Liberals, Bloc, and NDP All Support Motion To Extend Private Copying Levy

MPs from the Liberals, Bloc, and NDP today all supported a motion at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to extend the private copying levy to devices such as iPods.  The motion, proposed by Bloc MP Carole Lavallée, provided:

That the Committee recommends that the government amend Part VIII of the Copyright Act so that the definition of “audio recording medium” extends to devices with internal memory, so that the levy on copying music will apply to digital music recorders as well, thereby entitling music creators to some compensation for the copies made of their work.

Interestingly, the committee was split – 5 in support ( Charlie Angus, Carole Lavallée, Roger Pomerleau, Scott Simms, Justin Trudeau) and 5 against (Rod Bruinooge, Dean Del Mastro, Royal Galipeau, Nina Grewal, Tim Uppal).  That left it to Conservative Chair Gary Schellenberger who voted in favour of the motion.  That is seemingly at odds with comments today from Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement who were strongly opposed to measure.


  1. and then…
    And then we’ll get heavy DMCA DRM, and be paying a levy to copy what it illegal to copy and we won’t even be able to get the tools to break the DRM to copy what we’re paying for and get screwed both ways. Surely a levy on purchased music is the way to go?

  2. Why is this good?
    I am confused as to why preemptively applying fines against consumers for a crime they have the ability to commit is a good thing. I don’t pay a libel levy on blank paper, a home invasion victim binding levy on lengths of rope, or a bus stop glass breaking levy on hardware store hammers. I never thought I’d say these words, but today, I think I agree with Tony Clement. Dr. Geist, what is the benefit of this levy?

  3. VancouverDave says:

    As with the theatre-recording upgrade to criminal status…
    …it appears that, once again, the graft has been spread among all parties in Canada.

    Look for another record-setting pace in pushing this through parliament and the senate.

  4. Government at it’s worst
    Total and complete idiocy. This will never end.

    My iPod Touch can play music, games, movies, TV shows, newspapers and books. People could potentially pirate all of these. Are we going to implement levies for all of them?

  5. Computers
    How does an iPod differ from a cellphone, an iPhone, a personal computer, a digital camera – as they all have internal memory and audio capabilities.

  6. Wait a minute
    My phone has a internal memory, my computer has an internal memory and my laptop has an internal memory. Now I don’t own an iPod but most people I know with iPods already legaly pay for songs from iTunes.

    But this is ok as I’ll keep on legally downloading all the music I need for free and when the levy comes out I’ll buy an iPod for each of my kids and then tell them how I just paid a levy on the iPods and they can now download all the music they want for free, they just have to remember to stop uploads on SoulSeek/Nicotine+

  7. I smell a market opprotunity
    Tape walkmans that can read mp3 files off the tape or re brand/change MP3 players to “Zero Memory Data Read Devices”

  8. Sounds like a simple tax grab
    Lets face it. iPods and similar devices, sell like gangbusters. This is just another taxation opportunity. All the political parties seem eager to grow the government budget so they have a bigger pie to haggle over. I seriously doubt the money will ever reach the artists who actually deserve it.

  9. Anonymous Coward says:

    This is why I stopped listening to music.

  10. “This is why I stopped listening to music.”

    A lot of people say I have done exactly that, when they hear what I listen too. 😀

  11. strunk&white says:

    for those who doubt
    that levy money reaches artists:

    Know who else hates taxes?

    I don’t know if an expanded levy is a final answer, but I applaud the principles behind its suggestion.

  12. Headrush69 says:

    How is this kind of thing not illegal?
    Whether or not these devices can be used for illegal recordings shouldn’t matter.
    Ever song I have on my iPhone has been legally purchased. Why should I have to pay a levy because someone else MAY be breaking a copyright law?

  13. I Hate Music says:

    Burn down the music business. Piss on the musicians. They’re all worthless wastes of space. Steal EVERYTHING. Who do they think they are, anyway? Writing a song? Monkey work. Singing? Crap. Playing instruments? Utter garbage. Steal it all, destroy their business, make them go back to waiting tables. Movies are next. There is no room for any of this crap in our nation. God bless our Prime Minister and his Cabinet. They are all that stand between us and ruin.

  14. “that levy money reaches artists: ”

    Not the “artists” I listen to. What ever happened to giving money to the artists directly? Apparently we cannot be trusted to do that…

  15. This is fantastic
    Now I can stop putting all of my freely downloaded music on CDs to make it legal: I can just put them on my mp3 player, pay the levy once, and I’m covered to download all of the music that I want eithout having to buy new CDs every couple of months to legitimize my downloads.

    This will actually make it far cheaper for me in the long run – Huzzah!

  16. Maupassant says:

    I smell a market opportunity for mp3 players with no internal memory that play mp3s off an SD card.

  17. Yet again I get to pay others for my own freaking music!!!!
    I burn CDs of my own music (stuff I create) as well as artists who release their music under CC licenses (artists who give me permission for non-commercial copying and who I know will never get a dime of this money),and get to pay major label artists for the pleasure. Yes, I know there’s some red tape trail I could follow that would cost me more in time and stamps then it’s worth to “reclaim” some of that.

    Now this crap is spreading into other media as well? Unbelievable!

    I can’t believe I’m siding with Dean Del Mastro over Charlie Angus on this!

    (my Captcha says “owners must”- and this owner must complain!)

  18. StompinObasans says:

    the media companies update their 100 year old business models instead ?

  19. And @strunk&white: comparing people that oppose this tariff to members of the Tea Party is down right insulting, not to mention a gross oversimplification of this whole issue!
    Look a little deeper into how organizations like the CPCC (not to mention SOCAN) distribute their royalties- if you understood that you would understand that this is not helping small artists in any way shape or form- quite the opposite- the ones that benefit the most are the ones that need it the least!

  20. Judging by his rationale, Mr. Angus doesn’t seem to be too aware there’s a large overlapping grey area between so-called “digital computing devices” and the “mp3” players he wants to selectively tax. It so happens that when loaded with compatible installed software, almost any computer can play stored mp3 tracks – thereby in essence becoming an “mp3 player.” The government made the correct decision.

  21. Kids and Kartels
    I think Mr. Angus is more aware than you think, and more aware than you when protecting Canadians from the Kartels. I’m all for it.

    “The evidence establishes that these recorders allow for extensive private copying by individuals. Their use can potentially inflict on rights-holders harm beyond any ‘blank audio recording medium’ as this phrase has been understood to date. However, as desirable as bringing such devices within the ambit of (this section of the legislation) might seem, the authority for doing so still has to be found in the Act.”

  22. HK Sez:
    Is a Canadian iPod “Tax” “Nonsensical”?

    “Besides, if for some unforeseen reason this becomes law, it will surely prevent WIPO treaty ratification for reasons well known to the government and those immediately concerned. In a nutshell, ratification of the WIPO Treaties would double the levy amount – and the extra money – likely in the hundreds of millions – would flow straight south. Not a very attractive scenario for any Canadian government.”

  23. Natt, Bronxi and Mike have got it right. If Carole Lavallée’s recommendation goes through, then it should also apply to practically every cellphone in the country, as well as practically every computer, at least some digital picture frames and digital picture albums; anything that can play a digital audio formatted file. If they don’t, then expect the pressure to be brought on the Copyright Board, by the CPCC, to do so.

  24. @Domina
    Charlie is protecting us from cartels? Are you smoking something? Look at the distribution of the funds raised from the levy. Based on the CPCC’s own information at, the monies are distributed based on Soundscan album sales ( and radio airplay. To be a recipient one also needs to be a member of one of the performing rights societies such as SOCAN or the NRCC. A truly independent artist is screwed.

  25. InsesitiveClod says:

    Protection from cartels
    Does the levy preclude the various associations from releasing their attack lawyers on Canadians? I don’t think I’ve heard of a Canadian citizen getting sued for copyright unless they were caught with a camera in a theater.

  26. I’m sure deaf people who use smart phones for communication will be excited about finally being able to contribute to the music industry. This is a dumb idea and I’m surprised at Charlie’s stand because it just doesn’t make sense. I don’t seal or buy music. I listen to the radio, why should I pay a hefty levy on my iPhone if I never put music on there. In my opinion this is all BS. Why are we paying so much attention to the art people? Is it because not having a 9-5 jobs like most of us gives them time to squeak for the grease? I bet if copyright law was disposed off all together we would still have plenty to listen to and look at and the creators would be compensated. I truly believe this is just another “lazy” group looking for handouts, like unions, where their great amount of whining comes with less than average performance.

  27. strunk&white says:

    The American anti-tax tendency is firmly rooted in far-right Repulicanism, the latest expression of which is the Tea Party Patriots. Much of the libertarian sentiment expressed in the comments on this blog can quite accurately be compared to that strong North American trend — like it or not. Cultural expression is not something that just magically happens. It takes time, talent and capacity, and in our society all those things require money.

    I’ll apologize for oversimplifying, when I see a whole lot less of this kind of stuff go unchallenged:

    “Why are we paying so much attention to the art people? Is it because not having a 9-5 jobs like most of us gives them time to squeak for the grease? I bet if copyright law was disposed off all together we would still have plenty to listen to and look at and the creators would be compensated. I truly believe this is just another “lazy” group looking for handouts, like unions, where their great amount of whining comes with less than average performance.”

    In culture, as in everything, you get what you pay for.

  28. Music Industry Strikes Again
    “extends to devices with internal memory”… so pretty much all technologies with internal memory can be subject to this levy. Flash drives, hard drvies, SSD. Try again, I’m sorry but this is getting a little out of hand. “entitling music creators to some compensation” I would like to see how they will compensate these music creators?
    We all know this money will go into the pockets of the recording industry and not the actual creators.

  29. @strunk&white
    American anti-tax is rooted even further back in the founding fathers desire for small government that did not interfere in the lives of the populace (one of the reasons for the revolution was that the British Parliament prohibited expansion westward as they couldn’t secure the territory). Anti-tax keeps the government small so they can’t interfere.

    Your statement about you get what you pay for is not applicable here. Levies aren’t about getting what we pay for. It is about making the consumer pay for the privilege of having the potential to infringe; it matters not if they do or don’t… it also screws over the artists who self publish as they pay the levy to the CPCC (for CDs that they sell), giving a chunk of their revenue to people that have nothing to do with their music.

    Imagine. The owner of a vehicle is required to pay a “speeding” levy yearly for every vehicle that they own which will travel more than 50 km/hr (i.e. it has the potential to travel faster than a posted speed limit). It doesn’t matter if the vehicle doesn’t have plates… you pay it anyway even though the vehicle isn’t driven. This levy covers speeding infractions for which you aren’t caught. How is this any different from the private copying levy?

  30. @strunk&white
    One other point. Remember, the song does not actually have to sell any copies in order to get paid (look into the factors which decide the distribution of payouts). All it needs to do is get airplay. So, the other issue that I have is that the private copying levy don’t actually compensate for lost sales. The capability to be paid based on airplay means that the CPCC could pay money for a song which was never offered for sale. Did the publisher/artist lose any sales? No. For instance, how much airplay did that horrid “Believe” song get? How many copies were sold? Will CTV get cash? Probably, if they registered it, and the payout would be based more on the airplay than the sales.

  31. strunk&white says:

    Let’s be accurate — the American revolution, and in fact the original tea party, was not in protest of taxation but rather in protest of taxation “without representation.” There’s a difference. I’m talking about knee-jerk anti-taxation sentiment, and that as I described is the result of far-right Republicanism. Google “Grover Norquist.”

    It is inaccurate to describe the levy as a pre-emptive fine on infringement. It is desgined as an extra charge for extra use. Whether it would actually work that way is up for debate, but let’s agree on the definitions at least. I am happy to pay extra for extra use, because I understand that cultural expression has a real price.

    Just as I am happy to pay an extra $60 per year on top of the normal licensing fee for the privilege of owning and operating a car in Toronto. I mean, I actually hate paying that money because folks who live just outside Toronto, but drive in the city way more than I do are NOT paying that tax — but I also am happy to pay the tax because I know it is intended to go to roads, infrastructure and pollution controls. Extend it to the commuters and I’ll be an extra-happy taxpayer.

    As to having to pay an iPod tax when you mostly don’t put purchased music in it — welcome to reality. That car tax would be $60 whether I drove my car every day or once a year just to visit out-of-town relatives. There is no free lunch/road/culture.

  32. Chris Brand says:

    tory campaign promises ?
    Didn’t the conservatives at one time make a campaign promise to repeal the levy ?

  33. Libertarians can go poop in their hats – the idea is that we all share financially in large-scale efforts in order that all can avail themselves of such services etc when they need to, *because it is there*. Your house didn’t burn down, but you still pay taxes which support the fire department etc? Great!

    I love the idea that governments exist to (among other things) manage such enterprises, not for profit, but *for the common good*

    It would seem that many neo-libertarians still think that it is just fine for pirates like the RIAA to sue private individuals for millions of dollars for downloading a few songs, as if the rights of large corporations should naturally take precedence over the rights of individual persons – there’s a fundamental contradiction here which is easy to spot once the blinders are taken off.

    Managing a levy system which helps to funnel money back to creators of arts & entertainment seems like typical Canadian pragmatism, and as such is conceptually an extension of organisations such as SOCAN, etc. – such systems nicely avoid the unnecessary confrontations & cruel & unusual punishments which the American (& others) system seems to constantly provoke…

  34. “Didn’t the conservatives at one time make a campaign promise to repeal the levy ?”

    Who did they make the promise to? I was their buddies in the entertainment industry, wasn’t it?

    The pretense that record companies etc. represent the best interests of the rights of artists is laughable at best …

  35. Paying up to $75 per device to guarantee we don’t end up with a ridiculous Canadian DMC law is well worth it to me
    Although I don’t really agree with paying a levy, if I could pay up to $75 per device I purchased and then be legally allowed to download content to my heart’s content, and never have to worry about becoming a “criminal” for copying a CD or DVD that I purchased to our Media Center PCs or MP3 players, etc. I would do so in a heart beat.

    My biggest fear is that the music industry may be successful in pushing through a Canadian DMCA, similar to the US, making it illegal to transfer any content I purchase to any other device I own. This would be a total nightmare IMO. Literally every single person I know, including myself, would immediately become a “criminal” and this is a totally ridiculous situation. I have all of my CDs and children’s DVDs stored away safely in the basement. All of this content resides on hard drives and is viewed through Media Center PCs throughout our home. I am more than willing to pay a fee to make this all go away, especially if I could then download and view TV shows, music, movies, etc. legally. The industry and artists do need some way to be paid for their content and I am not aware of a truly “ideal” solution anywhere.

    When I look at the other options and consider how they may affect us, (up to) $75 per device doesn’t seem all that bad.

  36. James Gannon says:

    I don’t think the reporting of this subject on this blog is 100% accurate. Please see my own blog posting for some important corrections:

  37. …and the creeps come out
    What rock or US state did this Rev. Fred Phelps creep crawl out from under? Seems loaded.

    as for the Gannon guy above who claims Dr. Geists reporting of this subject is inaccurate and points to his own loaded blog where he says, “it is unfortunate that so many Canadians receive their news from Michael Geist”, and trying to build some sort of name for himself with the kartels (al la law-firm Davenport Lyons (ACS) scams sue em and screw em), it’s clear this is a person and entity looking to scam, screw, sue and profit from Canadians in the foot-steps of the US and UK law-firms.

    oh.. ahh.. he is with (you guessed it), McCarthy Tétrault (ie. partner of Barry Sookman):…/

    Damn the creeps are in full swing. My opinion on the two above worms who just crawled out: Mating season.

    Fact of the matter is, Mr. Angus called out the minister and the harper gov on the upcoming copyright bill which is rumoured to be let out this spring (very very shortly):

    The Minister and the harper gov just showed their cards and the creeps and/or worms (eh, shown above ay, the “Sons of 61″ ) who will be coming after your kids, grandmothers and dead relatives. Even the worms just showed their cards in this blog.

    How pleasant!


    check. your move.

  38. Hugues Lapointe says:

    Oh my.

    “avocat chez McCarthy Tétrault, Professeur à l’Université Osgoode Hall, inscrit comme lobbyiste pour la Canadian Recording Industry association, et l’association canadienne des distributeurs de films,”


    Lobbyists of the Canadian RIAA and the Canadian film distributors.

    Naaah, these are not loaded posts on this blog.

    Nothing to see here. Move along. You saw nothing!

  39. Michael Geist says:

    @James Gannon

    I have confirmed with the office of committee member Charlie Angus that the Bloc motion was to recommend to the House of Commons to extend the levy. It was not, as your post suggests, to debate the amendment at a later date. It is your post that is inaccurate.


  40. Maupassant says:

    Ok, if this extra levy would be applied to anything that ships with internal memory, what does this mean in an age where all major appliances are equipped with microprocessors & memory. Just watch– when we finally switch to IPv6 even toasters and bathroom scales will have their own internet addresses. About the only things that couldn’t possibly qualify for this levy, even in the future, would be food, and various sundries like toothpaste. (Oh, wait– my wife’s toothbrush already has wifi)

  41. Anonymous Coward says:

    Seriously, I thought copyright was to encourage the useful arts yet I still stopped actively participating in the art of music thanks to the insanity of a government-enforced monopoly and all that comes with it.

    Great job! Copyright is so useful!

  42. Memory
    @Maupassant 😉

    James Gannon and McCarthy Tétrault is going to sue you for having a memory.

    Charlie will propose a levy for your brains’ memory functions (rights for $’s).

    Wait till McCarthy Tétrault (ie the Kartel lobbyists it appears) sticks up for the patent holder and rights of the brain memory remover electro-shock rights holder treatment (covered by medicare with a 2-hr wait time).

    You’re first.

    Bell will then stream your torture live for free (9.99/month* + B/W charges* + connection fee’s* + GST, PST and LSD) as a reality show. Revenue Quebec will use it as teaching material for elementary schools (Bell surcharge of 120$/student/year*) and prosecute ACTA violators of this reality show.

    Some how, some way, the conference board of Canada will say this is great for the economy, create 1.5-million jobs (jobs lost due to non memory erasing medical procedures) and hire some ghost writers from the US to prove this.


  43. Joseph Thornley says:
    Please Michael, tell me you’re kidding. Levies are so 1984. A blunt, poorly aimed, ineffective tax. Sad, sad, sad that the Chair would side with this kind of retrograde thinking.

  44. Louis Riel says:

    Conservatives launch protest against proposed iPod levy

    “Cabinet ministers and MPs are putting up a vigorous defence against the NDP’s move to have a levy applied to all new MP3 players, hard drives and laptops.”

    Jo, rather strong “vigorous” reaction to a simple private member’s bill that’s not expected to go very far, ay?

  45. strunk&white says:

    Dr. Geist, you actually came down here just to score a minor point of procedure against James Gannon and have nothing to say about the way this guest of yours has been mistreated by your posse of commenters. Are you happy to have those who dare to argue against you called creeps and trolls in your own house?

    The headline on this posting is ridiculously overstated. Anyone with a basic understanding of how our Parliament works can see that. Admit it and move on.

    Lead by example, and maybe you’ll get less crack-pottery around here.

  46. @skunk&white
    I called them creeps. I stand by it. I saw it. I read it. You obviously did not see the moderated post (loaded post) by the creep prior to the other creep who called ME (A Canadian) “unfortunate” for getting news from Dr. Geist, who btw unknown to you, has been giving people news for years. For a post this newbie (I’ll sue you and screw you) wannabe made.

    Live by the pen, die by the pen. I drew my pen. He comes on this blog, says go to my blog (like a moron) for the truth and puts down this blog and Dr. Geist. Puh-lease. Such a moron, shill, and worm. He has a law degree? WOW! Domina probably has a whip sharper than this guy. 😀

    So what do you have to say about a BLOG POST skunk&white? Sue me? Go ahead, another moron. Use my post and my words to try and get the doc on HIS OWN BLOG. You worms never cease to amaze me.

    So this 2nd creep/worm comes here calls everyone who reads this blog unfortunate, tells them Geist is inaccurate, and here comes worm #3 (you) to say this guest was mistreated?

    Damn you are the dumbest moron of them all. Worm #3 gets the cake.

    Amazing. Simply amazing.


    (Simple private members bill ay, heh)

  47. Michael Geist says:


    1. I would prefer if people did not call each other worms, creeps, or similar language.

    2. I do not moderate comments. My postings speak for themselves. The exception is clear cases of hate speech, as occurred earlier today (therefore the removal of a pair of posts and the banning of a poster).

    3. I was not trying to “score” on a minor procedural point. At issue was the accuracy of my post and a pretty important difference between approving a motion or simply approving more debate. I took the time to verify the accuracy of my initial post and felt it important confirm that it was correct.


  48. The levy is not permission to break the law.
    The levy’s purpose is to compensate artists for private copying only. It does *NOT* exist to pay for any illegal activities such as piracy.

    Personally, I’m with Steve… I’d rather pay a levy and be able to continue to legally enjoy the privilege than have the privilege revoked and find the only way I can continue to do so would be to break the law.

  49. @MG
    I’ve sent you an e-mail with respect to FCFC -York Region chapters position on Van Loan’s office response to ACTA. Both of my parents were well respected in the local business community in Van Loans riding. I will be setting up some sort of meeting with the local Chamber of Commerce in the near future on ACTA. Prior to the holidays I engaged Van Loan in the local media about a separate issue and was completely surprised that he ended up with (and what many political insiders would call) a lateral demotion due to his handling of his position and criticism of it, which put him in our current sights here in York Region on ACTA. Because he is my MP, I should have access to him.

    I would like to talk with you voice on a few points before I meet with the local Chamber, and possibly Van Loan. I think I can also provide you with some insight as well on this debate at least from the music side. I’ve been involved in a part of the industry that has adapted, and forcing a lot of change. After the last copyright bill was introduced Van Loan was very “cautious” is attending community gatherings near my location in fear of what our Calgary Chapter did to the last industry minister. I’ve been very active as the head of FCFC – York Region Chapter in providing Van Loan with independent research on copyright reform, the music biz and online culture. I’ll get into more detail when I speak with you on that. Please get a hold of me through FB or e-mail with a number and time I can reach you at. I would like about 30 mins of your time if that’s possible.

  50. Anonymous Coward says:

    Remember when intellectual property was called intellectual privilege? Ha! Imaginary privilege.

  51. Libertarianisme
    Yo ma ma,

    Check out this site

    It’s a harvard class that talks about libertarianisme. You’ll see that a libertarianist would definitly not support any form of taxation in any sense, including a levy.

    A free harvard class, thanks to open access. Something these people should be debating instead of this lobbying for industry buisness. Yes, it COULD potnetially make lawsuites for downloaders go away, but is it the right way? You can only use quick fixes for so long before the whole thing falls apart, and it will. What happens to the streamers of uploaded music and videos? They did not pay a levy, yet are enjoying the the benifits of the works.

    The industries must stop seeing themselves as distributors and start seeing themselves as promoters. We don’t need to be offered music anymore, we need somone to show us what’s out there.

  52. Alex Macfie says:

    Private interest tax
    What’s wrong with the private copying levy is that it’s a private-interest tax: levied by the government but handed directly to a private-interest group. To me, that is completely wrong. It is a form of taxation without representation.

  53. Junji Hiroma says:

    Well RIAA and CRIA are going extinct…
    They are going to try to use ACTA and laws to stay alive.They are dying,we can see them and their hollow threats of “Zomg!Piracy is killing us.”,it’s a lie because they aren’t making the money they made years ago so they blame something (Ie: Piracy).Their mentality won’t ever stopcause they arestuck in the past which they’llnever get out of due to their ignorance of the customer.Eventually one day the customer will stop buying and say “You know what?F*ck this,i’m not going to buy [ Name of Movie,Game,Music CD Here].” and then the RIAA and CRIA will start falling & maybe learn to treat the customer better.

  54. strunk&white says:

    private interest…

    Except in your scenario, the private interest group is everyone. We are all both creators and consumers. The levy is an idea aimed at keeping the two sides of ourselves in better balance than they currently are. Think of it as cultural yoga.

    It’s hard to make a convincing bogey man out of private interest when you are talking about your own interest.

  55. I’m only going to agree with this, IF, Canadians can freely copy music AND movies for our own use, and have the legal right to circumvent digital locks on movies to make backup copies or to use within a media server.

  56. James Gannon says:

    Correction to yesterday’s post on iPod levy
    In my post that I linked to yesterday, I originally wrote that the vote on the iPod levy motion at the Heritage Committee was simply a vote to compel further debate on the issue at Committee. This was in fact not the case, the vote brought forth the issue of a levy on digital audio recorders to the entire House of Commons, not simply the Heritage Committee. I regret the error.

  57. If you’re gonna get hanged …
    Quote: “The levy is not permission to break the law.”

    That very well may be, but if you’re gonna get hanged for stealing the sheep, you may as well eat the mutton. Especially if it’s you’re *own* sheep (legally purchased,CC, Public Domain or indy-created IP) you’re accused of “stealing”.

  58. @James Gannon
    Amazing how getting called out leads to “regret” eh?

  59. Anonymous Coward says:

    I am not a consumer. I am a citizen.

  60. So you paint me with the same brush while avoiding my point about how this affecting me- as an artist- nice polemics, come back when you actually want to debate.

  61. @strunk&white
    So you paint me with the same brush while avoiding my point about how this affecting me- as an artist- nice polemics, come back when you actually want to debate.

  62. @WEBmadman
    “while avoiding my point”

    Get used to it. That’s the highlight of his participation here. It has become apparent over many months that the only reason he is here is to stir the pot. Trying to force the discussion into something less than intelligent discourse.
    The best advice (given to me), is to just ignore him.

    captcha: “The zucker”

  63. Importer Of Record says:

    Candy from a baby!
    I can’t wait to start importing ipods, un-locked cell phones, mp3 players, laptops…….the kids will find me, just like they did with the discs. The bigger the levy, the wider it’s scope, the better for business. I can be $75 bucks cheaper than Wal-Mart! Best Buy is for suckers! This is better than selling weed! Why? Pay the taxes and I only have to worry about the CPCC, not the Mounties! The CPCC might catch me eventually but I can count on a few great years. If I do get caught? By then the money that I made will be far from their reach.

  64. strunk&white says:

    how am I avoiding debate?
    This constant accusation that I am here, responding to your attacks but somehow not interested in debating is getting very old and tired. I think I explained my reference to the Tea Party Patriots quite clearly. Kneejerk — by which I mean uncontrollably reflexive (I’m not calling anyone a jerk) — protest of any new tax structure (and I don’t even think of the levy as a tax, but for the sake of argument) is a hallmark of a real political movement in North America that you good folks might actually not agree with, so examine your response.

    Madman — I can’t help it if you see the basic secretarial work of administering your royalties as “red tape.” Others look at that stuff as part of what it means to be a “professional” artist. No-one likes to do the secretarial work of filling out forms and going over royalty statements, but those serious about a career in the arts do so. I am a member of several collectives, from which I receive royalties regularly, and yes the ongoing secretarial work is a pain (believe me, I wish I had a staff of poorly paid graduate students to do a lot of this stuff, but alas…), but I do it because it says a lot about how seriously I take my artistic work.

    Disagree? Okay, but you can’t very well both admit that a rememdy exists for you and complain that it doesn’t because it’s too much trouble for you to use.

    I suspect your larger disagreement with collectives (correct me if I’m wrong) is that you don’t like the proportional share of royalty distribution that labels and other corporate rightsholders get as opposed ot the individual artists. These debates are ongoing and quite fierce within the collectives themselves (and that really is the appropriate place to fight those battles). With online making it so much easier for an artist to go it alone, I’m guessing more distribution will flow in that direction. It’s basic math. So either help make that happen for your own benefit and the benefit of the wider culture, or sulk about how much paperwork is involved. Your choice.

  65. Anonymous Coward says:

    “So either help make that happen for your own benefit and the benefit of the wider culture, or sulk about how much paperwork is involved. Your choice.”

    It’s not an either/or proposition. False choice when there are many more than two choices to choose from.

  66. strunk&white says:

    Yes, okay AC, or you can go with another choice — what? sell t-shirts, collect appearance fees, tour, ask for tips on your website.

    I am talking about an actual remedy for private copying use that is actually in place. There are some often repeated theories about how we might do better without existing remedies, but in my world those theories have shown no results, and not for lack of trying, believe me.

  67. Anonymous Coward says:

    If you know of other choices why would you only point out two of them? That seems disingenuous.

  68. strunk&white says:

    AC – did you read the second paragraph of my response to you?

  69. Anonymous Coward says:

    How does “in my world” count towards the real world?

  70. @strunk&white
    Why aren’t we including the extra 9 cents this levy would provide on mediums on the till price of media. People buy more media, then mediums. Industry stands to make more money on a 9 cent increase at the till per media purchase. If creative talent wants to get paid for format shifting, shouldn’t that be included in the price of purchased content?

    There’s more digital media product purchases per year, then there are the purchases of things like Ipods. Wouldn’t it make logical sense to embed something like this in the purchase of media products, rather than on a government levy? Wouldn’t industry make more money this way than through a government sanctioned levy on something the average consumer maybe buys once every 2 or 3 years depending on battery life?

    So let me get this strait, you would rather industry be bogged down through this levy, rather than actually adapting and changing a business model to bring in more money than any government levy would provide to creators? As a producer and creator myself I have to take offense to this. I hope no body in industry is supporting this either.

  71. The idea of the levy is that they are not trying to compensate for personal use copying in general, but trying to compensate for each possible occurrence of it… that is, each person who copies it counts as a distinct and separate personal use copy each and every time they make a copy, and it is that personal use copying that they are seeking individual compensation for. The only way this can possibly be done is by basing the levy on the size of the media storage that the consumer happens to have, not on the original work itself, even if the media isn’t actually used for that purpose, the general idea is that it would only be legal to store copyrighted content for personal use there *because* the levy has been paid. And of course, again… that’s just for personal copying, not piracy.

  72. Some people are missing the point
    By including the tax on the new devices it will prevent the music labels from suing us for copyright infringement as they will be getting compensated on a standard rate. The Conservatives are listening to the lobbyists and drafting changes to the legislation that will ensure the RIAA is allowed to start their legal assault here. We should embrace this tax and keep the legislation as is. A couple of bucks on a device compared to the hundreds of thousands that they will be after us for (not including legal fees) is a pill I can swallow.

  73. @strunk&white
    You missed my point yet again- it is not royalties I’m wanting, it’s the out of pocket money I have already paid- as a matter of fact, I would refuse to accept this royalty because I disagree with the premise in the first place- I terminated my membership to SOCAN because of tariff 22, and this is just more of the same, and indeed I have complained, but run into the same attitude you are giving, so don’t tell me where to lodge my complaint- been there, done that!

    My take is “if no money is made, no money should need to be paid- if there is revenue being generated (such as in commercial broadcasts), then a reasonable percentage of that revenue should be streamed back to the artist”.

    Now I use services like Jamendo for commercial licensing of my work, which is, btw, non-exclusive.

    I find it curious that you say “I am a member of several collectives, from which I receive royalties regularly”- that’s curious, because a membership to SOCAN is exclusive- they will collect from other societies (of which they approve), but you not allowed to be a member of any other collective while you are a member of SOCAN.

  74. SOCAN is just one of many collectives. It deals with performing and communication rights in songs. Other collectives deal with reproduction rights in songs, and still others with rights in recorded performances.

    Duh. You could look it up, but being well informed isn’t as much fun as making accusations, is it, stupid?

  75. @Hopalong
    And in terms of “performing and communication rights”, you can’t belong to any other collective- hence my actual question.

  76. “By including the tax on the new devices it will prevent the music labels from suing us for copyright infringement as they will be getting compensated on a standard rate.”

    Sounds about right to me, and that is why I don’t mind this.

    *wanders off to download some leaked pre-releases from a “scene” collective*

  77. Downloading music for free in Canada is not illegal, is permitted under the copyright act and, therefore, not “stealing” or “piracy”.

  78. @Hopalong
    Also, in digging, I did come across this on the ACTRA/RACS site:

    “Although it is important to inform RACS if you are already a member of another collecting society or organization, you can still assign your rights to RACS and maintain any other existing membership or affiliation. However, you can only assign your rights to one of the Canadian societies.”

    That’s the provision I was talking about- the same applies to SOCAN, SODRAC, NRCC, etc.

  79. strunk&white says:

    Okay, if you are taking what you consider to be a moral stand against collective societies, for one or many aspects of them with which you disagree, then I have no argument with you. Many, many, many other professional artists do NOT have those disagreements. I think you should be free to NOT collect royalties while others do collect royalties. I don’t think it’s very smart, but go ahead.

    And no, I don’t agree with your position about no money being made, etc., for the same reason I don’t buy the argument that since a digital copy does not reduce the numbers of the things copied, then nothing is in fact taken. There is something taken — potential sales. The levy works with the same logic – always has. You want to make a mixed tape of songs for a friend, you don’t go and buy all those songs for her. You copy them. Your copies, which increase the number of copies of those songs in the world, have also decreased potential sales of those songs, because your friend will no likely not buy them. It’s pretty basic economics, which I think is why most people accept it as reasonable.

    As I said, you have a right to not collect royalties. I will continue to do so, from a number of collectives. I’m not a songwriter. I’m a writer.

  80. Anonymous Coward says:

    Basic Economics
    What’s the marginal cost of an infinitely reproducible product? That’s right! It’s zero. Basic economics.

  81. “You copy them. Your copies, which increase the number of copies of those songs in the world, have also decreased potential sales of those songs”

    Your description of human behaviour is accurate, although there is an assumption in the above which is flawed. This flaw is exposed and backed by various studies (search for them if you don’t believe me).

    The assumption is that “every copy is a lost sale”. What percentage of sales are lost? That is where studies have shown the amount is so negligible it’s significance is “lost in the noise” of normal market and survey statistics. It may seem counter intuitive and even unreasonable, but it really is the way the economics seem to work.

    Once you accept the above, you can look back at other aspects of human behaviour to see why it doesn’t behave in the “obvious” way. For the large majority of cases:
    The ones that bought it – A) want it and – B) can afford it, got it as soon as they could.
    The ones that received a copy either – A) couldn’t afford it, or – B) preferred to spend their money on something different.

    The percentage of sales lost to people that both want it and could afford it ends up being very small, well within statistical noise.

    But there is a marketing lesson to be learned from this human behaviour as well. If availability is limited at the outset, sales might be lost to those “copies”. I don’t know of any studies where they compared lost sales of limited availability material (CD/DVD distribution) to unlimited availability material (Digital download)..

  82. Still sidestepping my point.
    My moral objection to collection societies is only an aside- and in terms of that, my leaving SOCAN was because an update to the membership contract that specifically stated that I could not go against their stated stance on private copying (or at the time charging non-profit radio with Tariff 22)- and I feel they are not representing all artists, but rather a very select subset, and to the exclusion of a much larger number- it’s the head trying to claim ownership over the very long, and growing, tail.

    My issue specifically here, is this levy being applied to a broad range of digital media- such as with blank CD-Rs up until now- it has cost me money up front, ostensibly to compensate “artists” that have nothing to do with what I am using that media for- and it could be argued (although no hard figures exist to either support or disprove it) that a very large percentage of the blank media that this levy has been applied to is not being used for the works that this levy is compensating for, I find that extremely problematic, everyone is paying for what (I would argue is a shrinking set of) people are doing- and even then, the “1 copies = 1 lost sale” assumption is very debatable, some artists, especially independent ones, are finding that copies are valuable promotion, for future sales of music, merchandise and tickets- promotion can be very expensive, if you can get people to promote you through copying, that can seriously reduce that cost.

    “I’m not a songwriter. I’m a writer.”

    So you’re clouding the issue with non-related information??
    From the CPCCs website:

    “CPCC is an umbrella organization that represents songwriters, recording artists, music publishers and record companies.”

    I see nothing there about writers…

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