Response to the Net’s Sour Note

The Globe and Mail ran an editorial yesterday in which it expressed strong support for CRIA s file sharing lawsuit appeal.  This morning the paper published my letter to the editor. The letter states:

Your editorial on music downloading opens by noting that copyright holders should receive a satisfactory royalty for music downloading. Unfortunately, you fail to acknowledge that Canada has in fact established just such a royalty. The private copying levy, which consumers pay each time they purchase a blank CD, has raised more than $120 million over the past five years, the majority of which is scheduled to be distributed to Canadian music artists. Both the Copyright Board of Canada and the Federal Court of Canada have concluded that payment of the levy covers personal, non-commercial copying such as Internet music downloading.

Copyright holders indeed deserve to be compensated for their work. Given that Canadian music sales increased after last years private copying decision while Canadians continued to pay the levy, the real sour note is not the state of Canadian law but rather the industrys disturbing mix of levies, lawsuits, and disregard for Canadians privacy.

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