CPCC: Conservative Party “Hate People Who Make Art”

David Basskin, a director with the Canadian Private Copying Collective, offers startling comments regarding Bill C-32, stating that “we’re really at a loss to understand the capacity of the Conservative party to hate people who make art.”


  1. In principle the levies are good. In practice, the levies are stupid because some of the devices and things that are currently levied and other possible future ones are not things that are just exclusively used to play media. CDs should never have been subject tot he levies, and neither should any multi-function device or storage medium.

  2. Frankly, C32 as it exists would likely be the end of the private copying levy… after all, it would renew the idea that private copying is illegal and provide a means for the people who make art to enforce their IP.

    The levy was created, as I understand it, to compensate the artists for people making unauthorized copies of recordings; it was the courts that made the actual copying legal as a result of the levy being created.

    His point seems to be that he wants his cake (TPMs and protection for them are good for him), and to eat it too (levy revenues). Perhaps he’d rather reduce the expense/revenue ratio (in 2009 it was just under 15% or revenue… currently there appears, based on their financial statement, almost $70M that is available for distribution that hasn’t been).

  3. If they make copying illegal across the board they legally I don’t think they can charge a levy to compensate for private copying. They would be taxing people based on an illegal activity.

    Collection of revenue (levies) from an criminal activity (copying of materials in the presence of digital locks under the current C-32)


    It is no less money laundering than running an illegal gambling establishment.

  4. Ah, David Basskin, always supporting the starving artist and pushing for progress and fairness in the arts community … NOT! I remember the nineties with Basskin fighting tooth and nail against any reasonable digital distribution (we wouldn’t have iTunes or iPods if it was up to him) and for copy protection schemes, even some that degraded the music. His distribution of levies, much of which goes to his organization for administration, has also been heavily skewed to the major artists who are earning more than enough “to continue doing what they do” and add the least to the culture. I think it’s approaches like his that have resulted in many consumers feeling justified in copying content without direct compensation.

  5. Ian p
    “I think it’s approaches like his that have resulted in many consumers feeling justified in copying content without direct compensation. ”

    It has not exactly endeared them to artists either. To an artist like my self , these collectives look just like hypocritical, rent seeking, parasites.

    By the way -Their real costs are allways much higher than they state;A lot of the money they collect is either ‘uneconomic to deliver’ or is owed to people they ‘cannot contact’= they keep it.

  6. A simple solution
    The levy system as it stands is obviously broken and unfair to both artists and consumers. I think the obvious way to address the problem is to assume that media is going to be shifted and backed up anyways and just include these rights at the time of sale. Include the anticipated cost of these activities in the initial sale price and there will be no need for legislation in what is essentially a licensing issue.

    File sharing is another issue entirely as digital locks have nothing to do with controlling ‘piracy’.