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Canada's CD Tax Out of Hand? 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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Canada's CD Tax Out of Hand?

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  • by rlthomps-1 ( 545290 ) on Monday February 27, 2006 @01:50PM (#14809858) Homepage
    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.
  • Clarify (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Monday February 27, 2006 @01:56PM (#14809916) Homepage
    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 does a Canadian citizen dispute the tax on something they've never used (assuming of course they don't burn music to CDs?

  • Re:Assumed Guilt (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SeeMyNuts! ( 955740 ) on Monday February 27, 2006 @02:00PM (#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?

  • by MrPerfekt ( 414248 ) on Monday February 27, 2006 @02:06PM (#14810006) Homepage Journal
    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".
  • Re:Clarify (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stlhawkeye ( 868951 ) on Monday February 27, 2006 @02:08PM (#14810031) Homepage Journal
    And if this tax applies to ALL CDRs, rather than just the music CDRs that nobody buys in 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!

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Monday February 27, 2006 @02:10PM (#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.
  • by IflyRC ( 956454 ) on Monday February 27, 2006 @02:31PM (#14810259)
    If I am purchasing a pack of blank CDs to use as family photo picture storage, family video transferred over from the camcorder and backing up data such as tax records, etc. this tax has no bearing on what I would be using the CDs for. I don't see how they can justify that a percentage of the tax should go back to the recording industry when they cannot prove that the CDs are being used to copy songs. Also - even if I am burning songs or copies of songs that I own the right to (purchased online or an original CD) through fair use provisions I see it as totally illegal to charge me an additional tax for the specific reasons they have laid out.
  • by Firewalker_Midnights ( 943814 ) on Monday February 27, 2006 @02:32PM (#14810268)
    I think this assumed guilt thing is a bit "too much" since it doesn't benefit artists that aren't Canadian (with the exception of those paid through the AMF, which aren't that many in comparison to the rest of the world).

    CPCC Royalty Distribution Info []

    I would think that if we're paying that much on CD's it should go to every organization possible instead of a select few.
  • Re:Unfair (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Crazy Man on Fire ( 153457 ) on Monday February 27, 2006 @02:44PM (#14810419) Homepage
    Why do you have to pay a tax to have access to your fair use rights? Didn't those come with the purchase of the original content?
  • Re:Unfair (Score:4, Insightful)

    by epiphani ( 254981 ) <epiphani AT dal DOT net> on Monday February 27, 2006 @02:45PM (#14810431)
    Dont complain - this tax gives us exactly the artillary we need to fight off further legislation. Right now I can download music guilt-free because every time I buy a blank CD, I pay for music.

    I paid a levy on my ipod. As long as I own that Ipod, I intend to use it to listen to music I downloaded without paying for.
  • Re:Unfair (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jleq ( 766550 ) <> on Monday February 27, 2006 @03:07PM (#14810632)
    I don't find this unfair at all. Having such a tax legitimizes free copying and distribution of copyrighted works on applicable CD-R media. If we had this in America, the amount of "pirated" music would skyrocket - since it would no longer be pirated, as a royalty had been paid.
  • Re:Unfair (Score:4, Insightful)

    by seanvaandering ( 604658 ) <> on Monday February 27, 2006 @04:53PM (#14811517)
    Right now I can download music guilt-free because every time I buy a blank CD, I pay for music

    Sounds good until, they charge 100% of the price, then 150%, then 200%, etc etc etc.

    Once they have their foot in the door, it will be next to impossible to get them out. This only serves to set a dangerous precident, that is nothing but a slippery slope for consumers. It's afforable now, how about in 5 years? I'll guess they'll blame it on inflation, and you wont even remember why it costs 5x what it costs today.
  • Re:Fair Trade.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @01:39PM (#14818142) Homepage

    Just take lots of blank CDs with you when you go to pick up your drugs.

Another megabytes the dust.