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Canadian Songwriters Propose Collective Licensing

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the all-about-just-gettin-paid dept.

Music 455

aboivin writes "The Songwriters association of Canada has put forward a proposition for collective licensing of music for personal use. The Right to Equitable Remuneration for Music File Sharing would legalize sharing of a copy of a copyrighted musical work without motive of financial gain, for a monthly fee of $5.00 applied to all Canadian internet connections, which would be distributed to creators and rights holders. From the proposal: 'File sharing is both a revolution in music distribution and a very positive phenomenon. The volunteer efforts of millions of music fans creates a much greater choice of repertoire for consumers while allowing songs — both new and old, well known and obscure — to be heard. All that's needed to fulfill this revolution in distribution is a way for Creators and rights holders to be paid.'"

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$5 Canadian?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214178)

that's what, like 10 cents here in America. Sweet, sign me up!

Re:$5 Canadian?? (4, Informative)

Traxxas (20074) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214208)

Try $5.03 the Canadian Dollar is stronger than the US Dollar.

Re:$5 Canadian?? (3, Insightful)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214358)

So who gets a share of the money? Who is legitimately a rights holder? How do you divide the money?

Re:$5 Canadian?? (2, Interesting)

kubrick (27291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214502)

I'm moving to Canada. If I can churn out an album a week I should be swimming in money before I know it.

Re:$5 Canadian?? (5, Interesting)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214536)

Probably the same way the blank media levy is collected/distributed: lump sums given out to the songwriters' and musicians' guilds, which is then distributed by the guild on basis of need. Quite a fair way to do things, really, and one that the majority of Canadian musicians support wholeheartedly.

I agree with the proposal with one caveat: it shouldn't be applied to *all* internet connections. Just the so-called "high speed" ones. Anything 1mbit and over. Anything under that isn't fast enough to make filesharing worthwhile. More importantly, you can get a "high speed" connection in Canada that's 128kbit or 256kbit. For surfing the Internet or checking your e-mail, it's plenty fast enough. Even a 1mbit connection, which is one step above the entry level, is plenty fast enough for surfing and e-mail, and a lot of people will choose these slower services because they are priced much lower than an actual high speed connection.

We shouldn't be applying a levy of $5/month to a dialup Internet account that, itself, only costs $2.95/month, especially when the purpose of that levy is to combat a practice on the Internet that the $3/month connection simply isn't capable of. I'd happily pay an extra $5/month on my 7mbit cable connection, however, if it got rid of the legal grey areas surroudning file sharing. (how it's legal for me to download, sorta, but illegal for me to upload, for example)

Re:$5 Canadian?? (3, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214604)

What about the three separate connections; two DSL and one cable, that I administer for remote locations to the business I run the network for? I have the firewalls and proxies set up to stop employees from downloading music and video, so should I have to pay $15 per month for a "service" which I am, in fact, expressely forbidding the networks to access?

Re:$5 Canadian?? (5, Insightful)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214764)

What about the three separate connections; two DSL and one cable, that I administer for remote locations to the business I run the network for? I have the firewalls and proxies set up to stop employees from downloading music and video, so should I have to pay $15 per month for a "service" which I am, in fact, expressely forbidding the networks to access?


Ahh. You begin to understand the meaning of "socialism". By spreading the cost out among everybody, rather than just the people who use the service, you can reduce the overall cost for everybody. Kind of like how our medical system works: I'm 26 years old, and I had knee surgery in November of 2007. Before then, I'd never been in the hospital, but I'm still paying for the public health care as part of my taxes. Because I'd paid that health care in my taxes, however, my stay in the hospital for the knee surgery (ACL, Meniscus, and shaving a fracture on the underside of the patella that never healed properly) was completely free. Didn't cost me a dime. Nor did the painkillers I got (and never used after the day of the surgery).

It doesn't matter that you aren't using that functionality. By charging you a small amount of money, it reduces the overall cost for everybody else.

You do realise that Canada isn't a capitalist state, right?

Besides which, they may choose to implement it only on residential services. *shrugs* If you have a "residential" account and are using it for "business" purposes, one has to ask the question: why aren't you using a "business" account? I'm in that boat, too, btw. I have a DSL connection and a cable connection. I do all my hosting off the DSL connection, and my personal uses off the Cable connection. I still think it's a good idea.

Re:$5 Canadian?? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214734)

I think it should be optional but very easy to use.
Make it easy enough and $5/month beats piracy.

Also payment should be by the number of downloads.
Not difficult to track and more effective.

Re:$5 Canadian?? (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214840)

Sure you can do filesharing on a dialup connection, or a 256kbit connection. The difference is getting a whole album worth of MP3s in an hour, or 2 hours, basically, compared to the megabit and higher guys who would be getting it in ~10 minutes. The people sharing files TO you need the high bandwidth connection, and let's be honest, most people don't care about their upload ratio on PirateBay..

However you're right, hiking a $2.95 connection by $5 is just fucking mean. Maybe those guys could pay an extra $1 a month, the 256kbitters $2 a month, and 1mbit and above, the full $5.. kind of a "you pay for what you can possibly grab" sliding scale.

Re:$5 Canadian?? (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214916)

Probably the same way the blank media levy is collected/distributed: lump sums given out to the songwriters' and musicians' guilds, which is then distributed by the guild on basis of need. Quite a fair way to do things, really, and one that the majority of Canadian musicians support wholeheartedly.

It's not done on a basis of need. I thought it was based on radio airplay, but it's actually a mix of airplay and album sales. The assumption is that the mix of downloads matches the mix of purchases. See the CPCC website.

I'm not sure it'll continue to be fair: both radio listening and album purchases are on the decline. It's hard to measure downloads.

Re:$5 Canadian?? (1)

OECD (639690) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214770)

So who gets a share of the money? Who is legitimately a rights holder? How do you divide the money?

Exactly. That's the problem with these schemes. They end up diverting revenue from the small artists to the large 'rights holders.'

Screw it, just let the Internet do what the Internet was designed to do: make copies.

Re:$5 Canadian?? (1, Informative)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214478)

Try $5.03 the Canadian Dollar is stronger than the US Dollar.

Not today. The Canadian dollar closed at $0.9958 US, so CA$5.00 would be US$4.979.

Re:$5 Canadian?? (0, Redundant)

danomac (1032160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214236)

I suggest you check on the exchange rates. It's pretty even now. Definitely not what you're saying.

Re:$5 Canadian?? (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214242)

that's what, like 10 cents here in America. Sweet, sign me up!
It's $4.97 [google.com] in USD.

Remember all that news about the U.S. dollar falling in the global market and all those morons were talking about it? Yeah, well, it actually turns out to have an impact in you making fun of how poor Canada is.

Re:$5 Canadian?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214710)

Too bad you still have to pay ridiculously high prices compared to us on stuff like electronics. That must suck since our currency is about the same, huh?

Re:$5 Canadian?? (4, Funny)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214870)

No problem, we'll just switch to gloating about how you pay a surcharge on books and stuff for no good reason now!

Re:$5 Canadian?? (1)

dorix (414150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214248)

Where have you been for the past 4 months? The Canadian dollar reached parity with the US dollar on September 20th last year. It closed above parity a few days later, and peaked at around $1.08USD on November 7th. It's been no more than a few cents above or below parity since then.

Re:$5 Canadian?? (-1, Troll)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214332)

10 cents? d00d this is CANADIA we're talking about, it's more like 3 cents. In fact Canadian "dollars" are so worthless I've recently been making paper airplanes out of the Canadian bills I have and throwing them out a window to see how far they fly. Not very far, but I'm not that great at making paper airplanes.

Re:$5 Canadian?? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214850)

Dear Mr. Troll

According to The bank of Canada today: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/rates/exchange.html [bankofcanada.ca]

1 CAD (noon) = 0.9956 0.9956 USD

In short, virtually par. You may not be good at making paper airplanes with our money, but you should also brush up your skills at using Google to find bank rates. Maybe read a newspaper from time to time to keep up with current events, d00d.

- A guy from "Canadia"

Re:$5 Canadian?? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214858)

Canadian "dollars" are so worthless I've recently been making paper airplanes out of the Canadian bills I have and throwing them out a window to see how far they fly. Not very far, but I'm not that great at making paper airplanes.
I'll take as many of those Canadian dollars off your hands as you have for 25 US cents each. Now, isn't that generous? (^_^)

That should be enough to buy some really good plane-making paper *and* you'll have enough left over to buy some aspirin. Which obviously you'll need to sooth the headache you get from repeatedly banging your head after you find out that the Canadian dollar has been hovering around parity with the US dollar for quite a while now :-P

Re:$5 Canadian?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214382)

More like $5USD

Great, another tax (5, Insightful)

danomac (1032160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214194)

My first thought: This is like taxing the postal service to deliver copied works. How is that supposed to work?

And they *say* they'll distribute the funds, but that hasn't seemed to work in the past. Why is this going to work now? Someone needs to realize this can't work in practice.

Re:Great, another tax (5, Insightful)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214310)

This is why I love being Canadian. The solution to a big huge problem is usually nothing more than a smaller tiny problem. Canadians have no problems paying taxes -- we're realyl good at it too. A $5 monthly tax not only results in virtually unlimited music downloads, but it also saves on court costs, law enforcement costs, and regulation costs associated with making something illegal even though the majority of the population desires it.

Now that's democracy. If the majority wants free music sharing, then it gets to happen.

So in fact, the $5 is a savings when it comes to all Canadian taxes. That's what I mean by a small problem -- $5 for music -- solving a large problem -- many hundreds of dollars for law regulation, enforcement, and court fees; not to mention the resources of those court personnel and the delays towards court cases that actually matter -- not that we have many murders in this country.

A $60 annual tax is really nothing to complain about. And hey, being a part of the internet service, it gets written off as a business expense!

Re:Great, another tax (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214620)

...just so long as it stays a $5/month tax. What's to prevent tax creep such that it becomes $30/month. Now that'd still be a good deal for a lot of music lovers BUT what if I want to use my connection for business purposes (I know I use it to do support from home and don't listen to much music).

The tax should be optional. Downloading without paying the tax should be illegal. Like a fishing license for music. If I don't go fishing I don't pay a tax on fishing. If I don't go hunting music I should not have to pay.

Re:Great, another tax (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214740)

The tax should be optional. Downloading without paying the tax should be illegal. Like a fishing license for music. If I don't go fishing I don't pay a tax on fishing. If I don't go hunting music I should not have to pay.

That makes it a lot more expensive to administer, because then you need a big bureaucracy to handle the licensing. You would also have a lot of illegal downloading, and we'd be more or less in the current situation.

The main difficulty with this proposal is determining a fair distribution of the proceeds. It is so easy to fake traffic if the share is based on traffic.

Currently the blank media levy is distributed based on radio airplay, and that's not really very fair. This would be a lot more money.

Re:Great, another tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214630)

Bravo to you sir. I wish us Japanese were just as civilized to work for a comfortable solution such as yours. Instead, we have evil middleman share holders such as JASRAC squeezing everyone out of both money and rights, including the original music creators.

Makes me wish I was living in Canada.

Re:Great, another tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214666)

Yes. This is a fantastic idea. Its the 21st century edition of the copying levy. I think the biggest difficulty is in ensuring it gets distributed fairly to musicians.

Re:Great, another tax (1)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214868)

I don't download music illegally. How will my $5 go to my favourite indie artists.

Chickens/hatch... (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214932)

I'll wait and see who reacts and how. Sometimes simple ideas are revolutionary ideas and that scares the establishment.

Re:Great, another tax (2, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214952)

Digital copies aren't a product. They're an advertisement for a performer. They should be treated as such.

Still, it's a huge improvement over the existing situation. As long as we're not paying "per-use" or "per-song", we're still creating a situation where the common person on the street is subtly encouraged to expose themselves to as much culture and knowledge as their time, interest and curiosity allows without a financial disincentive and still supporting our artists. That's the most important thing.

Interesting concept (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214204)

I like the base concept behind this--rather passes by the whole RIAA bullfertilizer, but I dare say that many people (who will, doubtless, claim to be 'upright and upstanding citizens' or something like that) will whine about how "I never would share music! Why should I have to pay?"

Re:Interesting concept (0)

ThePlague (30616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214300)

Of course they would, and why should they pay? I don't d/l music, so why should I get an extra $5 tacked on my bill so other people can? Most people don't d/l, despite the impressions you get online.

Re:Interesting concept (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214408)

How much of that lack of downloading is due to the stigma attached vs. actual desire? If one could have one's fill of music for $5/month--and you were paying it as a tax, as it were--then one would perhaps listen to more music. This would, in turn, provide more impetus to buying CDs and the like, hypothetically.

Re:Interesting concept (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214498)

A tax sould not serve to drive consumerism. I shouldn't be deciding to buy something just because "the government says I have to pay for it anyway". If the music industry wants people to buy more music, then the music industry (not the government) should promote the product. (And no, trying to force the consumer to buy the product isn't promotion; it's coersion.)

Re:Interesting concept (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214934)

In a way, taxes, or the lack thereof, have been used to drive (or alter the preferences of) consumerism for a long time. Consider tariffs--taxes on imports to raise the price of foreign products, in order to encourage the consumer to buy domestically produced products.

Not that I approve of this use, mind you--just pointing out that it can and does happen.

Re:Interesting concept (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214440)

You seem to ridicule the idea that anyone doesn't share music. A lot of people don't, though. Not everyone wants to collect music, and certainly not everyone wants $5/month worth.

So bottom line -- why should every prospective purchaser of internet service be automatically required to purchase a "legal file sharing" license as well?

If you can work out the logistics of making it an optional line item (and if you don't opt-in, the legal status of any sharing activity on your connection would be the same as it is today), then go for it. That way, those doing the sharing pay for the sharing.

Re:Interesting concept (1)

Idiomatik (1228742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214564)

"I never would share music! Why should I have to pay?"

This makes the assumption that music sharing is ethically wrong. It isn't a tax to pay for the law breakers. In a democratic society if everyone wants something they get it. So the tax is there to make certain artists get paid for their work. Like public school it simply makes music a government/tax paid for service. But you wouldnt argue that public schools are immoral.
Once filesharing becomes legal the # of people using it will rise obviously. Unless you want to argue that there are people that have the internet but don't listen to music.
Aside from the distribution system which obviously needs to be worked out there is no problem with this.
I hate people that think something is immoral simply because it is against the law.

Re:Interesting concept (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214622)

<QUOTE>I hate people that think something is immoral simply because it is against the law.</QUOTE>

Sadly, that's how most people tend to think.

Re:Interesting concept (1)

Kristoph (242780) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214594)

You would have to argue that you don't every buy music because for this $5 you would, in essence, have legitimate access to all digital music at no additional cost.

If you buy 4-5 CD's a year, you would still break even by downloading and burning your own. Alternatively this would be like buying 5 iTunes tracks per month except you don't need to worry about DRM and you will no doubt be able to get better quality.

Creators, yes... (1)

Undead Ed (1068120) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214222)

Rightholders, NO!

Ed

Re:Creators, yes... (1)

Bartab (233395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214354)

So what you're saying is that creators do not have the very basic property right of right of sale.

Re:Creators, yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214412)

So what you're saying is that creators do not have the very basic property right of right of sale.

So what you're saying is that something I cannot hold in my hand or build a fence around is "property".

Re:Creators, yes... (1)

Bartab (233395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214476)

Yes, as standard legally for longer than you've been alive.

Re:Creators, yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214570)

So what you're saying is that creators do not have the very basic property right of right of sale.

So what you're saying is that something I cannot hold in my hand or build a fence around is "property".
My house.

You can't hold it in your hand, and I dare you to try and put a fence around it. I own several guns...

NO (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214246)

Either file sharing is intrinsically legitimate or it's not. If it is, then there is no reason to impose this $5 tax, it it is not, then introducing any form of compensation won't make it right either.

Re:NO (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214270)

Distributing files without compensating the rights holder is seen as intrinsically wrong. Applying compensation makes it right.

Re:NO (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214748)

Compensation has nothing to do with it because there can be no "fair" compensation, the value is subjective.

Re:NO (1)

EEBaum (520514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214296)

Why wouldn't it? If, hypothetically, the lack of people being paid for what is shared is what makes it illegitimate, it seems reasonable to me that people being paid for what is shared would indeed legitimize it.

Re:NO (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214584)

Its Business Welfare at that point. What if you don't want to download 'Canadian' copyrighted music? How does this legalize downloading American copyrighted music? I'm fairly certain that treaties between the US and Canada require upholding copyright.

It should not be on the citizens to support a business model that simply doesn't work. Sorry labels and other bullshit middlemen, if you have not adapted by now, you will die.

Cheers.

Re:NO (1)

Idiomatik (1228742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214362)

Stealing healthcare in the US is wrong. In canada you can't steal healthcare because its paid for. You are saying that file sharing should be legalized without compensation... which is the same as saying Canada and most of europe is evil charging for something that should be legal?

Re:NO (1)

Futile Rhetoric (1105323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214368)

It's a good thing, then, that no-one who matters takes Kantian ethics seriously.

Re:NO (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214780)

At least I'm glad someone got the freakin point. Deontology ftw.

Re:NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214798)

Your premise is completely wrong. There is nothing intrinsic about the legitimacy of file sharing. It is not intrinsically illegitimate. What makes it illegitimate is the fact that those who create the files that are shared are not compensated for their effort. In the case of musicians the effort includes a lifetime of work to refine their craft. Solving the problem of compensation would make file sharing completely legitimate.

Who Gets Left Out? (5, Insightful)

Arccot (1115809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214288)

Problem #1: There is always someone judging which band/group/artists get into the system, and who gets left out.

Problem #2: Whoever collects the money has an automatic monopoly. No competition means the monopoly can take a bigger cut of the profits.

Problem #3: This creates a problem for new or up-and-coming groups. They often get their exposure by offering their music, or samples of it, for free. Fewer people will hear them when the cost is the same as more established groups.

Re:Who Gets Left Out? (1)

melink14 (1160527) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214486)

Solution #1: Let all band/group/artists in. Solution #2: So I think this is solved through regulation. The agreement should specify the split, thus there's no single compnay who can form a monopoly. If the values want to be changed, I'd say it'd have to be agreed on. Solution #3: The problem doesn't make sense. People will be doing the same thing they always have been doing, downloading whatever music they want. It's not like they have to pay 5 dollars for each artist. Also, even if it was the case that new artists were somehow excluded, they could still give their music away, and people would still download it. I think there are some problems with this plan but these aren't it. Although, I think this plan could probably be implemented and most people wouldn't complain too much.

A time honored tradition... (4, Insightful)

Bartab (233395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214312)

Rent Seeking! Everybody else does it!

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214328)

Old news from early December 07 [digg.com] . Even remember seeing it in the firehose [slashdot.org] .

I like the concept (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214334)

I'm not so sure a flat rate is the right way to go about things. Is it really right to treat all musical works as equal? If a few people consider a work to be of great value, isn't it worth as much as if a larger number of people consider a work to be of reasonable value?

Re:I like the concept (1)

EEBaum (520514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214504)

Extrapolating this concept (pretend it's 15 years ago), would you find it reasonable to pay $5000 for a copy of a random record you consider very high quality, or just $10 like everything else you'd buy? If the "work of great value" only sells 10,000 copies compared to the reasonable quality's 5 million, that's what you'd need to do for your scenario to play out.

Who divides the loot? (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214340)

Who decides which creator gets which piece of this pie? The Canadian RIAA, or the Canadian ministry of culture? Either way, is there any reason to assume their money allocation will be anything similar to what music consumers actually want?

Re:Who divides the loot? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214534)

I'm sure it'll be perfectly equitable. 50% to Celine Dion, 50% to Bryan Adams.

Re:Who divides the loot? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214746)

I have a hunch that Rush has outsold both of them.

And their music is a helluva more interesting than the pop-showtune crap that Dion vomits and the pop-rock crapola that Adams is known for.

Re:Who divides the loot? (1)

StrahdVZ (1027852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214888)

*whoosh*

I may be wrong, but you may have missed the parent's implied /sarcasm.

Re:Who divides the loot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214830)

From the article:

10. The collective would track internet and wireless file sharing activity on a census basis. Virtually all sharing on the internet and wireless devices would be tracked. Companies who currently do this type of tracking have prepared themselves and are "waiting in the wings". Creators and rights holders will be paid with a level of speed and accuracy never before possible.

Yeah, there's nothing wrong with this idea at all...

Too much money, not enough transparency. (4, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214342)

The general idea is great, but implementation details matter. I doubt the average Canadian house spends $60/year on music, so the $5/month is excessive. The other thing that caught my eye was this:

Virtually all sharing on the internet and wireless devices would be tracked. Companies who currently do this type of tracking have prepared themselves and are waiting in the wings. Creators and rights holders will be paid with a level of speed and accuracy never before possible.

Who are these mysterious people waiting in the wings that have been spying on everyone? Media Sentry? The same clowns who would tell you that 98% of all online music is "theft"? Most artists should say, loud and clear, "no thanks" unless they can trust the monitoring company to honestly report listening. The industry has that has so long given artists the shaft should be discarded. Everyone else should say, "no thanks" to having all of their internet traffic monitored.

The obvious choice between earning a living by song and dance and personal entertainment or liberty is liberty. Today they want to listen, tomorrow they will censor. The trade off is not worth while.

Internet & Music (1)

jstrain (648252) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214344)

I can't see something like this ever getting off the ground in the US, but if it were to do so, I'd happily pay $60 / year to be able to download all the music I want. Its nice to see that someone out there is beginning to understand how revolutionary the Internet is becoming not only for music distribution, but for just plain old finding new stuff.

I know I'm just anecdotal evidence, blah blah blah, but not only have I not bought a CD in years (the distribution part), but just about everything I listen to nowadays is something that I never would have managed to get my ears on without the Internet. I'm finding music through Wikipedia, myspace, Amazon, iTunes, and other outlets that I would never have heard 5 years ago. Plus I'm blessed with the option in many cases to be able to purchase it right away.

Even beyond just finding the music in the first place, I can also keep up with news, concert listings, merchandise, etc. whereas only a few years ago, I was completely in the dark about any of that stuff. The upside of combining the Internet with music is just too big to not invest in it.

Using the government to collect money (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214352)

... File Sharing would legalize sharing of a copy of a copyrighted musical work without motive of financial gain, for a monthly fee of $5.00 applied to all Canadian internet connections, ...

Have enough social fees on my utility bills already.

It is so totally stupid that this is even been contemplated. The best part, it likely will not get past the government, they don't like competition.

Re:Using the government to collect money (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214500)

agreed. this is a completely mental idea. My two beefs with it are:

a) How the fuck do you decide who gets paid what? how does the small indie band that might have been making $100 a month from their music get that $100? Who is going to argue their case and ensure they get their fair allocation? Who will be listened to in terms of changes to the allocation? will it rise with inflation? or with the amount of music listened to or downloaded?

b)Personally, I don;t download music from the web. I buy the occasional new CD (maybe 1 a year) which i listen to in my car. No fucking way should my ISP costs be used to subsidize other peoples music. Does everyone else want some extra taxes so that people who like donuts or playing golf get to avoid paying for them too?

This idea is desperate, hand-waving bullshit. Nobody in their right minds will support this.

What a shocking development... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214356)

...second-rate songwriters from a second-rate, socialist nation want to fuck up the way something is based on loony ideals - no pun intended - proven not to work.

Fuck Canada. Vote Ron Paul for President, and let's see them wiped off the goddamned map.

Yes, I'd like that too... (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214392)

I'd like $5/month from every internet connection in Canada too. Also I'd like a Ferrari and a Lear Jet.

It's hard to see this as anything but a blatant money-grab. Lots of us use Internet connections for reasons completely unrelated to music; why should we be forced to pay for that? What next, another $5 for the Canadian version of the MPAA, plus $2 for TV shows? Then $5 for the BSA? Another $5 for copyrighted books, and another $5 for comic books?

Funny (1)

OverlyGenericUsernam (1189255) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214394)

Funny, I get to pay for something I already have? File Sharing music is already legal in Canada.

Everyone has to pay??? (2, Insightful)

strike6 (823490) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214398)

So, everyone pays even though only a small percentage do it? Then the Porn industry will want their $5 next, and then the Movie industry, etc.... This could get expensive REAL, I mean REAL, fast......Just sayin'......

Eisenhower's domino theory was right... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214942)

...now even the Canucks are turning into freakin' communist bastages. Let's just have the government take everyone's money away and spread it around equally among everybody else. Just like the freakin' Swedes do it.

Why should Grandma pay? (4, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214442)

Say Grandma has an internet connection, and uses it only for sending email. She lives on a fixed income. Why should she pay $5 a month to subsidize other people so they can get free music by violating copyright? For someone on a fixed income, another $5/mo bill is a significant hit. Maybe that's $5 she could have spent having lunch with her bridge club at IHOP.

Basically the problem is that copyright is unenforceable, and a majority of the population feels no moral compunctions about violating it. (I happen to disagree with the majority, but that battle is lost, and it's time to move on.) How exactly does it follow from these circumstances that every single member of the population should be forced to pay a subsidy?

Realistically, the music industry is going to have to shrink. Boo hoo. There's no law of nature that dictates that x% of GDP should be spent on recorded music. A hundred years ago, nobody had recorded music, and the only way you got to hear any was either (a) by making music yourself, or (b) going out to hear a band. Then there was a long period where the default way to get music was to listen to commercially produced recordings, you didn't get much choice because the distribution channels (radio and LPs) couldn't cater to the long tails, and the record companies made out like robber barons. Now we're entering a new period, where the record companies have no legitimate function, and the distribution channels can cater to the long tails. It's just a change that's dictated by technology. The good news is that even if the industry shrinks, cutting out the middleman could actually increase remuneration to artists. We don't need a tax to make that happen.

Re:Why should Grandma pay? (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214826)

Say Grandma has an internet connection, and uses it only for sending email. She lives on a fixed income. Why should she pay $5 a month to subsidize other people so they can get free music by violating copyright? For someone on a fixed income, another $5/mo bill is a significant hit. Maybe that's $5 she could have spent having lunch with her bridge club at IHOP.

She's paying the tax so other people won't be violating copyright. If she doesn't like it, she could save some money by downgrading to dialup. (Assuming that the proposal passes, and that it doesn't apply to dialup. And that pigs will fly.)

Re:Why should Grandma pay? (1)

Azarael (896715) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214908)

The Grandma of today will be very different from the ones decades from now (which is the time scale that this solution will work on). I'm not saying that what you mention isn't a problem now, but in the future peoples priorities will probably be different, so that $5 will end up coming from somewhere else like cable, or magazine subscriptions.

Be PatRIOTic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214458)


Don't watch and-or listen to the State Of The Gulag Address [whitehouse.org] .

Thanks for your opposition to the world's MOST dangerous person.

Cheers,
K. Trout

Who decides who gets the money? (1)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214462)

A really like this idea, and I would really like it to work, right up to the point at which they have to decide how to split the money. Who decides how much everyone gets? I can't think of any fair way to do this.

However, if they are seriously suggesting this, that means they might be up for some other system. How about a system which lets you download as much as you like and registers what you download? Still charge every $5 for it, and if you make it easy enough to use, people would use it instead of pirating, just because it is easier.

Great idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214480)

Except there's people making music outside of Canada, and this seems to exclude them. And more importantly, there are other forms of copyrighted material rather popular on P2P services, and this quite obviously give the creators of those a giant "fuck you". (And if this is meant to provide compensation for Canadian artists, shouldn't I get an exemption from this because I don't listen to any of them?)

Why only music? (5, Insightful)

tjansen (2845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214490)

Why only music? Let's add movies for another $5, because they copy them as well on the internet. $10 more for TV shows (hey, pay-per-view is expensive). I heard they pirate Operating Systems, so let's add another $15 for free Windows and MacOS sharing. And they even pirate expensive CAD applications, let's add $25 for them... Soon no one will be able to afford the internet anymore, only because every creator of intellectual property wants to be subsidized instead of competing in the market.

Re:Why only music? (1)

liquiddark (719647) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214670)

Of course, being able to access pretty much everything for under $100 a month would be a fairly attractive proposal for those of us who actually pay for our services at present - I know folks who currently pay around $200 for their media fix. You could even levy the tax on a metered basis, which would help ensure those on a fixed income who are behaving appropriately wouldn't get unnecessarily hit.

Don't pre judge me bro' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214492)

Being sentenced to pay a 5$ penalty for a crime I might commit in the future is just wrong.

I thought we still lived in a world of innocent until proven guilty. Guess I was wrong.

Besides, corporate greed won't stop there. Soon we will be paying $5 per month on Internet Connections, $2 per CD blank, and then still be expected to pay $30 for a retail music CD. Anyone care to guess what that ads up to in a year.

All for the benefit of SOCAM. No thanks.

All your ills taken away for $5! (1)

Poisson the Fish (1169717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214510)

It's hard to avoid slippery slope arguments here (will movie companies be seeking their own share of the pot? what about music producers and musicians themselves?). It is hilarious how this fee would appear to go on forever and how it would be distributed -- I could easily see non-copyright songs falling under this proposal. These people to assert -every- song is available via P2P... so one can wonder why such songs aren't available via 'legal' means, such as iTunes. Could it be these same songwriters are putting up barriers to songs being available legally, and expect compensation that people aren't just willing to pay anymore?

Bullshit! (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214526)

I've had enough of this, NO! I don't give a crap about a copyright holder's renumeration. I give a damn about the renumeration of the artist. Just because some bloody monopolistic company has forced artists into joining them or die doesn't mean i should be forced to hand a penny over to these people- They're not providing a service they've just wedged themselves in between the consumer and the artist and have constructed a massive road block, saying to the artists "give us your copyright or no one will hear your music ever" and saying to the consumer "pay us or you'll never be allowed to hear music again"

Re:Bullshit! - you can be fair to the small guys (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214744)

OK: the big labels are trying to foist this tax on everyone and hope to profit hansomly from it. They have forgotten, however, that computers can ensure that everyone is paid their rightful dues. It should not be too hard to log downloads of which songs and apportion the right percentage of this month's collected $5 pot in the ratio of who's songs were downloaded.

This would mean that the small guy would get paid just like someone with a big label ... but, oh, if the small guy goes with an indy label realising that the indy labels generally take a smaller %age cut than the big labels, hmmm, that looks like a sensible move ... hmmm, won't some of the better known artistes do the same, hmmm, how many artistes will the big labels have after a while ?

How soon before the big labels are complaining about this ?

Not so great for independent artists (1)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214538)

Big distributors get their cut, fine. But now there is less money to spend on artists directly at concerts and CD sales. It is probably not so great for artist friendly distributors like http://magnatune.com/ [magnatune.com] either - although they would have a better chance of fighting for their (and their artists) share.

$2460 covers me for life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214544)

Based on actuarial tables I have 41 years left. That's 492 months. At $5/mo that's $2460. I don't get to decide who gets that money - I can't reward the good groups and slight the bad ones the way I want to. Sure I can still go to concerts to support the ones I like, but with free money rolling in for sitting on your butt it won't make as much of a statement to not go to a concert.

To me, this sounds like a case of the majority of copyright holders realizing they won't ever be the top 10%, and wanting to grab a slice of someone else's pie.

Stallman proposed this in 1992 (1)

swm (171547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214548)

Richard Stallman proposed a scheme like this in 1992.
The controversy at the time was Digital Audio Tape (DAT),
but the issues are the same. See The Right Way to Tax DAT, at
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/dat.html [gnu.org]

Another fine idea (1)

Cervantes (612861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214582)

I love clear concise Canadian thinking.

Pay a small flat rate, download all the music you want. I like it.

Of course, I think it should be optional, and if you're caught downloading music without paying the fee, you deserve to get raked over the coals (now that an alternative exists).

In the alternative, I'd be just as happy if they started a repository of music, with a $5 monthly access fee, and had all the music in losses mp3 and ogg. I'd win, because I'd finally have a legal method to sample music, and they'd win, because $60/year is much more than i currently spend on physical media.

Just none of this DRM'd, restricted, only-one-label crap.

Re:Another fine idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214686)

In the alternative, I'd be just as happy if they started a repository of music, with a $5 monthly access fee, and had all the music in losses mp3 and ogg. I'd win, because I'd finally have a legal method to sample music, and they'd win, because $60/year is much more than i currently spend on physical media.
And I'd keep pirating because they still wouldn't give me a fucking lossless encode. How hard can it be to type "flac my_shitty_music.wav"? And space isn't any excuse either, hard drives are cheap, especially compared to the cost of the bandwidth for such a service.

Tit for Tat (1)

bidule (173941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214600)

I have no problem with paying this disguised tax, as long as they set up free access to all their work. And for 60$ a year, it'd better be high quality and DRM-free.

If they don't agree to my demands, I won't agree to theirs. They can go hump a camel for all I care.

we should just put a RIAA tax on all CDRs... (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214606)

oh wait, we did that... and they still complain.

The "Rights Holders" are the problem (1)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214634)

By rights holders, they mean the ones who hold the copyright to the music. For most artists signed to the major labels, that means the labels and not the artists. The record labels publicly lament that the artists aren't getting the money owed to them, when in fact the labels themselves do as much as they can to keep the artists from getting paid.

For example, the US copyright board is considering setting a new standard royalty rate for recordings. I think this is the money owed to the composers for each song sale. The board wants to raise the rate from the current nine cents a track to twelve, but the RIAA is arguing that it should actually be reduced to six cents.

As a copyright holder to be, I'm all for it (3, Insightful)

pseudorand (603231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214676)

So how is it they're going to figure out how much money to distribute to each copyright holder? I guess you could try some massive AI that sniffs all internet traffic, identifies copyrighted content, and tracks who's stuff is shared the most, but that would probably cost about $4.99/internet connection. Maybe they're just going to give all copyright holders the same amount. In that case, I think my parents have a wonderful recording of me singing when I was 5, which I should clearly be the copyright holder on. I can have it posted on my website (hosted in the US but accessible in Canada) in a minute or two. How do I tell the Canadian government where to send my check?

A better idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214682)

...would be to tax bicycles and skateboards. Most people that pirate media are young and they use bicycles and skateboards to carry around their CDs, USB keys, and ipods.

Reasonable, if... (2, Insightful)

eskwayrd (575069) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214776)

I would have no problem with this proposal, provided the following responsibilities were imposed:

1) Transparent accounting of disbursements; every month, the collection agency would have to show how much money was collected, and how the money was disbursed.

2) The collection agency must not favour one industry over another; copyright is copyright. It makes no difference whether the copyrighted item is a bunch of bytes representing a work of music, movie, animation, literature, source code, etc. The disbursement scheme must include all copyright rightsholders.

The problem isn't imposing a levy on Internet connections. The problem is who gets the money. The music industry would like to play itself as the only victim, and demands special treatment. However, every creator/rightsholder should be included in the disbursement formula.

There is an added assumption: if the disbursement formula cannot be made 'fair' without monitoring everyone's traffic to determine which rightsholders should receive disbursements, it is unacceptable.

SOCAN Sucks. (4, Insightful)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214784)

I'm Canadian, a musician, a member of SOCAN, and a computer geek. SOCAN sends me a check every 3 months.

Why the fuck should I have my internet bill go up $5 a month!? I'm not downloading that much, my parents aren't either. Very few people are, why should the rest of us pay? Anyway, 90% of the music I download is not covered by SOCAN in the first place, how do those artists get their money?

This is a stupid idea. Music is now, for all intents and purposes, free. I'm cool with that, and I've made a living of music for years. WHAT THE FUCK DID SOCAN EVER DO FOR ME BUT PAY FOR LOBBYISTS?

NO! (1)

pizpot (622748) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214856)

Well, then we better have a referendum, so we can vote this down. And the song writers pay for the referendum btw. I find mp3s sound terrible in our good systems and dont use them, thank you very much.

Community networks (2, Interesting)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214874)

I don't really see how this tax is going to work when I can usually get someone else's internet connection for free and generally that's not a big deal however with this tax how will it work? Also, could this harm city-wide wifi? I'm all for this if it comes to the US (the price is a bit steep but if it keeps the RIAA from attacking citizens its a good thing) but how will it work when there are multiple connections per person and one person can use other people's connection.

What has SOCAN done for you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214922)

I assume they send you a check every three months. Can't remember exactly where I read that, but I think that's how it works.
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