Angus To Introduce Bill Proposing MP3 Levy

Billboard reports that NDP MP Charlie Angus plans to introduce a private member's bill that would extend the private copying levy to MP3 players.


  1. I can’t say I disagree, I mean, Apple built a whole business on products that are commonly used to infringe copyright. (160GB iPod’s filled with legit music? HAHA right)

    On the other hand, I hope the CRIA will finally shut up with their bullshit about how bad Canadian copyright is outdated if they get their levy on MP3 players.
    I’m sick and tired of the CRIA spreading propaganda about filesharing and wanting the government to impose draconian copyright. One can only wish.

  2. You don’t know what’s on my iPod, Spike. Just because some infringe, doesn’t mean everyone (or even most) do so as well…

    And besides, the ability of a tool to be used in a way that may be illegal shouldn’t mean that we assume it’ll be used in that way. Or do you propose that we punish those with knives, cars, and all sorts of other common items?

  3. Devil's Advocate says:

    Pandora’s Box
    Levies just end up providing the Labels with more “blackbox” money the artists won’t see.

    And, it’s not just “music” in question here.
    Start glorifying this idea by allowing it to extend to other things, you open up a Pandora’s Box of other IP holders who are also whining about “lost revenue” from “piracy”, and will demand THEIR levies, to cover everything else – software, publishing, movies, etc.

    And yet, filesharing will remain criminalized.

    Sorry, Charlie.
    We’ve had some good participation from you, but this move is simply your most inappropriate and clueless to date. It completely conflicts with some of your previous efforts.

  4. @Devil’s Advocate. Agreed. However, I am skeptical of the source. According to the Billboard article, they heard about it from music industry sources. As such, they (the music industry) have an incentive to spin it in a way which is most beneficial to them, even exaggerating the chances of Mr Watt introducing the bill and the measures to be incorporated. What did they base the release on?

    Banning filesharing is another issue. There is nothing wrong with file sharing, the problem is the use of the technology for ends which are not legal. As with many other situations, a vocal few call for the outright banning of a technology because it could be used for an infringing purpose. Rick put this well.

  5. so much wrong, don’t know where to start
    first, the music industry doesn’t want/need this, the recording and distribution industry does. musicians don’t get very much money from the sale of plastic discs, they get most of their money from live performances (a scarce good), and some smaller amounts from writing and selling music to other artists (their time writing is another scarce good). the recording and production companies are getting less and less important to musicians (and other types of artists, but charlie angus seems to be bent on propping up the “music industry”. why doesn’t he just create a labour union for them? sorry, i won’t pay for the sarcmark, that last question was sarcasm.) The best promotion a musician give give themselves is having people hear their music. The easier it is for them to get their music heard the more people will want to see them live (there are many more ways for a musician to make money, but i’m keeping it simple for the sake of argument). So, they give away their music, or allow it to be copied (an infinite good) and then charge for the scarce good, their time.

    second, it will drive people south of the border to buy their mp3 players. it’s crazy that i have to make a run to the u.s. to buy inexpensive cd-roms, screwing us all out of taxes and the other benefits of keeping my money in canada. like it or not, that’s life. i’m going to do whatever it takes for me to keep as much of my money as possible to myself.

    third, i shouldn’t pay for a “crime” i haven’t committed. pretty sure there’s a right/freedom protecting me from things like that (unless the olympics are in town, but that’s another issue for another day).

    fourth, just because the recording (NOT the music!) industry refuses to innovate and find ways to stay relevant doesn’t mean i should have to spend my tax dollars propping up an industry that’s making record profits (see what i did there!). it b.s. like this that’s letting the crtc run rampant with their cancon rules, telecom ownership garbage, and broadband throttling stranglehold.

    a famous blogger and economist (although i’m sure he’s quite modest about it) mike masnick at techdirt has dozens if not hundreds of posts on what he’s calling CwF + RtB (Connect with Fans and give them a Reason to Buy). he has an interesting analogy in one of them. how would you feel to be transported back to when the automobile industry was starting out and the horse whip makers wanted a tax each and every car specifically for them and their industry. instead, those that were good at it became niche providers of whips, and those that didn’t want to do that made other leather products (steering wheels wraps, oh yeah!). obviously every analogy fails at some point but the point is (should be) clear. technology will always shrink some industries, but it will open up opportunities for others.

    if the levy passes (doubtful), we should also penalize everyone who buys a printer/photocopier. the monks haven’t been able to make money copying bibles in a long time, so let’s give them some of our money whether we’re bible readers or not (wacko christians need not reply).

  6. @jprik Ever heard of capitals? The least you can do is capitalize the name of Mike Masnick. Your lengthy rant just made everyone on this page less intelligent. I award you no points and may the flying spaghetti monster have mercy on your soul.

    This is not like Mr Angus, his past efforts have won him praise on the internetz. I’m skeptical of the source as well.

  7. @Rick, You mean most people who buy iPod’s PAY for music from the iTunes store? Very funny. I had my best laugh of the day. LOL

    Heck, we already pay a levy on black CD’s, nevermind the non-infringing uses of those.

  8. You morons are too dense to recognize that the recording industry opposed the levy on MP3 players. It was the publishers who want it.

  9. Well, actually…
    “first, the music industry doesn’t want/need this, the recording and distribution industry does”

    Actually, the recording and distribution industries explicitly DON’T want this, and have argued QUITE STRENUOUSLY against it. Simply put, they regard the extension of the levy as the socialization of the recorded music market and are (rightly, in my view) concerned that it will be interpreted as a further legimization of unauthorized file sharing of recorded music and destroy the already relatively meagre sales of digital music from venues like iTunes. After all, if you pay a levy on your iPod, chances are you’ll feel wholly justified downloading music to put on your iPod, even if you’re obtaining that download from an unauthorized source.

    Rather, it is the artists and musicians unions and copyright collectives that have been arguing in favour of extending the levy to devices like iPods, and in some cases to ISPs. Generally, their view is that unauthorized filesharing of music cannot and should not be stopped, but rather should be “monetized” with a levy. They also take the view that songwriters/composers/music publishers/artists are entitled to a royalty payment for most uses of their works, including making a copy onto a hard drive or iPod, and that a levy scheme is an efficient manner of obtaining this payment.

    “This is not like Mr Angus, his past efforts have won him praise on the internetz”

    Actually, this is exactly like Charlie Angus. Not only does he have relatively close ties with some musicians associations, he has repeatedly come out in support of the private copying levy, and has publicly supported the idea of extending it to devices. Remember, while he’s an artist himself, and wants to see artists get paid for their work. Like the unions and collectives, he views the levy as an efficient means of accomplishing that goal. And the levy solution also happens to be wholly consistent with the left-leaning, socialistic, pro-labour, anti-corporate view of the NDP (please note that I don’t mean to be perjorative, merely descriptive).

    “a famous blogger and economist (although i’m sure he’s quite modest about it) mike masnick”

    While Mike Masnick is certainly a (relatively) famous blogger, he is not an economist, but rather is an MBA and a business consultant. While he often draws on economic theory and terminology in his posts, he tends to play pretty fast and loose and makes bold assertions with extremely limited data (eg since a handful of artists have successfully made “free” work for them, ALL artists can and there is basically no need for copyright).

  10. spotted this
    TechDirt has a surprisingly unflattering write up on Charlie Angus’ private member’s bill:

  11. Themes and Trends of past years
    This private members bill doesn’t phase or surprise me in the least. I find it fits in with what Dr. Geist posts here at least once a year… Something along the lines of an internet levy which would generate more billions than what goes into medical research every year.

    There is a recurring theme here on this website, a trend, and a trend of people (different than the American Masnick view).

    Make of it as you wish…

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  13. After all, if you pay a levy on your iPod, chances are you’ll feel wholly justified downloading music to put on your iPod, even if you’re obtaining that download from an unauthorized source.