a lot of photography myself. Landscape, portrait and weddings. I have about 2,000+ images that I have yet to even start there.

Re:Unfair (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810186)

Then perhaps the online community needs to learn how to respect intellectual property holder's rights. I don;t give a rat's ass about your rights if you're going to violate mine, it's really as simple as that. You can rot in prison for al lI care, I have no sympathy for you.

re: Cheap CD's (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809847)

Hello Canadian, Please click on this link to buy cheap CD's from the US. This is perfectly legal, and a great way to save money.

Re: Cheap CD's (3, Informative)

Chris Tyler (2180) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809917)

...buy cheap CD's from the US. This is perfectly legal, and a great way to save money.

Yes, but as an 'importer' I'm liable for the levy on imported CDs. Excuse me for a second, the doorbell's ringing...

Re: Cheap CD's (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810012)

Yes, but as an 'importer' I'm liable for the levy on imported CDs. Excuse me for a second, the doorbell's ringing...

LOL. I am sure there is something for importer fee's...though how is the gov't supposed to know that the UPS package you are getting is CDs and not say a CD case holder?

I was, however, mainly making a joke referring to all the spam mail we get about Canadian drug companies..I guess it was not written well enough :(

Canadian could always use... (3, Funny)

ColdCoffee (664886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809856)

...their Olympic gold medals [dvorak.org] for recording media!

I still don't understand this (4, Insightful)

rlthomps-1 (545290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809858)

Even if I set aside the flawed logic, why does the music biz get it all? What about other businesses that are hurt by "copying". Surely some of this money should go to software companies, as well as private media/content producers that distribute their work via CDs.

Other Works (1)

darthservo (942083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810025)

I haven't been able to read the article yet (/.ed), but I do agree with you.

What about simply backing up my personal data that doesn't contain music? If I backup my pictures from my camera, or documents, why is the music industry benefitting from it?

And if the Canadian government is concerned with media itself, why are CDs strictly the ones being targeted? There are plenty of other forms of media out there (flash, DVD, hdd), blank CDs happen to be the cheapest.

Re:I still don't understand this (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810083)

Even if I set aside the flawed logic, why does the music biz get it all? What about other businesses that are hurt by "copying". Surely some of this money should go to software companies, as well as private media/content producers that distribute their work via CDs.

Thanks for being on their side.

So, now the tax will go up another 50%.

This is proof that 2 rights don't make a left, but three do.

The government has no right or reason to insure or protect the profit of a privately owned business with tax or insurance that is paid for by the citizens and then given to the privately owned business.

Geist is slashdotted ... (0)

kwandar (733439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809859)

Michael Geist's page seems to be slashdotted - can anyone post?

Re:Geist is slashdotted ... (0)

L3on (610722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809933)

Having no luck here either... slashdotted?

Re:Geist is slashdotted ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14809976)

He ya go:

The Private Copying Levy Distortion

The Copyright Board of Canada last week released its proposed tariff for 2007 for the private copying levy. The numbers remain unchanged: 21 cents per CD-R. As prices have dropped, however, the levy now frequently comprises a significant percentage of the retail price. Consider the purchase of 100 blank Maxell CDs. Future Shop retails the 100 CDs for $69.99. The breakdown of this sale is $48.99 for the CDs and $21.00 for the levy (even worse is a current Future Shop deal of 200 blank CD-Rs from HP, which retails for $59.99. The levy alone on this sale is $42.00 (200 CDs x 21 cents/CD) which leaves the consumers paying $17.99 for the CDs and $42.00 for the levy).

This results in a huge distortion in retail pricing when compared to the U.S. market which does not have a levy system. For example, the same Maxell CDs retail for US$34.99 at CompUSA. When you add in the exchange differential, the Canadian cost is just over $40.00. Obviously the price is slightly lower in the US even without the levy (35 cents per CD vs. 40 cents per CD). With the levy, the price increases by another 50 percent.

Given how little Canadians get for their money (the private copying right doesn't cover copying CDs to Apple iPods) is it any wonder that countries such as Australia are considering allowing for such private copying without a levy scheme? The solution in Canada is obvious: either ensure that the levy covers the full panoply of private copying as is the case in France or drop the levy altogether and institute a fair use user right.

Market Distortion... (1)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809871)

Taxes cause market distortion and deadweight loss [wikipedia.org] .

Video at 11.

Re:Market Distortion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14809960)

They are also a form of government intervention designed to reduce negative distortions of the market mechanism. Ya win some, ya lose some.

That is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14809875)

That is why it is legal to copy/download CDs/mp3s up here. We pre-pay. That CCB body distributes collected $$ among artists world-wide.

Re:That is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14810078)

It isn't as simple as "it is legal to copy and download mp3s".

First of all, it only applies to artists that are part of the program: if the copyright owner doesn't recieve any sort of payment for the music through the tax (they are an indie artist... they are from a foreign country, their music is out of print, etc.), you are not allowed to copy their music.

Second, you can only make copies of music that you legally own. For example, you may make a copy of a CD you own and give it to a freind... but your friend cannot make a copy of their copy and give it away. You cannot share an mp3 through filesharing for a record that you do not own.

It is not legal to fileshare in the way most people fileshare on the internet - trading mp3s they haven't purchased. Of course, for all practicle purposes you can file share all you like in any country, so long as you take reasonable percautions, jut because it is so hard to track people on the internet.

ROTFLMAO (2, Funny)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809886)

70 percent of the purchase price now heading directly to the music industry

LOL, that sounds peculiar indeed, Canada's music industry now gets rich from blank media instead of music content :D Kiddin' of course, but still, it's hard to keep from [uneasy] smiling.

Re:ROTFLMAO (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809964)

Well, that's cause a blank CD sounds a whole lot better than Celine...

Re:ROTFLMAO (3, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810029)

Canada's music industry now gets rich from blank media instead of music content


Obviously you do not appreciate the melodies of Avril Lavigne, the emotional maturity and unpretentiousness of Alanis Morrisette, the economy of expression of the Bare Naked Ladies, the understated phrasing of Céline Dion, or the raw production style of David Foster.

Tear off your ears, Sir! You are not using them, anyway.

Trade for Prescription Drugs (2, Funny)

cpirate (550051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809892)

That is until their computer industry reveals reports that American blank CDs are not as safe as Canadian ones.

Re:Trade for Prescription Drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14809977)

The only problem with blank Canadian CD it's the addition of "hey" at the end of each sentence in the music lyrics, hey.

Re:Trade for Prescription Drugs (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810024)

I think you got that wrong, eh?

Re:Trade for Prescription Drugs (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810200)

Yeah, I've always loved that argument from the big pharmas. Why has no one asked them why they're shipping unsafe drugs to Canada?

Can everyone get in on the racket? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14809915)

I'm a indie film maker and semi-pro photographer. How can I get my cut of the Extortion? I'm losing money because of the rampant copyright violations too.

Gimmie?

please?

Clarify (3, Insightful)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809916)

As an American, I was wondering if someone could clarify something on this law for me...

Since this tax goes to the recording industry to apparently make up for "lost sales due to copyright infringement"....where can independant Canadian artists who are not affiliated with the labels sign up to receive their cut of this tax? I mean...people use these blank CDs for things other than the music of the labels...

And if this tax applies to ALL CDRs, rather than just the music CDRs that nobody buys in America...how does a Canadian citizen dispute the tax on something they've never used (assuming of course they don't burn music to CDs?

Re:Clarify (4, Insightful)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810031)

And if this tax applies to ALL CDRs, rather than just the music CDRs that nobody buys in America...how does a Canadian citizen dispute the tax on something they've never used (assuming of course they don't burn music to CDs?

You don't. I don't get food stamps, a welfare check, my kids don't go to public schools (I don't have any), but I pay taxes that go into these programs. My real estate tax goes straight to the school district. I don't use that service.

The majority of my taxes go towards causes, programs, or institutions whose services I neither need nor want, and a handful to which I have serious ethical and/or moral objections. But there's no recourse. If I say all of this and want my taxes lowered or changed so I can keep more of my own money, I'm called greedy. When somebody else wants my money for some purpose, they're just needy.

And politicians arrange the transfer. Welcome aboard, Canada!

Re:Clarify (1)

Kombat (93720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810088)

You don't. I don't get food stamps, a welfare check, my kids don't go to public schools (I don't have any), but I pay taxes that go into these programs. My real estate tax goes straight to the school district. I don't use that service.

Don't forget that parents who send their kids to private schools can deduct the tuition and get their tax money back, since they're "relieving the burden on the public system" by sending their kids to private school.

But those of us who choose not to have kids at all, we can't get our (school) taxes back. It's incredibly frustrating.

Can sign up with record label ... (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810068)

... where can independant Canadian artists who are not affiliated with the labels sign up to receive their cut of this tax? ...

At one of the record labels.

Re:Clarify (1)

mag46 (621994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810192)

In addition to these questions, I was wondering if it is now legal to copy music in Canada, as you've already paid for the music in a sense, in that you paid the tax on the destination media? Does this tax make it legal to copy music, or can they tax you and arrest you?

Re:Clarify (1)

massivefoot (922746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810193)

So, let's get this straight. This tax starts from the assumption that you're copying CDs? Fine, I say. I'm sure Canada has "double jeapody" clauses in it legal code, so you can't be punished again for the same crime. So, copy away. Hold a weekly session with your friends (I think this is called a "consumers' cooperative") where you get together and work out what CDs the majority of you would be willing to pay for. Split the costs, and copy them (ok, let's say we fairly share out who keeps originals).

Sorry, what's that you're saying at the back? "It's wrong"? Yeh, sure it is, and you're being punished for it already, so all's fair!

Price Distonrtion? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809932)

I'd like to know where this guy does his shopping. Around christmas time you were able to buy spindles of 200 CDs for like 25 bucks CDN at many major retailers. That's 12.5 cents a disk before tax. I don't remember getting CDs that cheap *before* the levy.

I have seen no noticeable impact of any levy whatsoever. Blank CDs are still dirt cheap.

Besides, with car audio and portable players all moving toward using memory-based media nowadays anyway, and DVDs offering vastly more storeage for the same price, CDs are rapidly going the way of the dodo bird.

Re:Price Distonrtion? (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809971)

in the US you can get them aroudn 2.5-3 cents per disk.. even after the conversion to the lunnie.. you are getting screwed

21 cents per CD-R/CD-RW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14810038)

If you check the "What's New [cb-cda.gc.ca] " page of the Copyright Board of Canada, you'll see that there's a PDF near the bottom called "Private Copying 2007". In it, it states that the levy rates are going to be raised to the following levels:
(a) 29 cents for each cassette over 40 min in length;
(b) 21 cents for each CD-R or CD-RW;
(c) 77 cents for each CD-R audio, CD-RW audio, or MiniDisc.

Use one problem to solve another (4, Funny)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809940)

Maybe the Canadians can get their pharmacies to fill prescriptions for US customers and accept payment in blank CDs!

Dumb Canadians... (-1, Troll)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809970)

If that law was passed in the U.S.A., people would be protesting in front of Congress by burning blank CDs on their laptops and tossing them at their representatives.

Re:Dumb Canadians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14810001)

Because CD taxes are so much worse then the DMCA?

Re:Dumb Canadians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14810044)

Yeah, much worse than the protection afforded the pharmaceutical industry in the US.

BTW, I hate this proposed levy and will protest with a letter to the Copyright Board of Canada.

Re:Dumb Canadians... (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810048)

If that law was passed in the U.S.A., people would be protesting in front of Congress by burning blank CDs on their laptops and tossing them at their representatives.

Yeah, in the same country where we went to war on questionable intelligence and are still there fighting for who the fuck knows what reason. Or in the same country where e-voting fraud could occur and no one could give a shit. Or in the same country where the President authorized wiretaps on American citizens and no one batted an eye. Or perhaps in the same "free" country where protesters are told where they can and cannot protest and are removed for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Right. Like anyone in America gives a fuck about their rights and how they are losing them.

Commerce, its not national anymore (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809973)


Its easy. Just do what we Americans do for prescription drugs. We buy them from Canada because they are about 1/2 the price.

Why can't Canadians buy their CDs from places that have lower taxes?

I drive to a neighboring county to buy cigarettes because they have cheaper taxes. I buy things online to escape state sales tax. I buy my prescription drugs from Canada.

Many retailers advertise and/or strategically place their storefronts right across borders for this reason.

Re:Commerce, its not national anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14810003)

Yea but you still have to drag it back across the border..

Meaning you still pay duty / taxes / tarrifs on the goods.. which kinda defeats the purpose of going there in the first place.. unless the Duty Free stores start carrying boxes of CD's.

Re:Commerce, its not national anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14810014)

No need to go across the border. There are Indian Reservations everywhere....

Re:Commerce, its not national anymore (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810103)

I heard about some people that order cigarettes from Russia because they are so much cheaper than here in the US.

I seriously hope that people do avoid these taxes this way. Perhaps it will give our governments a clue about collecting taxes. All these sales/use/luxury/sin taxes are a PITA for businesses to collect and annoying for consumers to pay. If our governments would consolidate and simplify the tax collection procedures to make it easier on businesses and limit the beauracracy it would be better for everyone.

Re:Commerce, its not national anymore (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810114)

Its easy. Just do what we Americans do for prescription drugs. We buy them from Canada because they are about 1/2 the price.

The State of Minnesota asks that its employees purchase their prescription drugs from Canada for savings. That's great and all if Customs would stop seizing them [startribune.com] .

I love being told by my Governor to break Federal Law. Awesome.

Put a one character text file on them and then.... (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809979)

...resell them as 'almost new'

Been bitten before (1)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809994)

I got bitten by the copyright board's $25 levy on iPods several years ago. Luckily, it was overturned and Apple was *very* quick to refund my money - it was the only rebate claim I've ever had processed in less than a week. ;)

As for the CD tax -- it stinks. I use a dozen or so CDs (and DVDs) for project backups, photos, home movies, and so on. I no longer use a tape-based VCR; It's much nicer to burn timeshifted TV shows to DVD/CD with DivX compression. Why should I have to pay a levy on that?!

So what (1)

slummy (887268) | more than 8 years ago | (#14809996)

A pack of rolling papers costs as much as a pack of cigarettes. This type of taxation has been around forever.

So if I buy my CDs from Canada... (1)

uniqueUser (879166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810005)

So if I buy my blank CDs from Canada, Can I legally illegally-download music here is the States?

Then they'll convieniently forget (2, Insightful)

MrPerfekt (414248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810006)

When it's reinstated and they're making millions upon millions of dollars per year on a product that isn't even theirs, they'll still insist that the recording industry is dying and it's all because of you downloading/burning scum! "Never mind the fact that we're making a profit on that too".

As long as they.... (1)

MeanE (469971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810028)

don't start charging tax on blank DVD's. A few years ago I would of ( and was ) more incensed with the CD tax, since I primarily used them for data backup. These days, with the price of DVD burners and media being so cheap I have bought exactly one 50 pack of CD's in the last six months.

My greatest worry is if they somehow manage to bring back the horrid mp3 player tax. That tax was the worst one. They were going to run into mp3 players with more tax in the price then the mp3 player was worth as the storage media incrased in sized, but the tax was not scaled to the price drop of the storage media.

Proceeds will go to porn industry (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810115)

As long as they don't start charging tax on blank DVD's.

They will, but the proceeds will go to the porn industry not the record industry.

If I'm paying anyway... (4, Interesting)

xtal (49134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810034)

be stupid not to copy as much as I can get my paws on, eh?

I got mad enough before to start dreaming up "piracy booths", where you could burn cds from a "collection" - for free, of course, with your own hands. My understanding is this would be completely legal..

Verbatim copy of the post (2, Informative)

Tester (591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810042)

The Private Copying Levy Distortion

The Copyright Board of Canada last week released its proposed tariff for 2007 for the private copying levy. The numbers remain unchanged: 21 cents per CD-R. As prices have dropped, however, the levy now frequently comprises a significant percentage of the retail price. Consider the purchase of 100 blank Maxell CDs. Future Shop retails the 100 CDs for $69.99. The breakdown of this sale is $48.99 for the CDs and $21.00 for the levy (even worse is a current Future Shop deal of 200 blank CD-Rs from HP, which retails for $59.99. The levy alone on this sale is $42.00 (200 CDs x 21 cents/CD) which leaves the consumers paying $17.99 for the CDs and $42.00 for the levy).

This results in a huge distortion in retail pricing when compared to the U.S. market which does not have a levy system. For example, the same Maxell CDs retail for US$34.99 at CompUSA. When you add in the exchange differential, the Canadian cost is just over $40.00. Obviously the price is slightly lower in the US even without the levy (35 cents per CD vs. 40 cents per CD). With the levy, the price increases by another 50 percent.

Given how little Canadians get for their money (the private copying right doesn't cover copying CDs to Apple iPods) is it any wonder that countries such as Australia are considering allowing for such private copying without a levy scheme? The solution in Canada is obvious: either ensure that the levy covers the full panoply of private copying as is the case in France or drop the levy altogether and institute a fair use user right.

The irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14810043)

I occasionally burn bunches of CDs for my musician friends. None of them are major recording artists. They need demo disks and a few copies to sell at their gigs. I usually supply the copies for free (or just the cost of the disks) so I end up subsidising the competition every time I buy disks. That's gotta be a rip off.

On the plus side... (1)

clevershark (130296) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810058)

...it's not far-fetched to interpret this tax as an implicit acknowledgement and even legitimization of piracy. Gentlemen, start your downloads.

Re:On the plus side... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14810153)

Implicit? An Ontario court threw out a piracy case due to the existence of the Levy. Levy, or sue, not both.

Seems fairly explicit to me...

In other news... (1)

coastin (780654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810064)

Canadians angry over the return of a "Tax on Blank CDs" rally for a for a "100% Tax on dumb-ass taxing schemes"

I used to be mad about it (1)

whitehatlurker (867714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810089)

(Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the ... uhn .. tax)

I was quite unhappy about the tax when it was first implemented, but this tax prevents (or should) RIAA style tactics in Canada. Yeah, sure it's another tax, but CD blanks are not that expensive. (Cheap at twice the price, eh?)

It is unfortunate that Geist's site is unreachable. I'd've liked to have RTFA before posting, but hey, this is /.

Pssssst.... wanna trade? (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810095)

Some of your prescription drugs for blank CDs?

Who says Canucks Are Crazy? (1)

ROOK*CA (703602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810101)

In other news Congress is considering a Bush Administration proposal to impose a 100% levy on sales of Monitors and Televisions... The Administration explained this proposal by saying "Concievably any display device has the potential to spread the scourge of pornography, therfore the only expediant thing to do is impose a levy which can be redirected to American Christian Churches in order to subsidize the cost of saving the souls of those victimized by pornography".

Congress is slated to vote on the measure before ending it's current session.

Similar situation in Spain (1)

rg3 (858575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810104)

In Spain, a blank CD costs about 50 euro cents, more or less. Of those, a small percentage go directly to the SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores), which is the Spanish equivalent of the RIAA. This "tax" (it's not a real tax because it's not for the state) is mandatory, according to Spanish laws. It also applies to other media like blank VHS tapes. It is based on the assumption, as the SGAE mentions in its webpage, that for every copied CD, obviously (?), a sale is lost. Yes, there's a lot of controversy about this. More information (in Spanish) at the Spanish Wikipedia:

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_por_copia_priva da_(Espa%C3%B1a) [wikipedia.org]

Hey Canadians! (1)

Roofus (15591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810120)

I'll trade you blank CDs for perscription drugs.

Deal?

Representative Democracy? (1)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810121)

How anyone can conceive of this sort of law being "representative" of the people's will is beyond me.

As a Canadian ... (1)

guysmilee (720583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810122)

As a Canadian ... I hardly find this a problem ... I can fit about 500 mp3's on a CD at 5 MB each ... so if you do the math the cost per song is about what I'd be willing to pay for a legal download service. Bring on the tax and free the torrents is what I say!

Artists aren't getting the Money (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810126)

If I recall, another problem with this levy is that its supposed purpose - to collect funds and give them to Canadian artists is being hoarded by CIRA. Something which isn't supposed to happen. And its taken a long time for artist to get paid if at all (I'm sure the money is only going dispraportionately to more "popular" artist).

The other problem with this argument, is that the collection of funds is being used to protect Canadian artists. Frankly, there's only two or three Canadian singers (contemporary) that I actually listen to. I don't download - let alone listen to other Canadian artists, most albums are like the rest of the music industry. I don't want to give money to bad artists simply because I want to backup my university work or my webpage (for which I've done all the work), or make mix CDs of albums I already own.

I'd concur: some of the monies should go to software developers and book publishers. Maybe they can start a turf war with CIRA. So long as I don't pay more.

Grah! (1)

AnimatedMonkey (940340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810127)

This is the most ridicolous tax I've heard of all week! What about the independant artists? What about people who use blank optical media to, oh, I don't know, store some sort of data that isn't audio? Wouldn't happen. Everyone knows that all blank CDs are used for is music piracy. Stuff like data back up, photo storage, etc, is al bullcrap. It's all those filthy pirates! Seriously, this is almost worse than the iPod tax levis, except with iPods ypu have a guranteed chance that they'll atleast be used for music.

Taxes being abused and misused? Never! (1)

MasterC (70492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810128)

How can anyone be surprised that a tax is being abused, misused, and poorly managed? (If indeed it is, the article was /.'ed so I haven't a clue what it's claiming.) Especially one driven to fruition by a company!

1) Company A claims/lies/stretches-the-truth that X hurts their business.
2) Company A gets a tax passed on X that benefits A.
3) PROFIT! And lots of it.

I would love to hear a reason why company A should be responsible about the tax; make sure all those "hurt" by X benefit (when A can reap it all); and why politicians should care about a nameless consumer lemming when the companies that put money in their campaign funds would be mad if they did care.

And I'm not asking in the happy, perfect little world that we dream existed, but the cold, hard reality of today where politicians are bought, and the rights of the person are trumped by the rights of a company.

Use DVDs for Data in Canada (1)

Chris Tyler (2180) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810140)

...the absence of a levy on DVD+/-Rs explains why they are the same price or cheaper than CD-Rs here.

Infringement on your own works (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810143)

The angle to approach this from, is the infringement of your own copyrights when you use this media to produce, copy, and distribute your own creative works where you reserve all rights under copyright. This would be the position from which to have the tax law struck down, on the argument that it abridges your rights.

tax on blank cds = fee for legal music copying? (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810146)

So if I was a Canadian living in Canada, and am forced to pay this tax, then copying music cds for personal use should be perfectly legitimate, since I've already payed for the music with each blank disk. That's always the problem with this kind of tax. It is implicit acknowledgement and condonement of the behavior that the tax was intended to curb. Especially in this case where the tax is largely going to a non-governmental body. So if the canadian music industry association tries to bring civil suits against end users for supposed piracy, I hope the courts would recognize this. So maybe Canadians should welcome this tax as it opens the way to legalized music sharing. Of course that is just a pipe dream.

Tax Me...I'm Canadian... (1)

canfirman (697952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810176)

If they bring the levy back, means I've paid my levy for the copyrights of my downloaded songs. That means I can give up my iTunes account in favour of a torrent account and get my music that way. Why not? I've paid the "levy", so I no longer in "violation" of fair use - I've paid for the copyright.

So this means copying onto these 'taxed' CDs is OK (1)

frinkacheese (790787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810179)


I do not understand. Since when you buy a blank media, does this mean that you can legally leech some mp3s and stick them onto this CD, since you already paid for the content?

Same goes for this ipod tax that have too..

This is so lame... (1)

slantyyz (196624) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810187)

When iTunes opened up a Canadian store, I stopped buying pre-recorded CDs. Now I've got to pay an extra levy for my purchased music to put them on media I can use in the car.

Considering that 10% of my CD burning involves music, it's nice to know that such a large portion of the levy is going to the music industry. I can imagine a lot of Canucks leeching even more music just to "stick it to the man."

Site Down (1)

canfirman (697952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14810202)

Either it got slashdotted or the owner couldn't pay the taxes.

Anybody got a mirror site?

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