Everybody is Jumping on the Levy Bandwagon

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, Ottawa Citizen version, Vancouver Sun version, homepage version) focuses on the plethora of new levy proposals that have emerged that could significantly increase the costs to consumers for Internet, television, and new media services.  While cultural and creator groups are the primary proponents of these new funding schemes, they are by no means alone as broadcasters, cable companies, and Internet service providers have jumped into the levy and tariff game.

The cultural group proposals have focused primarily on Internet services.  The best-known is the Songwriters Association of Canada plan to fully legalize peer-to-peer file sharing of music by adding a $5 monthly charge to the cost of Internet access.  That proposal has generated considerable debate, with many consumers expressing concern about a plan that would hit all Internet users, without regard for whether they engage in peer-to-peer file sharing.

Joining the SAC plan is a recent proposal that has garnered support from a handful of creator groups that includes the Canadian Film and Television Production Association, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), the Directors Guild of Canada, and Writers Guild of Canada.  The proposal envisions the CRTC establishing a new mandatory ISP contribution of 2.5 percent of broadband revenue to help fund Canadian new media content creation.  

Late last month, the groups released the results of a public opinion survey which they said found that "69 percent of Canadians believe that ISPs should be required to help fund the production of Canadian digital media content in the same way that cable and satellite TV providers are required to contribute a small percentage of their revenues to the production of Canadian television programs."

The proposals do not end there.
Last week, ACTRA also called on the CRTC to require broadcasters to spend seven percent of their revenues on Canadian English-language drama programs.  Moreover, the Creators Copyright Coalition, which is comprised of 16 associations and collectives, recently recommended that the government extend the private copying levy to all technologies that permit private copying.

Yet cultural groups are the not only ones clamouring for new levies and tariffs.  Canada's broadcasters have been busy lobbying the CRTC to require cable and satellite companies to add a fee to their subscribers' bills for carriage of over-the-air broadcast signals.  That would mean that advertiser supported networks such as CTV and Global would receive additional revenues from millions of Canadian television subscribers.

The cable companies unsurprisingly oppose the broadcaster proposal; however, they are also looking new tariffs of their own.  In late 2006, Videotron proposed a new Internet transmission tariff that would allow ISPs to charge content creators for transmitting their work over the Internet.  This proposal is viewed as part of the larger ISP push for a two-tiered Internet in which creators and websites would pay for the privilege of having their content transmitted on the "fast track," while consigning everyone else to a slow lane.

Although it is unlikely that all of these proposals will be implemented in the short term, it would be a mistake to dismiss them out-of-hand.  Indeed, the CRTC has already received submissions on the fee for carriage proposal and it is expected to conduct hearings that could address the 2.5 percent broadband fee and the Internet transmission tariff later this year. As these plans make their way through the legislative and regulatory process, one thing seems certain.  While cultural groups, broadcasters, and ISPs battle it out, Canadian consumers will ultimately be left footing the bill.


  1. “In late 2006, Videotron proposed a new Internet transmission tariff that would allow ISPs to charge content creators for transmitting their work over the Internet.”

    THIS is scary. What nicer way to choke on amateur artists, which most of the time perform better then so called professionnal, but lack the funding to afford this kind of tariff? I guess it’s wishful thinking that the Internet will stay a place of freedom for creators. The Internet is more critic of the work published in it, and the big guys know it, and it’s probably cheaper for them to choke the amateurs then to produce quality creations.

  2. Edward Palonek says:

    What happened to freedom of expression? Freedom to information? Internet if anything should be free to begin with. You lower the cost of Internet and much more people will be using it, to share and express ideas, it will also stimulate the economy as more and more services will be needed. By choking the access with extra fees, Canada might loose out big time not just in the freedom of rights area, but also economically.
    [ link ]

  3. Michel Donais says:

    Aren’t they trying to remove the media
    (Using inclusive they here) Aren’t they trying to remove the original media levy because it gives a legal footing to copying media to these CD/DVD/…?

    I mean, if I take the first proposition, I pay 20$ each month to eMusic to buy indie records and music I generally like. That’s for maybe 7-8 CDs every week (more or less). Doing the math, I would feel shameless downloading at least 1 CD worth of stuff from the Internet, I pay for it. — Oooh, that’s right levys like these should only be more money in their pockets, not actually condone piracy. So we pay for everyone else who is sharing, and we are not allowed to share. Right. Pardon the sarcasm, but I find that … well … interesting.

    That’s the main problem with getting money from ISPs to help fund medias directly, in ways of percentage or in ways of precise amount: it acknowledges people are using their computers to get pirated contents, and gives the impression that it’s all right to do so now.

    As for a percentage going to new media funds, it’s funny on how these new medias will probably use the Internet to get publicity on their product, if not directly using the Internet to provide the contents, while on the other hand ISPs will need to pay the same media group for people getting the contents they are provided. That’s self-serving to the best, like asking owners of ad space on the street to give a part of its share to publicity agencies.

    Finally, it doesn’t surprise me from Vidéotron wanting to remove “net neutrality” from their service. What bothers me is even in major cities like Montréal, we do NOT have the choice of our carriers. For example, where I live, I do not have access to ADSL technology (too much noise on the line), I can have Vidéotron and only them … The last choice is providers like Look, but they do not offer bidirectional lines (Docsys) to their Montréal antenna, so I would need to have a Bell landline to use their service. Not really great for VOIP 🙂 So the problem is being stuck with one provider. I digress. In the USA, net neutrality is a major topic, and as companies like Comcast are trying to put up some speed gates to user’s contents, people are definitely noticing, and everything will settle in a few years with a proper compromise, that we can base rulings upon.

  4. Web Designer
    My web designs are in jeopardy of being copied and shared among other web designers.

    I require a levy of $5 by all internet users in Canada to compensate me for my hardships.

    The music industry have their heads up their collective asses.



  5. Lokase has it right
    What makes the music industry so special, especially when they have a hard time giving any money to their artists?

    Do we have to raise by 5$ for every type of content creators? That makes absolutely no sense. So it’s obviously a no go for the music industry either. Especially when most people don’t do this so-called piracy to begin with. Also, how are they going to compensate foreign artists? What if I’d rather listen to Japanese rock then the over industrialized-machine produced music from North America? Of course that’s my personal opinion of music over here, but I don’t want to pay to promote music I consider poor in quality. Sure, there is good Canadian music, but the percentage of it being good is overwhelmed by the not so good music.

    Most of us don’t care to pay for good quality, but we don’t want to encourage laziness.

  6. What no one is realizing that internet is no longer a luxury item. Having internet is pretty much requirement if you or anyone in your family goes to school or is involved in any business. Levies on CDs blanks were bearable because you could opt-out of buying them. It’s much harder to opt-out of having internet in this day and age. Why don’t we call this levy what it really is “Federal tax for the progress challenged”.

    I can understand the greedy, corrupt corporation wanting levies. They’re dip their hand into ANY conceivable jar since their mandate is ONLY to “increase shareholder value”. I can see the special interest groups looking for handouts because that is their job. Their employees are paid to spin, skew, rewrite, invent information to further THEIR interests and lobby everyone they can.

    I guess it’s the government that suppose stand behind the general public but all I see (with few exceptions) is incompetence, laziness and corruption. Shame on you.

  7. Knock knock. Hello? Hi! We’re from the Failed Business Model Association, and we’re collecting the new “New Media Tax”. You’ve not heard of it? Oh, it’s only a few bucks a month for file sharing, online video, blogs — you know, all the media you used to pay for but now get for free. Who’s getting the money? That’s easy! The FBMA represents Canadian musicians, filmmakers, newspapers — everyone who’s been effected by the Internet. You say you don’t download music or video? Canadian culture is suffering ma’am, so somebody has to pay. No, we’re not accusing you of stealing, but we can’t figure out who’s using this media, so we’d like everybody to pay a small fee. Each month. How much is it? Only $5. It’s really not much, and you’ll make such a tremendous difference for Canadian culture. No, the fee will never increase, I promise. So we can sign you up? Great! Thanks a bunch eh. Why aren’t we collecting this online? Oh, we’d really like to, but we haven’t figured this Internet thing out yet.

  8. Seems to me the $5 number is being used to get everyone used to the idea of the levy without being scary. When has the music industry ever settled for such a low price tag? CD’s cost pennies to produce (physically) and yet they cost $20. We should be looking at the levy being more like $30 to $50, realistically, if it’s really going to be ‘all you can eat’.

    Even the blank CD levy is more than $5 on a spindle of 100.

  9. …oh…and while I’m at it, someone downloading songs on their computer for their own listening pleasure is not a ‘pirate’.

    Pirates are in it for a profit.

    We’ve let the industry control the language on this for too long.

  10. Its called Pay-per-Bandwidth
    If you want to limit the amount of copyrighted materials the average person can download, have the ISP’s charge based on bandwidth. If you download tons, then you end up paying a fortune to your ISP. This solves almost everyone’s problems. The only one really upset are ISP’s because this makes them a commodity business, which is bad for growth.

  11. Another random idea
    I don’t think this is a very good system, but it is different than what I’ve seen proposed.

    You pay for your internet access, but holding on to the levy format, you pay $0.25/GB for non-authorized content. So, iTunes = good, properly disclosed BitTorrent traffic = good, but random P2P traffic = not good.

    The main advantages of such a system is that 1) Unlike DRM, it puts the headaches scarely on the shoulders of ISP’s and content providers; and, 2) If you do nothing but use good content you’re contribution to the levy will be minimal.

    The main cons are 1) Categorizing is probably more daunting than I think, 2) Even if its possible, there will still be good and bad content that isn’t correctly categorized as such, 3) This is anti-net-neutrality. ISP’s might start throttling bad content, etc, and 4) This assumes the levy format even works. I mean, who do we pay?

    I should point out that I don’t want ISP’s to scan all incoming data, I want them to scan for a generic “good content” marker that would be standardized in some way. This means ISP’s don’t have to know the content, only know the category, and would improve performance of such scanning.

    One potential addition to this proposal: you pay $0.10/GB for everything, but for the good content it gets transfered to whoever you downloaded the good content from. This encourages content providers to participate in the new standard.

  12. Let me get this straight
    If I take a picture (create content), uploaded to some web pages (distribute), post a copy-right notice (to be clear) do I now get a part of the levy since anyone that looks at that picture makes a private copy that gets downloaded to their computer by the browser? Those pictures can be put on a CD right? I think someone owes me some levies collected on CDs. Who can I call to get part of the loot.

  13. Why has nobody has pointed out that ISPs want to be paid not once, not twice, but three times for the same data transfer? I pay connection and bandwidth charges to my ISP for access to the internet. The host of the web site I’m visiting also pays connection and bandwidth charges. Data send from the web site to me appears in both sets of bandwidth charges, so the ISP gets paid twice. Now they want to add a third charge on top of that? I’d really like to hear an explanation of how they justify this.

  14. Kelly, it’s simple, they are plain greedy, take Sympatico by example, they have a customer service that get’s worst every month, they throttle p2p on prime hours (which is almost always apparently), and they limit data transfer from their regular high speed service to 30 gig up and down and even if you choose unlimited, they have send you a letter telling you they will cap your speed if you downloaded too much according a secret rule not specified in their terms of services.

    I really want my net neutrality. I believe the Internet is a country of its own, and shouldn’t be compromised over anything. But sadly, it’s utopic as long as we’re in the hands of the ISPs.

  15. No to levies. No to payment. No to subsidies for fat cats. No to corporations. No to copyright. And finally – NO to ripoof artists like Bell and Rogers who demand us to pay for access to the net. The guy who wrote that its not a luxury it’s a necesssity is so right. Its like water, hydro, phone except all those are based on things you have to pay for. You shouldn’t have to pay for Internet either since it’s infinite and theres all the bandwidth anyone needs – we never run out of one or zero’s! The musicians will make music anyway because they like to do it and they make all the money they need from concerts and tshirts. The TV and film producers make plenty of money everywhere else and everybody knows how greedy and corrupt all corporations are. Everything on the internet and the web MUST be free. Its our right – our human right!

  16. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    “Go ahead, make my day”
    It’s funny how things come full circle. For a while now I have had a clear picture of “The Internet” of the future and it looks a lot like the dial up BBS system of the 1980s and 1990s.


    The most important part of the Internet is the sharing of information, much of which is conveyed by the written word. Text only html web pages can be served by even a lowly 386 running Linux and a dial up modem, so as long as there are analog phone lines (which are protected in Canada as an emergency system, so they should remain in service for years to come) we’ll always be able to share information. Sadly, when the day comes where web sites like youtube cost too much to visit due to bandwidth charges or when even crappy/unreliable “high speed” Internet like I pay for (Xplornet = loads of handouts from the government, but completely unreliable service with absolutely 0 accountability to the customers and those who provided the handouts…) are prohibitively expensive, we’ll all go back to simpler times and the resurgence of the Sneaker Net and the BBS will be born (and flash media manufacturers will rejoice!). Heck, cell phone text messaging is quite similar in principle to the old BBS systems and I am positive that some smarty-pants out there could write a mobile Linux application to make a cell phone act as a very effective BBS! Sure, point to point connections (like telephone and fax calls) are limited to two people communicating at a time, but it did work really well 20 years ago and text messaging works superbly today. Is it a huge step backwards? It sure is, but it’s also a whole hell of a lot cheaper than high speed Internet and more private to boot (as when a device calls another device on a phone line it is protected the same as voice call, due to the possibility that at any time two people could pick up receivers and share a private voice conversation, thus forcing the requirement for a warranted wire tap on one of the lines prior to the making of the call. This goes for fax transmissions and dial up internet between the caller and the ISP).

    It’s not possible to stifle the human spirit, but the greed of big business will take away much of what The Internet means to many of us today. No more video, no more sound, no more Massively Multi-player Online Games, no more fun – unless you are independently wealthy or willing to give up your right to privacy and your right to not be solicited. The majority of computers sold around the world, including North America, come with integrated graphics solutions, because the majority of computer users aren’t computer gamers or highend content creators, they are average people with average incomes and average expectations of what role their computer can and should play in their daily lives. These are the same people who will draw the line somewhere and when they do we’ll all remember the fad of the new millennium called “The Internet”.

    Big business will ruin the fun and functionality of the Internet for everyone, including themselves, eventually. Personally, I’m looking forward to watching some Goliaths fall under the weight of their own absence of foresight and the lawsuits of the little guys they’ve stepped on along the way. I’ll also laugh hysterically when tech companies like Xplornet have to pay the tax payers back for not delivering the services we paid them for, after they essentially defrauded the public by taking advantage of the technical ineptitude (or rose coloured glasses wearing) of our public servants as well as a general public who increasingly felt pressured to connect to society through the Internet as quickly as possible. Many companies seem to believe that it’s OK to deliver a fully functional product “later”, while charging full price for a broken product now. In the tech world, that bubble will burst with the death of the Internet, when “later” will have come and gone with these companies ever delivering on their promises.

    So, go ahead and levy the hell out of the Internet. We’ll find something better to do with our time, as we humans always do. Perhaps we’ll take our new found free time and get off this little ball of dirt in space, thrusting the human story beyond that of planet Earth and its solar system.

  17. Goodbye net neutrality
    There is soooo much wrong with this. First, the internet is not about commercial entertainment. It is a \”data highway\” and, as such, is for EVERYTHING. Public roads are almost always used for shoplifting but that is no reason to impose a road levy to make up for retail losses. That would be too far from our understanding of a democracy. However it would appear that many people don\’t understand the function of the internet and are not aware of the kinds of things that people use it for. When we hear that \”69 percent of Canadians believe that ISPs should be required to help fund the production of Canadian digital media content…\” it just goes to show that 69% don\’t beleive in net neutrality. In fact I would go so far as to say that those 69% are willing to throw democracy out the window.

    One needs an ISP to connect to the internet, but those connections can, and will be, used for many things. The WWW is just one of many. Communicating with your home electronics, house lights, alarm system, or whatever, while away from home is now common. Over-the-net video surveilance is even used by apartment dwellers now. Also, one has only to look at the proliferation of IP phone models to see that many people are now using the internet for their telephone needs. They get the same service as a land line, but they plug a phone into a network connection instead of the regular RJ11 of the old POTS. I\’ve seen areas where you can\’t get an old fashoned phone line, so you have to use and ISP if you want regular phone functionality. This will likely become much more common and some probably won\’t even notice it. Should these people be paying to support the movie business? I mean really…

    The democratic rights we have now didn\’t come easily. It has been a long hard climb and many people have died in the process. To those 69% who are willing to take a step backwards I can only say one thing: shame on you.

  18. The internet is not a human right. It might seem like that to people glued to their computers, but computers aren’t free, nor is the power to run them. And an awful lot of people don’t have computers, or have just dial-up.

  19. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    I think he meant that the spirit of the Internet (freedom to share information) is a human right. If he meant it litterally, then I’d happily pay for my Internet connection in leu of paying for other human rights, such a shelter and food. Actually, that’s something that really irks me about Canada – even bloody poor-as-hell Cuba WILL give a person food, shelter, and clothing for as long as they need it without looking down upon them, but here in Canada we won’t extend that same opportunity. Nope, we just quietly ingore the fact that people freeze to death, starve, and die of preventable causes in our country every year simply because they are poor or haven’t any family or friends to turn to. Horay for Canada! We’re so fucking perfect I think I’m going puke.

  20. PorkBellyFutures says:

    From the Easier-Than-Building-A-Viable-B
    Isn’t it nice how all these private corporations so readily discard free market principles as soon as it suits their interests?

    I wish I could start a company and have the government compel people to pay for my product, whether they use it or not.

    Have any political parties supported any of these levy proposals? I dearly hope not.

  21. \”Songwriters Association of Canada plan to fully legalize peer-to-peer file sharing of music by adding a $5 monthly charge to the cost of Internet access. …many consumers expressing concern about a plan that would hit all Internet users, without regard for whether they engage in peer-to-peer file sharing.\”

    How is it that the Songwriters Association of Canada thinks it can decide what is and isn\’t legal? And if this levy is applied, yes, it assumes everyone is equally guilty of using P2P but it also makes the impossible assumption that the $5 will be fairly distributed to the artists. It makes no sense logically. Clearly, levies are more about appeasement than solving the problem.

    I just wish all these XYZAssociations would realize that the best way to combat piracy is to make their products available by convenient, legal means. They don\’t acknowledge that there is a cost (other than $) to obtaining pirate copies of digital media. You are downloading unknown files from unreliable sources with no guarantee of quality. What you get is frequently incomplete, broken, mislabeled, or worst contains malware. And there is a huge time cost both in resolving these issues and in learning how to get P2P and bit torrent software to work at all, given the ISPs are constantly trying to stop you. This means that if the media publishers would suck it up and publish their stuff online without DRM and at a reasonable price, people would come in droves, happy to trade all the time, risk and hastle associated with piracy for a guaranteed product with a price tag. Of course, some people will still pirate, and that\’s ok because any way you choose to fight them will drive away your paying customers. You can\’t have your cake and eat it too.

  22. 69% with a boatload of salt
    I would not hang on to the 69% figure. The survey was not commissioned by the government or some independent organization but buy organizations that have interest in particular outcome. It’s all in how the questions were worded. I hate the current Harper mailings that ask you in an EXTREMELY biased way who you would prefer to govern your country. The smiling pleasant looking Harper with 5% GST label next to and an unfaltering picture of the opposition leader 7% GST label. I find it insulting that they think Canadians are that dumb.

  23. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    Written by Stephen on 2008-03-12 13:36:15:
    “I just wish all these XYZAssociations would realize that the best way to combat piracy is to make their products available by convenient, legal means. They don\’t acknowledge that there is a cost (other than $) to obtaining pirate copies of digital media. You are downloading unknown files from unreliable sources with no guarantee of quality. What you get is frequently incomplete, broken, mislabeled, or worst contains malware. And there is a huge time cost both in resolving these issues and in learning how to get P2P and bit torrent software to work at all, given the ISPs are constantly trying to stop you. This means that if the media publishers would suck it up and publish their stuff online without DRM and at a reasonable price, people would come in droves, happy to trade all the time, risk and hastle associated with piracy for a guaranteed product with a price tag. Of course, some people will still pirate, and that\’s ok because any way you choose to fight them will drive away your paying customers. You can\’t have your cake and eat it too.”

    Stephen, that was the most sensible statement I have read regarding this debate and it’s exactly how I feel about the situation too. I hope your last name is Harper!

  24. Gimme Gimme Gimme
    Ya know? As a global community we simply can’t give in to the proverbial Gimme Gimme Gimme folks, however constituted, because it slides all of us into an endless downward spiral. By endless you know there won’t EVER be enough compensation money to meet greedy lawyers’ demands, and it will be an endless LIST of creators who will want their “fair share” into eternity and beyond.

    We’re a whole generation INTO this internet thing. It is long past time to get with the program, which SAYS “the internet is part of the free world”. There is no turning back and there is no “re-set” button.

  25. @ Stephen and R. Bassett Jr.
    I think the XYZAssociations do realize and are moving towards offering their catalogs on the web without DRM for a price. But they are all greedy so why not demand a levy in the mean time. Once the levy is set all they have to do is generate misinformation (which they excel at) to keep it there. I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point in the near future we found out that they hired “pirates” to help their cause. After all some “sister” companies already have been convicted for price fixing in the US.

  26. are you all stupid says:

    are you stupid
    add revenue sharing from sites for ads.
    add a donate to movie/artist.
    like god frakking god hollywood are you all so stupid you can’t think either some pirate has to do the work for ya???????
    funny how Rob M. at facebook said the facebook site said no to levies yet he spear headed the no campaign as does the CRIA.
    id pay 5measly extra dollars to uplaod and download my music and movies and ive even gone so far as to help ISPS learn of technology in video making that would cut the overall movie bandwidth literally in half.
    NOW a 60GB cap is HUGE amount. let alone the 200GB i decided to take.
    This levy would have to make legite canadians use of ANY p2p without restriction.
    you aint stopping me no matter what, i also showed how to defeat bell/rogers traffic shaping and they know the genie will come out of the bottle.

    to Ole Juul
    you realize that after you pay the fee your legally allowed to go nuts as much as you connection allows
    aka 1 terabyte for a unlimited 5 megabit
    ( 60 GB for bell , 30GB for rogers )
    the last two no longer have unlimited accounts do not let them tell you other wise.
    goto the facebook site and look for my posts on the levy i literally addressed ALL concerns ……………..
    why am i not working for someone? think this way if an unemployed bum has to give you all the freaking knowledge hows that fair for the so called educated masses.
    and anyone on dialup would be exempt. go ahead download a 4.5gb dvd on 5K/sec HAHA.
    as for net nettrality you get it for paying for it.
    otherwise you lose it. IM FOR THIS AT LEAST WE KNOW WE HAVE IT THEN WHEN I CAN DO AS I PLEASE AND IF THE LAW MAKES WHAT I DO WRONG ITS MY PROB, and note the simple thing is no one needs highspeed unless they are p2p’ing.
    gloves off- stupid people and jerks and cheats dont use p2p cause they get kicked , or are so daft they cant start programs or get virii on kazaa.
    if you need 18-19 cds of debian linux and have highspeed traficc protocol shaped account , you tell isp , htey verify ( which all that work the account may add up to more then 5$ a month so your paying for them to traffic shape you , develop the tech and keep ahead of hackers. whats more expensive 5$ for freedom or whatever they’ll charge for doing all the extra work.
    like i said get shaped and youd have to let the isp unshape you to use a site for speed otherwise you get nukered.
    to Lokase:::
    you obviously need to goto the facebook site and have a look what i wrote
    5$ a month gives music industry 18 times what the cdr levy does. me thinks that both film and software can share up on that 5$ a month
    now think world wide if they all got there heads out of there asses.
    1.2 bill from canada ( pop 33 million)
    almost 10.0 bill USA ( about 250 mill)
    now do the math but realize taint by you must get the percapita internet use for a real study for revenues and this is reallllllly huge.
    it could completely end the word pirate and replace it with what p2p rreally is :::
    thats right
    some new group ups there songs and poof people like can doante or whatever ask radio head how it went.
    and the riaa wants to pay artists less!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    now you realize that this added revenue could also get rid of the tax payer cash that funds independant film and instead be used to fund more of them without the regulation of the govt and that stupid bill c-10 tax BS.
    this is another thing whereby it would in effect give taxpayers a break and those that get or use p2p would be funding OUR own industry.
    more stargate sg1 please LOL

  27. oh yah
    oh and each country that signs up we could begin a kinda p2p circle where all the artists of each country can be seen in each ,
    say you had a p2p bittorrent tracker
    you could host them here and upload too them, then they can be tracked to who dls what. NO DRM stupidity either, sony sony sony.
    no tpm either.
    this tracker bans all non canuck traffic.
    so only canucks can get it.
    as other countries sign on other servers can be added and can join the party.
    kind agives you that better get on board with stupid feeling or be financially left out and think the riaa wants to pay musicians less. those musicians ought to get together and push this in the USA.

  28. to the one calling other people stupid..
    You do realize there is NO WAY this 5$ deal money would be split fairly? You do realize this levy would mean the music industry making this much money, no matter the amount of work involved? What will push them to release quality? They’ll have money coming in no MATTER what with this levy. Also I don’t believe you grasp the meaning of net neutrality. You can’t pay to get net neutrality, it’s not a service, it’s a system, meaning that you can’t have it unless everyone has the freedom of publishing how they want, hence not be oppressed by oligopolies from the rest of the medias that have enough influences already. And no I won’t go read what you wrote on facebook, I’m not subscribed to that website, and I won’t bother more then this post here for someone that spells this horribly. I won’t discredit all you’ve said, some stuff made sense, but overall, I think you lack the comprehension of the consequences of this levy in terms of balance of powers and influences. If you have the time, I suggest you read an essay by Lawrence Lessig called Free Culture. Can be found just over there: [ link ].

  29. G. Werthers says:

    Lobby Levy
    The problem with a levy is it sometimes becomes a form of corporate welfare. The community channel cable levy is a good example of that. This levy (a tax) hasn’t been going where it’s supposed to go and the regulators haven’t been regulating it either. We’ve been punk’d royally on this one so let’s be vigilant and watch out for another “lobby levy”.

  30. Looking at the down side of this levy from an angle that I expect not many people have examined…. one enormous problem with legalizing sharing of music is that it effectively completely invalidates copyrights on music. Since there is no difference, digitally speaking, between music or anything else that is transmitted by computer (it’s all just 1’s and 0’s), by extension, the whole concept of copyright becomes completely meaningless. It’s all very well and good to say that these big music corporations are just being greedy when it comes to what they expect, but are we also prepared to deny creators of such works any hope of receiving compensation for their creations except by the good will of the public who *may* feel an obligation to donate? In my experience, most people, if they can get something for nothing, will take the opportunity and think nothing of whoever it is they might happen to be shortchanging, because it’s not like they know them personally.

  31. YUP U STUPID says:

    you are stupid, it no where mentions that this liscense would be for MUSIC ONLY
    like HELLO and its a proposal my counter proposal solved all the avenues of noobs stupid in wanting to pay more for music movies and games……
    granma dont need 7 megabit ultra highspeed does she?
    1 megabit traffic shaped , protocol shaped , p2p shaped would be fine for her, ask for her to get linux and htey let you when done that site is unenabled again.


  32. Higher phone bill
    To those (like Ms Capitals) that still think a surcharge has merits.

    It’s about the phone. No provider is going to keep running a copper wire that only carries one conversation right alongside a fibre that carries a million. The Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) is going away soon. Copper is a gonner! Soon we could have an entertainment surcharge on our phone, because our phone will be through the provider… I’ll spell it out: Your phone bill is going to be higher because the RIAA wants a cut.

  33. I think the levy will have a bad affect on culture.

    So we give them the $5/month fee. I’m sure it’ll be paid to the Big record companies to disperse to it’s content producers. The big four (five?/ three how many are left now) will then have a steady stream of income, but to maximize its profits (which is it’s only purpose) they will have to minimize expenses. So they will cut jobs, I mean they get paid whether they make anything or not so why bother making anythng at all. After they suck their blood off the top, opps I meant take their money off the top, they will have a pool to pay the content providers. Well we have all heard how well they do that. So we can assume they will continue to ‘forget’ or ‘lose’ their content producers contact information and be unable to pay out. And what happens to the ‘unclaimed’ pool of money, oh I’m sure it will default back to the industry to be dispersed. and here we go again…

  34. I have no problem in paying real artists but I have a big problem paying for a bunch of business greedy men that consider artists just replaceable assets. They are not interest in art but just in the money that art pump in their corporate accounts so they can sustain their “privileged” style of life. Art will survive no matter what. It is merchants and bad artists that are in danger of extinction here.

  35. Michel Donais says:

    1st level vs. 2nd level
    Dear Mr. “are you all stupid”/”YUP U STUPID”,

    I do not think that most people are against a 5$ levy in the first place, like most people would not mind for a single second a solution that would prohibit pirated torrents, or anything that would disallow doing illegal acts in the first place. The problem is this is only looking at the intended consequences of the act. It’s not looking at the side effects. And these side effects are real, and have consequences on our daily lives, as well as fair dealings in this country for everyone. It would be utopic to think the “evil groups” are not looking at these consequences as bonuses, and we, the customer, will be penalized in general.

    For example, this levy bonification would be a precedent and give leverage to apply even more taxes, sent to the big ones. Arguably, the big ones are the ones who are suffering the most by lost revenues, but then the smaller ones don’t have the cojones to stay alive for very long.

    Another example, in USA, the goal of the DMCA is arguably noble. However, we are at a point where one cannot make some competing inkjet cartridge because these cartridges have (totally useless except to stifle competition) protection schemes disallowing people to reverse engineer them, and companies who are producing cheaper cartridges are getting slapped by DMCA notices. That’s the kind of unintended consequences we are trying to reduce.

    What I’m simply saying is I do understand what you are saying, and I would agree to some points, if these weren’t giving nasty precedents that could be upheld against us the customer in the future. So in order to give that levy a good standing chance, it would have to be debated, described, and all approximations be removed, and we would have a very fair deal out of all this, for everyone, without unintended consequences. It would also have to be profitable to the best groups, and not only used (like is currently being checked in the USA for the RIAA) to fuel up even more legal actions against individuals.

    My 2 cents, talking for me.

  36. Jack Robinson says:

    Jurassic Jackass
    Having survived the seismic convulsions of our tech-driven zeitgeist longer than I\’d care to admit, even by encrypted Sputnik uplink… the core issue is the crass commodification of all forms of expression, communication and creativity by increasing numbers of legislatively-condoned, financially-empowered gatekeepers to universal access.

    And while I don\’t object to paying a surtax on blank media clearly manufactured and marketed for the purpose of capturing other peoples\’ creative output… getting additionally stiffed by ISPs for surfing their branded patch o\’ CyberSpace regardless of my own personal proclivities is like paying for a lap dance at a hookers\’ convention… a booty-based rip-off that fundamentally sucks in a vacuum of value!

  37. Random programer says:

    D bag
    I demand my peice of the PIE TOO!!