Canadian iPod Purchasers to Receive Levy Refund

Apple Computer today announced that it plans to offer Canadians who purchased iPods subject to the private copying levy a refund of the levy portion of the purchase price (typically $25 per iPod).  No word yet on how they plan to do this, but reports suggest that $4 million in levy revenues was generated from iPod sales.

Apple was a big supporter of the legal challenge to the levy, which made for a curious position given that they now celebrate a Canadian law that may render it unlawful for consumers to copy their CDs onto their iPod (then again, purchasers of songs on iTunes can lawfully copy to their iPod so perhaps the position isn't quite so curious).

One remaining question is what is to become of the undistributed money.  With $4 million to return, it seems likely that there will be a sizable chunk of change left.  I think an ideal plan would be to use the unclaimed money to do what Apple should be doing: using it fund a public interest group to fight for a fair use provision under Canadian copyright law so that all iPod users can use their devices without fear of legal liability.


  1. David Akermanis says:

    Art Director
    Not to harp on you, but even if it were technically illegal to copy your music to an iPod if it didnt come from itunes (which is annoying btw given that not all music is available to users based on their locale) how would anyone catch you?

  2. Difficult to enforce = Okay law ?
    Are you implying that we should pay no attention to unjust laws that are difficult to enforce?

    How many people do you think should be prosecuted under an unjust law before someone should say something?

    Even if no one is prosecuted, the law should not permit someone to even consider prosecuting such a thing. It enables these people to bully consumers through legal threats or extract false goodwill or lay guilt trips on them (“We are such stand up guys that we won’t prosecute you. Copying songs to your Ipod is illegal, you need to get our permission first by paying us $3. People who do so without paying are thieves… etc.).

    People should not have to worry, not have to be secretive about, an entirely reasonable thing like copying music to their Ipod.

    I’m hardly comforted by the statements made by the CRIA about not prosecuting Ipod users. Do you honestly believe that given the control they will have with TPM/DRM they will not take advantage of the fact that they can charge extra for the ‘priviledge’ of listening to songs on your Ipod and prosecute those that build tools that enable people to listen on their Ipods without paying?

  3. jeff cliff says:

    Response to Mr. Akermanis
    “how would anyone catch you?”

    1) Don’t let anyone see you copy anything who you don’t trust. Don’t let your significant other who you don’t plan on living with and trusting forever see you copy anything, either…
    2) Ripping therefor becomes something you hide and look guilty for…
    3) Suddenly ripping is seen as (more) wrong by onlookers. After all, if you look guilty and try to hide something, it must be wrong, isn’t it?

  4. David Akermanis says:

    my point is that enforcing regulations on personal recording devices as they currently stand is not practical –

    For example: Ontario’s new law re: Yielding to public transit vehicles… While there was a brief blitz – I don’t think many people are being busted for this..

    While I dont support the possiblities of punitive damages againt those who duplicate music for personal use – I fail to see how any agency could realistically enforce the afformentioned regulations.