Writers Guild of Canada: Levy on All Distribution and Storage Points

The Wire Report reports on this week's Canadian Heritage committee of the Writers Guild of Canada, which argued for two levies that would cover all distribution and storage points.  The WU wants both an ISP levy (as proposed to the CRTC last year) and an expansion of the private copying levy to cover audio-visual works. The WGC pointed to consumers' use of PVRs as an example of uncompensated copying that should be covered by a levy.  In other words, it believes that even time shifting – recording of television shows – should be subject to a fee.


  1. Vincent Clement says:

    Guilds = Monopolies
    Last time I looked, I pay a monthly fee for the TV cable that enters my house. But if the Writers Guild of Canada wants to charge me more for wanting to watch TV on my schedule, well then, I guess I’ll watch less TV and they’ll get less money.

  2. Excellent
    I also believe that a levy should be paid for every thought of copyrighted material. Attached an Internet chip to people’s brains that connects to a Paypal account.

  3. Levies are…
    the lazy persons way out. They are saying pay me for the privilege of the potential to copy my material, I’ll whine and complain if you do but I still want tribute. It means that they don’t need to actively protect their IP; the government pays them (I am loathe to use the term compensates here) by collecting money from everyone as a group punishment for the actions of a few. The implication is that the IP has no value to them as they are unwilling to act to protect it, but are willing to charge me money as it seems to have value to me.

    I can understand the expansion of the level to cover AV works; if the music industry can have their tribute, then why shouldn’t anyone whose stuff could be put onto the covered media get a slice of the pie? Don’t take this to mean that I agree with it.

    Personally, I don’t see the reason why copyright terms should be any longer than patent terms; I’ll even go so far as to say half again the patent term… but life + 50 (or life + 75 as demanded by the US)? If the IP holder dies on the day that it is produced, it is still 2.5x the patent term.

  4. Levy on all financial transactions
    I am an investment advisor at a full service brokerage firm. For years I have suspected that some of my clients call me for investment advice and then call their discount broker to buy or sell stock based on my recommendations. I think a lot of full service brokers lose income to Canadian investors using discount brokers to trade based on full service advice. I’d like to propose that a levy be applied to all financial transactions and be used to reimburse full service brokers for their losses from discount trading.

    Of course, I say that with tongue in cheek. I think it sounds absolutely ridiculous to propose a levy like that, but I don’t see how it is any different from what is being provided for the entertainment industry. Why does the entertainment industry always get such special treatment?

    I work hard to provide advice that is good enough to allow my clients to earn a healthy profit even after paying my fees. The entertainment industry should work hard to provide services that their customers are willing to pay for and stop relying on levies that are unfair to almost everyone.

  5. Yet another ridiculous proposal. When I learn to remove something from PVR so that I can then re-sell it, I’ll pay the levy – so that would be… Never. There is only one show that I don’t delete the minute I watch it. As soon as that show releases its season on blu-ray, I buy it and delete the saved copies. For the last 3 years, I’ve been attending law school full time and working three jobs. We currently have 150+ hours on the PVR – which we hope to catch up on now that I am done school and without an articling position to pre-occupy me… And then we will delete… Without the PVR, we would never have watched those shows. We would not have purchased tie in merchandise or previous seasons. All of which contribute to the continued success – financial — of these shows. Again. Ridiculous and short-sighted proposals…

  6. Are you kidding me? Why don’t people understand the fact that when a new technology or way of life comes around, we shouldn’t have to keep afloat groups/companies/people that are affected by it?

    When cars starting becoming popular, did we have to compensate the cart makers or the guys who put the shoes on the horses? Or the blacksmiths? No, they went and found something else to do or a different way of earning the same living.

    Why is it so hard to comprehend the fact that times change, technology changes, and the medium with which we get things has to change as well? So the business model MUST change with it.

  7. Captain Hook says:

    Well, I think if this new legislation is going to be going in the wrong direction any way, then they should go for broke and put in every bad DMCA, anti-fairuse, and anti consumer measure they can think of. Just like this one. The net result of which should be a massive public revolt.

    Until the revolution does come, I will be quite content to continue to get all my television, movies and music via BitTorrent. When they come up with laws that don’t alienate me, then I’ll consider not alienating them. Until then Meh.

  8. RagnarDanneskjöld says:

    Levy should go to the newpapers
    I think we should put a levy on cars since they are eventually going to get a parking ticket. Even worse, they won’t get a ticket when they should. The police can’t be everywhere! City corporations are losing millions and it has to stop.

  9. Bladerunner says:

    Heres a tip…
    Hey, creators of music, movies, any type of IP, heres a tip. The world is changing, they way you do business has to change as well.
    Try creating something that people will actually PAY for, like something decent for a change