Forget the iPod Tax, Canadian Copyright Collective Demanding Memory Card Tax

During the most recent election campaign, there was no shortage of debate over the so-called iPod Tax, a proposed levy on iPods and similar devices to compensate for copies of sound recordings. While the prospect of an iPod tax in Canada died with the Conservative majority, the existing private copying system remains unchanged. Canadians currently pay levies on blank CDs (and cassettes) and now the Canadian Private Copying Collective, which collects the private copying revenues, would like to establish a new levy on blank memory cards used in a wide range of devices such as smartphones and digital cameras.

As Howard Knopf notes, the CPCC has just filed for the following levy:

50¢ for each electronic memory card with 1 gigabyte of memory or less, $1.00 for each electronic memory card with more than one gigabyte of memory but less than 8 gigabytes of  memory, and $3.00 for each electronic memory card with 8 gigabytes of memory or more

The financial impact of the levy would be significant. A 2GB SD card currently sells for about $6.00 and this would add an additional dollar or almost 15% to the cost. Given that the levy would remain static (or even increase) but the costs of SD cards are dropping by roughly 30% annually, the percentage of levy in the overall cost would likely gradually increase over time. Moreover, music plays a small role in the use of memory cards. A recent report indicates that digital cameras are the primary market for SD cards with smartphones the second biggest (and fastest growing) market. Music is a small part of the equation, yet the CPCC is demanding payment for every memory card sold in Canada regardless of its intended or actual use.

There are many problems with the current private copying system, but this latest attempt to extend the levy should serve as a wake-up call to the government. While there may have been a sense that the private copying levy would gradually diminish in importance, the CPCC (which has been sharply critical of the Conservatives in the past) has made it clear that it will work to extend the levy within the full extent of the current law. Even without iPod levies, there is still room for the collective to expand the levy system, despite the weak linkages to actual copying of music. If the government is broadly against iPod taxes, it may be forced to take legislative action to stop extensions that can still occur within the current legal framework.


  1. Lee Distad says:

    I never cease to be amazed at the mental gymnastics that the CPCC (and the RIAA in the US) go through to justify ludicrous positions. Paying a copyright levy on blank media at point of sale is the equivalent of being issued a speeding ticket before you even left your house. It practically gives blank media buyers an imperative to pirate music: they’ve done the time so they might as well do the crime!

  2. Daniel Bruce says:

    They Want It Both Ways
    So if all Canadians who buy digital media storage are paying to subsidize the “cost” of piracy, then that means we should be allowed to pirate all we want?
    Probably not, as I assume Canada will still get a DMCA-like law in the near future which will allow copyright holders to continue to prosecute regular consumers for personal music copying.

  3. There is an rather huge problem with this proposal… at least with the idea that C32 is still going through.

    The problem with it is simply that it is a private copying levy… an act that although expressly legal, is technically vorbotten with digital works under C32 because of the bias that the bill creates for giving distributors economical incentives to lock their works, thereby denying consumers those privileges without obtaining permission. Essentially, under C32, this blank media levy is, by all rights,taxation without representation, and blatantly illegal.

    Given a choice between the two, I’d take a nominal private copying levy, however. At least that offers consumers an enduring assurance they will continue to have the same legal privileges on future media that most people take for granted anyways, instead of resorting to acts that would be considered illegal. While some might still think the levy is the same sort of taxation without representation when people don’t actually utilize it for copying copyrighted media, that position is specious, since the consumers still would *have* those privileges… whether they exercise them or not, and they would remain legally free to exercise them at any time if they should so choose. Though, it’d hardly be the first form of tax in Canada imposed on people who don’t necessarily reap any benefit from it anyways. And as long as the fee remains nominal, that is, the highest capacity commercially available memory systems would not have a fee in excess of a buck or two added onto retail, it would probably not be too painful for consumers to endure.

    I’m not saying I completely love the idea of a levy (who likes paying *more* tax, after all?)… only that between the idea of it and the digital locks protection that C32 would bring, I’d take the levy any day.

    [/end rant]

  4. This brilliant scheme smells of extorsion. Why should I pay a levy to a collective when I buy a memory card for my camera? The complacency of the Copyright Board is making the CPCC ever more greedy.

  5. As an amateur photographer, I feel insulted that the music industry wants me to pay them for MY copyrighted work that is not even music.

  6. Do people really use SD cards to store music? I have seen a few music players, but not many. I figured SD cards are mainly used for pictures, and perhaps some video.

  7. Pretty useless…
    Well the only situations I can see the use of memory cards for music is either to use phones as MP3 players and you need the additional space, or in PSPs…

  8. If they’re concerned with theft, they should insure their property with an insurance company like everyone else does.

    What they’re proposing is legalized racketeering. They are the “pirates”.



  10. The Borg
    The Canadian Private Copying Collective, which I liken to that other Collective, The Borg, see nothing wrong with stealing money from Canadian photographers. They couldn’t steal money from Canadians who primarily listen to free podcasts on their MP3 players, or who have already paid for their music, so they’ve got to justify their pathetic existence somehow.

    Frankly, if this goes through, that makes The Borg the biggest thieves in the country. Yet they’re too dense to see the irony of this. Or too greedy. And with the memory prices dropping, they become bigger thieves over time.

    So when all our music is stored in the cloud and we stream it from Google Music or perhaps that massive data centre Apple has in North Carolina, then what is The Borg going to do? Put a tax on the Internet?

    I hate to break it to you, Borg, but you’ve never been relevant, you aren’t now, and never will be. It’s time to leave your parent’s basement and get a real job.

  11. @Daniel: the private copying levy is to subsidize private copying, not piracy.

  12. I am personally insulted…
    “Hey guys! While we’re at it, lets tax electricity and piracy would REALLY go down!… What do you mean electricity can be used for things besides eating our profits?… I don’t care, tax it anyway!!”

    The above is a ‘slightly’ more extreme scenario that is similar to the current situation. Memory cards can be used for so many other things than pirating music and are more commonly found in the photography trade.

    These ‘efforts’ are doing nothing to curve piracy, but only make people want to do it more in spite of these corporations.

    All this is going to do is personally insult amature photographers and the entire camera industry.

  13. I am no fan of the levy, but the fact remains that even if a person never exercises the privilege to privately copy something onto a taxed media, they still were always free to exercise that privilege at any time. A person who has a drivers license but does not own a car still has to pay just as much for their license as a person who drives to work every day, to mention just one example of a something not entirely dissimilar.

    Also again, it’s a private copying levy only, not a license to copy copyrighted works for distribution purposes.

  14. I just have to set up a photography business , set up a galley and then get tin on this racket as people might be using their camera to take photos of my photos and print them and then I’m out of money? Does what I wrote make sense, well no but that’s my point.

  15. @Mark said:

    Sorry but not the same thing. I’d bet my wage that memory cards sales for cameras vs music players is 99 to 1. So why the hell do I have to compensate music companies when I NEVER used ANY memory card to store music but use 100% for my cameras.

    How this any different then paying $3 per car/shoes/bike ticket because those transportation devices will take to where you can buy a memory cards that .1% of the time might be used to store music.

    Most music players today have enough memory to stores tons of music and a lot are cheaper then the memory cards they could use.

  16. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    It would make far more sense
    It would make far more sense to add the levy directly to the music as it is sold. There is a clear connection between selling copyrighted music and the piracy of the same music. If the music were never sold, there would be no piracy and therefore the act of selling music should take the brunt of any anti-piracy levy.

  17. This is absolutely absurd
    When the levy was placed on cassette tapes there was some logic to it. No one was using cassette tapes for much else other than recording music. When the levy was applied to CDS, again there was some logic to it. It wasn’t particularly tasteful to people who were using blank CDs to back up data or for other non-music uses, such as myself, but initially the overwhelming major usage for blank CDs was burning music. But memory cards? The overwhelming usage for memory cards is digital cameras. There may be some teeny, tiny percentage of all memory cards sold being used to store music but not enough to justify everyone else having to pay to support the music industry’s failed business model.

  18. SD cards are used for photos, geez
    Of all the SD cards I have, they are all used with my digital still camera except for the two that go in the camera-phone and camcorder respectively. The only music stored on these cards is on the one card that goes in the cell phone. So that’s like one card out of 20.

    In case the CPCC is completely out of touch with the rest of the world, the only SD card devices primarily used for music are devices that were primarily marketed for piracy to begin with (ROM copiers, M3, R4 and similar for the Nintendo DS, and some counterfeit videogame systems.) No other device is marketed primarily as a music player that has a SD card. Go ahead and try it “SDXC mp3 player” in a search engine, you’ll maybe get one item.

    Maybe such a levy would make logical sense in China with their piracy problems, but not Canada.

  19. The bulk of music players don’t accept SD cards
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but iPods don’t accept SD cards. That is the biggest segment of the audio player market. The CPCC is going after the camera market, like they went after the computer market. I’ve purchased hundreds of blank CD’s, don’t think I’ve ever put music on a one of them.

  20. Laughable, if not so sad.
    The stereotype of people in the ‘creative’ sector is they have less understanding of technology than most. The truth of that is questionable, but in this case it’s either that or outright robbery (or could I say piracy) on the part of the CPCC.

    Yes, it’s either stupidity or immorality. The very concept of the levy is to compensate for use of media that is not being paid, so now they want people to pay for media that is not being used?

    All the while these jokers are trying to hold the high moral ground espousing how they are for the little guy and justice.

    Hypocrisy, like nothing else, makes me ill.

  21. @end user: actually, it’s still wholly relevant. The fact remains that you would always still legally be able to engage in that privilege, regardless of whether or not you use it.

    A lot of people pay taxes that go to support things like libraries and schools although they don’t have kids and never use a library.

    All I’m saying is that this levy is hardly the first instance we would see of people paying an extra fee for something that they never actually receive any real benefit from.

    Fact remains, however… that if copying digital works is effectively outlawed by C32, then the levy becomes taxation without representation… and given a choice between the two, I’d seriously choose the levy, hands down, because I’d rather pay a nominal fee to have the freedom to legally engage in things I do within the privacy of my own home than resort to privately disobeying laws that I just don’t happen to personally agree with… not because I would fear being caught, but because under such legislation, simply acquiring the tools that one might need to engage in those practices would force one to resort to illegal measures, and would affiliate oneself with collectives and organizations that actually don’t care about copyright at all.

  22. Crockett says:

    Tea party anyone ?
    @Mark “A lot of people pay taxes that go to support things like libraries and schools although they don’t have kids and never use a library.”

    This of course is true, but there is a reasonable expectation that you or one of you dependents will at some time make use of this service if you live in that community. Also, by supporting the library you are supporting the health community you live and work in and USE.

    In this case though the taxation of memory cards has no, or so small as to be relevant, connection to actual use, or even the expectation thereof. I notice they have not proposed (that I know of) a levy on USB thumb drives. Why Not, as they are more likely to be used to copy files than a SD card that is used 99% of the time in cameras?

    What is next a tax on hard drives, cloud storage? Why not just put a tax the numbers 1 & 0 as they are used to represent the bits that make up digital files 😉

    Seriously, the point is that a usage tax should only be considered where the medium is used for a large MAJORITY of item being levied. None of the above qualify.

  23. Michael Leamy says:

    Give them more rope…
    Canadians aren’t stupid. Let’s pass this tax, and anti-copyright laws, and every other draconian spam they can toss through the word processor. Eventually Canadians will realise they have created yet one more industry entirely dependent on welfare and send the whole gang of them into the abyss of history. In the meantime remind your friends of the gangsterism going on in this industry in Canada, and let them know just how much it is costing them. I consider “smart phone” an oxymoronic term in Canada, and perhaps an equally derisive reminder for the recording industry is required.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Why Stop There?
    Why don’t they just tax cameras? I imagine some cameras come with a built-in memory function, so those should be taxed as well.

    Little children have a built-in memory function, so those should be taxed as well.

    Old people will not be taxed.

  25. @Mark
    @Mark: It appears to me that, using your logic, an immoral law should always be obeyed. So, if the Harper Government (TM) institutes a complete surveillance system of every citizen by law, should we just lay down and obey that law? Sorry, but I just don’t buy it. Immoral laws are immoral and they must be opposed.

    Similarly, arbitrary, illogical laws imposed for the benefit of organizations like CPCC and CRIA should be just as strongly opposed. After all, anything you do in life could place you in a situation where you should pay a levy to CPCC – it’s obvious! Humming a tune? You’re broadcasting without a licence, unless you pay CPCC a levy! Telling a friend about a scene you saw in a movie? A clear copyright violation, unless you pay CPCC a levy! Buying a digital camera? Some day you might take a photo of your best friend and Shania Twain, so you’d better pay CPCC a levy now! Sharing a cookie with your kid sister? That might lead to thoughts of downloading Justin what’s-his-face’s latest album from a torrent site! So you’d better pay CPCC a levy on those Oreos!

  26. Outrage
    So, if people become outraged with this levy, will that be used to rationalize support for the reintroduction of bill C-32? The rationale being, if it’s one way or the other, and there’s no support for the levy, then C-32 is the publicly supported choice?

  27. WTF
    At least with CDs they had some sort of vague justification; playing music was one of the primary uses of CDs back then. But SD cards? Most MP3 players these days have built-in flash. I own lots of SD and microSD cards. None of them are used for music! The SD cards that are used in my camera store only *MY* copyrighted content, from pictures that *I* take. Why should the record labels get money for my photography hobby? It makes no sense.

  28. Mark, your comparison of paying taxes and the government spending it on social programs is totally wrong.

    There is a HUGE difference from the government the government using tax sources to provides programs/services that benefit the community as a whole.

    This would be the government collecting taxes to give to a private organization which in returns provides absolutely nothing to the community.

  29. Sure away
    This should increase the tax revenue for the government too. We don’t have enough taxes…please tax us on the taxes already being taxed.

  30. The biggest problem with not following the law in this particular case is that it results in the utter dissolution of copyright. It won’t happen over night, of course…and the recording associations won’t go down without a fight, one that will make most of the atrocities proposed so far sound like nothing more than minor inconveniences that don’t seriously impact anybody.

    Copyright does benefit everybody, even if people don’t consciously realize it… which is why I think that this is a serious problem. Ultimately, if people don’t respect copyright, copyright inherently gets dissolved, because copyright is a social contract between society and the creator of the work. If society doesn’t live up to its end of the bargain, then the creator loses some incentive to openly publish, short of people who don’t depend on any commercial success of their creations to survive. That might be appropriate for people who are lucky enough to be millionaires, but most copyright holders are not that well off, and actually do need to have some commercial incentive to publish.

    So if somebody has a better idea than copyright which can actually continue to give people commercial incentive to create new works, I’d be quite interested in hearing it.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Copyrights Only Belong to the Creator
    How about a system that only benefits human beings and not corporate entities? What are the chances that a human being would attempt to lobby the government for another revenue stream?

  32. @Tom: “Frankly, if this goes through, that makes The Borg the biggest thieves in the country. ”

    Actually they are the real PIRATES.


  33. Crockett says:

    Copies have value?
    The purpose of this proposed tax is to compensate creators (or more likely the corporate copyright holder) for making a copy of digital media you have purchased for personal use on a device other than originally intended. NOT, as is commonly misunderstood, to share it with someone who did not purchase it or to download a file unpaid. Having said that the question becomes does that personal copy have value and if so to whom?

    I have wrestled with the ‘copies have value’ idea for a while. I have finally come to the conclusion that they do, for the simple reason that if it’s something people want to do and get angry at being told they cannot then it must be something that they deem as valuable to them.

    This leads to three further questions; what is that value, how is it to be collected and to whom should it be paid?

    The value is debatable, to many consumers they feel the original purchase price should cover the costs of personal copies. This is going to be hard to counter as it is fairly entrenched in peoples minds. Of course the distributors would like you to pay all over again for each digital copy on every device, while I think most creators are in the middle somewhere.

    The next consideration is how is it to be collected? There are a few options here; the current levy system which taxes blank media regardless of use, a pay up front scheme where the cost is included in the purchase price, or some sort of technological solution which would detect a copy moved onto a OS capable device and record a charge to your account.

    Finally, who should the payment be made to? The obvious answer is the copyright holder, which may or may not be the creator. This is not always the case, for instance the formulas used to distribute a untraceable broad levy are confusing and controversial. The pay up front or as copied over methods would be more targeted to the actual usage and thus be fairer.

    As you can see there is no simple one size fits all solution for everybody, but If I were king of the world this is what I would do … I would go with a technological solution (no surprise there) and make it as unobtrusive and fair-minded as possible. If it is neither of these then people will find a way around it, some will regardless but most people are reasonable.

    First of all the CD is dead, forget about it, if people want to move music they purchased from their CD collection to their Ipod, let them, end of story. Now from here there are two solutions, pay up front or record keeping.

    The pay up front option would basically be a premium priced, completely DRM free file, that you could copy or download to any device you own, multiple times if necessary. It would have no restrictions. The cheaper file format would have a personal digital ID attached that when copied to a OS capable device would charge a small (say 5 cents) charge to your account, on iTunes for instance.

    A far more simple, and realistically more workable solution, is to just include the the shifting/backup rights in the original digital or physical purchase price. This would still charge people who never intend to do either but it would not be as bad as billing blank media that often has no connection to music use at all. It also has the benefit of easy tracking and payment to the actual copyright holder.

    Lots of thoughts there, but it is obvious to pretty much everyone outside for the CPCC/CRIA/RIAA crowd that extending the tax all sorts of multiple use blank media is a non starter. I even think the current CD levy should be abolished as it is essentially now obsolete. Let’s have intelligent, fair discussions on what, if anything, can replace it.

  34. Joe Mean says:

    That makes a lot of sense dude.

  35. @Crockett: “This leads to three further questions; what is that value, how is it to be collected and to whom should it be paid? ”

    Your insurance company has the answer. They will insure your collection of original CDs (against theft, fire etc. provided that you keep the receipts) but not your home made copies. So what would you think their real value is?

    Now those PIRATES want us to pay for something that has no value.

    Abolish copyright! Yehaaaaa!

    Nap. 🙂

  36. Value?!?!?
    @Crockett: “This leads to three further questions; what is that value, how is it to be collected and to whom should it be paid? ”

    Of course it has value Crockett, and more value than the original copy because it will actually be in the format I want, just like playing a CD on a good sterio has more value than a s#itty boom box. But I gave it the value by doing the transcoding, and I should get the reward, (which I do though my continued enjoyment). Carrying your argument to its conclusion I should then be charged for the same copy depending on what hardware I use to read it.

    I can see charging different amounts for purchasing different quality of data, but trying to find some way to charge me for the private copies I make is the real piracy. It’s mine. I paid for it, and I will damn well do what I please with it short of further distribution. And if the media companies really piss me off, I wont stop there either. There is no justification for what the CPCC gets or wants, or what you propose.

  37. Crockett says:

    Hey man chill, I agree with you.
    @Darryl “It’s mine. I paid for it, and I will damn well do what I please with it short of further distribution.”

    I agree with you Darryl, which is why I said the best solution is to include the shifting/backup rights in the up front purchase price, which seems to be what you are suggesting (and sans digital locks what C-32 would provide). My other musings were thought experiments.

    I would even postulate that there is room in the current pricing models, if the distributors would give more favorable terms to the copyright holders. The problem is the distributors do not want to do this, multiple dings is their wish list preference and pennies on the dollar to the artists.

    It’s all greed, on everyone’s part, to get the most for the least. The least payment, the least effort, the least value. The current product price/value ratio is obviously broken in many markets, which is why there is so much infringement. Some things are starting to change such as Netflix, a great product at a price that makes me feel good. If the rest of the industry could make that happen to their customers then ‘piracy’ for the most part would disappear.

  38. photographer
    As a photographer who has MANY memory cards that are necessary for creating my own work, how I will I go about being reimbursed for these memory card purchases? How do I get my cut.

    Music isn’t the only digital media that can be copied. If you are going to set up a system of government enforced extortion, I want in on the action! I want my cut.

  39. private copying costs artists nothing
    as mark above states, the levy is intended to reward artists (read: multinational conglomerates preying on artists) for consumers making digital copies of legally owned works for their own private use. the alternative, one supposes, is that the consumer should purchase a new copy of each recorded work for each format… hell, for each device they owned. none of that playing a cd in the home and in the car. well, as a multi-disciplinary artists and content creator i resent the hell out of this concept. i create music, video, photographs and writing. i am taxed at every step to maintain the media that goes into the creation of my work. i’ve gone through hundreds and thousands of tapes of various sorts, cdrs and dvds over the years and have been taxed for the privilege of working. somehow, i’m supposed to feel as though subsidizing the most affluent artists is my duty as a consumer. sorry cpcc, but you greedy whores are taking food out of my mouth to buy shania twain another private mountain and to keep your fleets of private jets airborne and frankly, i’m sick of you. if there is a pirate in the henhouse (mixed metaphor alert) filching from artists it ain’t the consumers and fans and it sure isn’t the smaller working artists.

    here’s an example of actual piracy with real damage to an artist:

  40. Crockett says:

    Reality check
    Actually Lindsay, I believe that as things stand now you do not own any media, rather a license to use the media in the format sold. Is this the way it should be? Not in my opinion and obviously not in yours and most of the rest of the people in the real world.

    Who benefits the most from this state of affairs? The media corporations, who for the sake of greed have done an incredibly incompetent job of maintaining a healthy marketplace or positive relationships with their customers. Artists, except for the superstars, actually get shafted most of the time and have a hdifficult time getting by. Which is why I am an advocate for empowering creators to have more control of their own distribution and profits.

    This is a perfect time for artists to take back control of their lives and craft, to build healthy relationships with their fans and kick the RIAA and their like to the curb. An atmosphere of animosity is not going to help that happen, it will only perpetuate the ‘war’ to the benefit of Big Media, which is why I look for solutions that will benefit both creators (more profit share & control) and consumers (lower prices & greater flexibility) … it does not have to be either or, at least I hope so.

  41. copies and value

    I too have been mulling the concepts surrounding the value of a copy as applied to copyright. Considering why the market for used CDs, DVDs, and books is perfectly legal and moral. The rental market and libraries. I have come to a couple of very simple conclusions.

    – Copyright is for content, not the media containing the content.
    – A copy’s “value” is related to the number of instances of content in use.

    If you apply those concepts to private everyday use, a private copy should fall into exactly the same kinds of categories. Mix tapes/CDs, format shifting from a DVD to a media system/library of any kind. Archiving and backup. All should be legal and moral as long as the number of copies of the content *in use at the same time* remains the same.

    It’s time to divorce the concept of copyright on content, from the media containing it. The value of a copy isn’t in the copy itself, it’s in the number of resulting copies actually in use. This applies to both the copyright holder and the content licensee.
    There can be abuses, on both sides of this issue. And a gray area. But if we can come to an agreement on the fundamentals of fairness surrounding this, we should be able to craft reasonable rules surrounding it.

  42. @Crockett All fair points. So, since the actual disc or physical media I purchase is merely a delivery system for a EULA with a convenient inclusion of the creative works I am licensing, it occurs to me that the “contract” between myself and the corporate barons is non-negotiable. That brings to mind an idea I had a while back. I like to buy things with cash when possible. Perhaps there’s a clever lawyer about that might lend a moment to creating the text for an End User Licence Agreement to put on a sticker and affix to said currency. If the media companies and the retail outlets that carry their wares can inflict contracts with onerous, non-negotiable terms then why can’t we as consumers turn around and hand it right back. By accepting our dollars, the retail outlet agrees not to disburse funds generated through my hard work to corporations and other entities that engage in litigious, unfair and coercive business relationships with creative artists and the general public. Sure, a symbolic gesture but something that might get some attention. If a company isn’t paying their artists or providing reasonable accounting, then our money can’t go to them. If a company is suing consumers for copying, our money can’t legally be disbursed to them. Just a thought.

  43. What EULA?
    There are no licences with DVDs or CD. EULA only come with software, and only some software at that. The vast majority of the software I use has no license restrictions on usage what so ever.

    @Crockett, by saying “best solution is to include the shifting/backup rights in the up front purchase price” implies there are other viable solutions which include limiting my right to use my property as I wish. I hate to seem like one of the extremists here, but there is NO other solution. It is not ‘the best’ solution. It is the only solution, and I will show utter contempt for any copyright law (including the current one) which attempts to take these rights away from me.

    The mere existance of the CPCC, and the many illigitimate licensing rackets run by collective agencies are the real pirates in this country. We pay for it in the media levies as well as higher costs for other things which make use of these works or are derived works.

  44. Grave robbers
    So if I carve some lyrics into a chunk of rock is the CPCC going to want a levy on head stones?

  45. @Darryl: the “eula” for all copyrighted works is nothing less than the copyright upon the work itself, which in countries that recognize copyright usually means that the work may not be copied, in whole or in part, without first obtaining (usually written) permission from the publisher. This effectively gives the copyright holder the exclusive right to copy his or her work, and to determine who else is allowed copy it. In many countries, there are limitations on the scope of copyright which supersede this, such as expressly allowing private copying for the personal use of the person who owns the work, and other similar things, which are determined to have no net effect on the copyright holder’s exclusivity, since the person doing the copying in those exception cases should have already legally acquired the work anyways (when they have not already legally acquired the work, it is copyright infringement… although enforceability may be the primary reason why that type of infringement is not typically actively enforced).

  46. Copyright law as a licence?
    @Mark, “the “eula” for all copyrighted works is nothing less than the copyright upon the work itself”

    This must be some some Orwellian definition of the word licence of which I am not familiar. To licence, usually means to “give permission”. EULA which we are all generally familar with can “give permission” because copyright law makes it clear that these rights belong exculsively to the copyright holder, so permission is therefore theirs to give.

    Copyright law itself is not a licence because it ONLY takes away rights which would otherwise exist. In the absence of copyright law, I have every right to make as many copies as I want without needing permission. With copyright, my rights become significantly more limited.

  47. All this means is that I’ll take an equivalent value in “pirated” music, since I’ve already paid for it…

  48. It doesn’t go far enough!
    We need to put a private copying levy on paintbrushes, and pencils, and sketch paper. According to Mark it doesn’t matter if they actually are using them for that purpose, the fact is they could be. I’d much rather pay a fee when buying a paintbrush, to protect me against having to go to the black market to obtain said paintbrush, which is of course the only alternative.

  49. Oh say can you see……
    I bought one mem card in Canada, all the rest in the US of A off Ebay or other US based retailer.

  50. pay back
    If I pay a tax to these people when I take a picture then should I not, get a share of the tax cause they are now acting on my behalf as copyright creator . Where do I sign up to get my cheaque

  51. Time to shut them down
    Who are the directors of this outfit and where do they live?

  52. Value of copies and taxes on SD?
    First off, I personally don’t think a copy has value at all. The original I purchased is the only item of value and the only thing that will be insured (@Nap: You don’t need receipts, a friend of mine went through this a few years ago). Copies are disposable, they degrade over time and I toss them out or erase them when I get bored of them. Would I throw money out? No. i.e. No value.

    Now, a tax on SD cards? I have one in my phone (Well micro-SD), and 3 others in my 3 cameras. I don’t use any for music, SD or otherwise, and while my wife’s MP3 player will take a micro-SD card, the 8G of internal memory is plenty sufficient for her needs so we don’t use the slot. Would it protect me from copyright trolls like the current private copying regime or is it going to conflict with the impending copyright law? My thinking is that it is going to conflict and will make for some interesting days in the courts in times to come. If it’s going to offer me some measure of protection, I’m fine with paying it, otherwise, I’m being taxed for an activity I can’t legally perform. It’s racketeering, plain and simple.

    It’s desperate grasping. During the C-32 debates, the conservatives made such a big deal about the “iPod tax”, that the CPCC knows they would incur massive public outcry if they tried to implement it. Now they’re trying the next best thing. It’ll never pass because they’ll never be able to prove primary, or even significant, use.

  53. Off With Their Heads!
    It is looong overdue to have a look at the CPCC (CRTC too for that matter) and reevaluate their purpose. I can’t help but feel that they are run by elderly people that have absolutely no idea what technology or progress is, and are completely out of sync with reality.

    The influence that the large companies must have is unreal, if there are to even try get something like this passed, they must have a serious amount of influence to believe somehow to dissuade the CPCC from using common sense.

  54. Understand the framework
    The basis for all of this is the Copyright Act, which tells the Copyright Board of Canada to set the levies to be collected for the CPCC. So those of you who have been harping about taxation without representation are wrong: the system is set up by an Act of Parliament, to which you can elect members. That Act also tells them that they are to do it on recordable media, and only for music. So photographers cannot “get in on the action,” as it were. Changing the system to a front-end “pay when you buy music” system are perfectly plausible, but require legislative changes.

    Periodically, the Board reviews the levies; how much, and on what. Currently, for example, CD media have a $0.29 levy against them, and DVDs have none. The result is that a 50-pack of blank DVDs is about the same price as a 50-pack of blank CDs. During the review, everyone gets to make their points, and the CPCC often calls for more money to be levied against more media. In the current round, the Board is inviting submissions about the proposed rates & media, which you must submit by July 13.

    Historically, the Board has taken a dim view of the quality of argument often offered in Internet forums and comment boards (including this one), even going so far as to chastise the CPCC opponents. If you want to actually affect the outcome, do research into electronic card use, such as what &#xag;e of cards (both wholly and in part) are actually used to store music. That’s useful. Whining about what’s fair is not.

  55. @Greg
    The idea of a levy on portable memory is that it is being transported, presumably in a portable MP3 player. Just a simple Google search will show you many pages (Including a report by CNN) with varying reports on the market share Apple holds in Canada with the iPod and related devices. While there is some variance in the percentage, they all, unanimous agreed the market share for portable music players was over 70%, with some reports claiming as high as 89%. iPods do NOT have a memory card slot. So the largest demographic, by far, of those who consume portable music can’t even use memory cards in their chosen device(s). This is a money grab by the CPCC, plain and simple.

  56. @IamME
    Of course it’s a money grab; it’s supposed to be. The CPCC is a federally-mandated organization that is supposed to collect and distributed copyright money to artists. This isn’t some out-of-the-blue proposal; it happens every single time. This has all happened before; it will all happen again.

    The amount of money collected has historically been based on a multiplicative equation that takes account for everything you mentioned. e.g. number of tracks you can copy on to a card x levy per track x &#xag;e of CDs used for music x etc. This worked ok for CDs because they’re all the same size. Memory cards obviously aren’t, hence the weird categorization. But the bext defence against them will be evidence showing that the proposed levies are incongruous with actual music use.

  57. Devil's Advocate says:

    Can you say, “Blackbox”?
    “The CPCC is a federally-mandated organization that is supposed to collect and distributed copyright money to artists.”

    If only the money actually went to the artists.

  58. lol, at least CDs were a common media for music. Memory cards with music on them are the freak case.

  59. @Greg
    Nice BSG reference. 🙂

    “But the bext defence against them will be evidence showing that the proposed levies are incongruous with actual music use.”

    Exactly…which the research currently shows, so it’s mystifying why they would pursue it. Even USB memory keys are used more for music than memory cards. Back in the day, the primary use of a blank CD WAS music, so I could see that, even if I didn’t agree with it.

  60. We need numbers
    They are pursuing it because they can. They have been trying for several years, and the Federal Court of Appeal told them they have no authority to collect of devices with fixed memory e.g. iPods.

    It is not sufficient to claim, “Most memory cards are not used for music, therefore they should not be subject.” This is the sort of hand-wavy argumentation that doesn’t cut it. What will cut it is a survey that says, “For memory cards of size x, n percent have no music at all on them, and those that do are about m percent full of music.” This will give the Board something tangible on which to hang their levy calculations. e.g. $ per track x tracks per GB x (1-n) x m.

  61. Another useful number
    Another number that will become useful is the percentage of first purchase music storage. Remember, this levy is in exchange for the right to make personal copies (copies for our own use). If we download all our music from the iTunes, it shouldn’t count on its primary storage medium (or at least you can make that plausible argument to the Board). and

  62. Anita Peterson says:

    Here’s where the vipers reside
    Directly from their Web address –

    “Pursuant to subsection 83(6) of the Copyright Act, the Copyright Board hereby publishes the statement filed by the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) on March 31, 2011, with respect to the levies it proposes to coll…ect, effective January 1, 2012, on the sale, in Canada, of blank audio recording media.In accordance with the provisions of the same subsection, the Board hereby gives notice that any person who wishes to object to the statement may file written objections with the Board, at the address indicated below, within 60 days of the publication hereof, that is no later than July 13, 2011.

    Secretary General
    56 Sparks Street, Suite 800
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0C9
    613-952-8624 (telephone)
    613-952-8630 (fax) (email)”

    OK, time to write some letters/make some phone calls/go postal.

  63. Deductive Reasoning
    It’s simple deductive reasoning. The numbers are easily found on Google. If iPod holds a vast share of the mobile music market, lets say, conservatively at least 70%, and iPod does not have a card slot, then it follows that most people do not use memory cards for MP3 players. Just search Google, there are many reports.

    Among other things, Apple likes to gloat about it’s market share. I believe the same ruling also established devices, such as phones and PDAs are also exempt due to the fact their primary use is not music.

    Following the same logic above, we’ve already established, the primary use of memory is not for music, then it follows, using phones and PDAs as a precedent, that it should be exempt from the levies.

    You want numbers? Here’s 2009 statement directly off the Apple-About website…

    “As things stand, Apple says it has 73.8 percent of the market, followed by 18 percent held by “other”, SanDisk at 7.2 percent and Microsoft at 1.1 percent share. Apple’s own data shows that 50 percent of new iPod sales are to new customers (didn’t previously own one) and the total number of iPod sales is closing in on 225 million units.”


    Another from Wired in 2008…

    “Apple’s share of the MP3 player market share dropped a single point to 71 percent, according to the NPD Group’s study, but its lead is still monstrous. The bigger loser between Q1 2007 and Q1 2008 was Creative, which saw its share halved to two percent.”


    A 2010 article from Mac-World…

    “The device remains the top-selling MP3 player and commands a 70 percent market share in the U.S. More significantly, the iPod touch continues to grow—touch sales were up 48 percent in the third quarter of 2010 over the year-ago quarter.”


    etc. etc. etc.

  64. USB *is* Included
    “Electronic Memory Card” is not defined any more than in that three-word item. Now, the differences between SD cards, CF cards, and USB sticks are minimal at best – memory plus an electronic interface. Moreover, given that many car radios accept USB sticks as a way to play music, I would think that USB sticks *are* included.

  65. Anita Peterson says:

    Board members – names and e-mail addresses

  66. This is a CPCC proposal, not a Copyright Board proposal
    The proposal under discussion ( is from the CPCC, not the Copyright Board; the Board just disseminated it. As such, you may assume that USB sticks are included in the proposal.

    You may also assume that a number of companies and organizations are going to get involved who like this idea even less than you do. I mean, how much is this going to cost you next year? $3? $6? Future Shop has to collect and track all this money, and then remit it to the CPCC. Then, if the courts overturn the levy (like they did on iPods) they have to give all the money back to the consumers (like they did last time). So you can be sure that there will be a number of industry organizations represented at the hearings that will make every plausible argument to reduce the levy and make it apply to fewer (or no) products.

  67. Crockett says:

    Stupid, incompetent, complicit or all of the above?
    Greg, I agree that the Copyright board needs data, but is that not their job to find it? Just the well know established fact that Apple’s 70+% (more likely 90% all for brands) music devices do not use blank media, should be enough to refuse this request.

    It makes me wonder if the staffing of the copyright board is both competent and unbiased enough to wrestle with these issues? I suspect the government may have to intervene like they did with the CRTC on UBB if they want to hold any credibility on digital issues.

    Costing for the right to use personal copies should be included in the up front purchase price of any content, regardless of the media it is stored on. This is still a money grab but at least it is tied to purchased content and not multi-use blank media. A blank media tax is not only illogical, it is immoral and simply not necessary. The real issue is Big content not wanting to give up distribution control which is why they go the DRM/limited rights at point of sale method.

    The rest of the world has passed them by and they still don’t seem to get it. Shortly they’ll be drinking beer in that old dive on the corner with the typewriter manufacturing dudes.

  68. @IamME
    Because of the results of CPCC vs CMMA (2004) and Apple vs CPCC (2008), the fixed memory in any device, such as iPods, is irrelevant. Thus, so is all your research. This is only about memory cards. And not about market share, but about how much they are used to store music. You need to be able to substantiate a statement that says something like, “In Canada, the average removable memory card is used to store n music tracks.”

  69. We need some good market research.
    I suspect the vast majority of flash cards are sold to photographers, and most people use USB keys to transfer and store their personal files.

    In fact, I can’t imagine *anyone* illicitly copying copyrighted music onto a heap of USB keys, like some sort of 21st century version of a cassette bootlegger. 😉

  70. @Crockett
    The Copyright Board is quasi-judicial. They can fully accept the CPCC proposal, fully reject it, or anywhere in between (I don’t think they’ve ever authorized levies larger than what the CPCC asked for). Also like a court, the arguments are made by the interested parties; the court is not in itself a research body. Also like a court, they are going to rule based on who makes the more compelling argument backed up by evidence, not by who is angrier.

    The Copyright Act says this: “82. (1) Every person who, for the purpose of trade, manufactures a blank audio recording medium in Canada or imports a blank audio recording medium into Canada” [shall pay a levy and track the appropriate numbers]. So it doesn’t matter whether the majority of people use it, or what device has the majority market share. It only matters whether the media is blank and whether (and how much) it’s “audio.”

    The Board is law-, technology- and Internet-savvy. Their job is to interpret the Copyright Act to the best of their (considerable) abilities, not try and predict what is good for music, musicians, the market, consumers, or the Internet. While it is plausible that the government may intercede, the best way for them to do so (as with the CRTC) is by amending legislation.

    Changing the model to up front payment is beyond the jurisdiction of the Board, as it would require changes to the Copyright Act.

  71. The only value
    that any creative art has is the pleasure it brings me. The only reason I would purchase music is to enjoy the music as I like, when I like, where I like and with whom I like. The idea that I need to pay for music based on the format, time or product that I wish to enjoy it with just reduces the value of the music. DRM reduces the value to zero. Levys reduce the value to FREE as in distribute and perform. Value is not the price one places on the tag.

    One last thing, what makes artists entitled to protected income? What makes them more Canadian or super Canadian that would entitle them to protections not afforded to other creative industries like fashion, food, letter writing, teaching (especially those who teach the artists) and nursing? A nurse who saves your life is only entitled to the hourly rate of her salary and not to your future life earnings plus 50 years of your dependents.

  72. @JustME: “One last thing, what makes artists entitled to protected income?”


    With the correction that it’s not about artists, it’s about some organizations which pretend to be representing artists. Pirates in sheep’s clothes.


  73. end user says:

    I personally don’t know anybody who has ever used a memory card CF/SD/Xd/etc.. to store any music files. All of them are used in their cameras or in phone for micro sd cards.

    If they want extra money that’s fine adds $3 to every CD or digital album and be done with it. After all isn’t that the right way to do it? You pay the extra personal copying fee AT PURCHASE TIME for THE MUSIC you are buying and not for some hardware that is used 99% of the time for storing photos and other non music data. That’s fair to me…

    What’s funny is that without computers and operating systems the file copying could not happen so why aren’t they going after computer/hardware sales. Maybe because memory cards are such a small item that if they went after computer they would be laughed out of the building.

    Hmm with out dvd/cd software you couldn’t make those copies so why not a levy on that software?

  74. Crockett says:

    @end user “Hmm with out dvd/cd software you couldn’t make those copies so why not a levy on that software?”
    – lol, don’t give them any more ideas.

    @Greg “Also like a court, they are going to rule based on who makes the more compelling argument backed up by evidence”

    – Thanks for seeing past my rant to correct me on the role of the copyright board. My anger should have been correctly aimed at the CPCC.

    @Greg “Changing the model to up front payment is beyond the jurisdiction of the Board, as it would require changes to the Copyright Act.”

    – I think most here would agree that this is the most workable solution, apart from not collecting it at all. Let’s hope our representatives are brave, and honest, enough to bring it forward. Not holding my breath though.

  75. Fixed memory
    Yes, the fixed memory IS irrelevant. But what is not, is that over 70% mobile music user-base CANNOT use bank media in their chosen devices. Keep in mind, that 70% is iPod only, other brands and models may or may not include memory slots. I know my HipStreet MP3 player does not, while my wife’s Sans Digital does (MicroSD), though we don’t use it. In reality, it’s probably closer to 80-90% of dedicated MP3 players currently in use do not have expansion slots at all. Even just with the iPod though, that still leaves less than 30% of the market which can “potentially” used blank media. That’s not enough to warrant a levy. Why should I have to pay $3 to the CPCC because I have a 16G class 10 SD card in my Canon camera? It will NEVER be used for music. It said high-speed digital photography memory right on the package and I paid enough for the memory to begin with. If that comes to pass, I will order such items from eBay specifically to boycott the CPCC…and probably save money at the same time: much like how I boycott Metallica, Kiss, and other bands who have resorted to suing their fans.

    The proof your asking for is not easy to attain in solid numbers and I suspect, the numbers would lean heavily toward digital photography. It’s like trying to ask the recording industry for solid numbers on losses incurred from downloading. They’ve NEVER supplied credible information, and any time they have tried, the data has been skewed, unreliable and ultimately debunked.

    Lastly…common sense dictates if you want to pirate and transport music…really…there are cheaper, more efficient devices out there. You can buy a 500G external laptop drive for less then $100. That’s less than I paid for the 16G card in my camera and will work in more devices. If you must to listen to it using a memory card, then you’re limited to the 10-30% of players that will take a card. One might argue about all the new computers with built in readers. Really? Why would I use a paltry 16G or even 64G card, for that matter, when I have two 500G drives in the laptop and terabytes of free space at home on my network. Storage is cheap…memory cards are not.

  76. @greg
    So what if there is no (stupid and unreliable anyway) surveys? everone known sd cards are mostly used for cameras and cameras don’t play music. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist with a rigged survey to tell you that sd cards aren’t used much for music. Why should we have the burden of proof? Obviously there can’t be any “proof”. Maybe everyone who bought an SD card and a camera together happened to be going to leave their camera with no storage media and use it in some freak mp3 player that actually uses sd cards even though hardly any of those are sold here (maybe they use made their own such mp3 player, or they put it on their sd card and listen to it at home on their computer? lol).

    Just use your votes and try get rid of such stupid laws and those that support them.

    Actually, I equate hating the CPCC with hating defence lawyers because they defend criminals. Yeah, they do stuff you’re not always happy with. That’s because it’s their role in an adversarial system. The CPCC is not some random lobby group. They’re the ones tasked with representing songwriter, performers, and copyright holders in this process. Everyone else gets to choose whether they want to make Copyright Board submissions. They don’t; they have to.

    I fully expect the manufacturers and retailers to make the argument that at least some of the cards are not “audio recording medi[a].” But it doesn’t need to be all or nothing. The CD levy is based on “percentage of purchases used to private copy,” and it is not unreasonable to expect the Board to use the same sort of calculation for cards, even though the percentage may be (very) small. This is where compelling evidence comes in: it is not sufficient to attack the CPCC numbers and draw analogies between card audio use and piracy stats. You need to produce more compelling numbers (better evidence) than the other side.

    And you should expect the manufacturers and retailers to argue and present evidence that a) cards are not audio media; b) that some card types are more audio than others (look out, Sony); and that c) the rate of audio use in cards is so small as to make the expense of administering the card levy outweigh the benefits. But all of those arguments will be backed up by legal opinion and real numbers.

    Finally, don’t bring piracy or downloading into this. This levy has nothing to do with compensation for piracy, fire sharing, or transportation. This is compensation for the right of individuals to make personal copies. Nothing more.

  78. kellythedog says:

    What doesnt make any sense with the whole ides is this bit.

    It’s only sound recordings we are talking about here. Why isn’t the Movie industry, Gaming industry getting their slice of the pie. I copy games onto SD cards, I transfer movies.
    Heck I even make movies and keep them on SD cards. Perhaps I need a license for public distribution when I film my grandson and show it to the neighbors. Why not a public performance levy just in case I shoot a video and then put it on You Tube.
    Sometimes the Media is just the media, Content is what we are really talking about here.

  79. They aren’t defense lawyers, they are attack lawyers.
    If defense lawyers were arguing that everyone needs to pay a new levy and it’s up to us to “proove that we shouldn’t have to” rather than them having the burden of showing that should, then I would hate them as well.

    I know it has nothing to do with piracy. It’s to compensate for revenue lost to those things that everyone and their dog agrees don’t deserve compensation in the first place like format shifting and time shifting, just disguised as being related to piracy whenever it is being justified.

  80. Why only audio?
    The short flippant answer is: because the Copyright Act says so.

    The long answer is (not surprisingly) more complicated. The Copyright Act covers software (including games), movies, knitting patterns, etc. But end users have no legislated right to make personal copies of those copyrighted items, and that’s what is compensated for. Your Starcraft EULA *may* give you the right to make a backup copy or install on multiple machines, but that’s up to the EULA, and is not a right given to you by the Copyright Act. Similarly, the movie industry goes to great lengths to prevent you from making unauthorized copies of their copyrighted material. No rights there.

  81. Which is why we are allowed to format and time shift music, but not movies. Thats why we don’t have any devices that let people record tv shows and rewatch them at unauthorized times. Because there is someone in Canada somewhere that no one can point out who thinks that the creators should be paid more money if we want to watch a tv show after work than if we go home to watch it on our lunch break.

  82. My Bad
    My bad for bringing up the “P” word, but the reality it is valid since the recording industry would like to lump format/time shifting in to the same category as all other piracy, making outrageous claims that a private copy is a lost sale. Let’s keep in mind what private copying was originally meant to compensate for, recording and making mixed music CDs/tapes from the radio or other similar medium. This MIGHT convert in to a lost sale. Same goes for if I borrow some of my friend’s music and make a copy or mixed CD. Again, this MIGHT equate a lost sale. It was never intended as a tax for me copying my own CDs in my own home, this was simply a happy coincidence for the CPCC.

    I say bring on the private copying levies. Put ’em on EVERYTHING, CDs, DVDs, BDs, and all the related players and memories. Why? We might be taxed to death but everything becomes a private copy and it makes everything, except software perhaps, legal to download. Sounds like heaven…right? And you know what, I’ll still buy my movies and music.

    Extending the private copying levy is a bad idea any way you slice it and I hope the conservatives make good on abolishing it altogether.

  83. Crockett says:

    Defenition of the private copy right accorded under the current levy?
    @Iamme “It was never intended as a tax for me copying my own CDs in my own home, this was simply a happy coincidence for the CPCC.”

    Not that I don’t agree with your take on this topic in general. But it has been my understanding the levy WAS to cover copying your own CDs, to mix, or backup, or shift. It was NOT to cover borrowing someone else’s CD and make a copy for yourself.

    If I am wrong on this, someone please correct me.

  84. pedestrian says:

    In a Civil Democracy collecting and distributing Taxes is solely the business of Legitimate elected Authority.
    ‘Hypothecated’ is the technical term for Privatized taxes paid to the benefit of private self appointed groups. Hypothecated taxes are not compatible with the principles of a civil democracy. I thought your mob were keen on civil democracy and not afraid of a fight.
    Why have put up with these Authoritarian mediocrecies for so long?

  85. pedestrian says:

    A social class that buys a lot of ‘memory card devices’ is young creatives (music, video, so on).
    They would have a snowballs chance of getting any benefit at all (let alone net benefit) out of this proposed tax , most will never see a penny. The proposal is a tax on young creatives .

  86. pedestrian says:


    Agree that in a tax situation many people who are not copying copyrighted material are affected it involves ‘Unjust enrichment ‘ of the collection societies members.

    ‘Unjust enrichment’ was not the basis on which The Australian high court struck down the “Blank Tapes Levy”. The ruling was that ,because severing the nexus between individual rightholder consent(of usage) and a payment made to that same rightholder introduced a tax like quality to the levy; For obvious reasons, there can be no clear link between the purchase of blank media and a consent to use( in this case copying) granted by a identifiable individual rightholder : it was intrinsically redistributive ,’Tax-like’…… OUT!

    This is important for good larger society reasons .
    Taxes are redistributive , copyright is not redistributive, for a good reason
    Taxes and copyright- have very opposite intentions. Taxes are meant to even things out; with taxes the more you get the more you pay. Copyright is meant to reward the rare success ; the more you sell the more you get.

    Conflating taxes and copyright will come at large cost to a society tat goes down that path; it is an anti-innovation measure; it harms the young and favors the old and already known, it brings large opportunity costs and because so many creatives are not members of these collectives most of the money collected will ultimately be paid to people who like ‘hanging around in clubs’ I.E it will mostly be paid to people who are not creative individuals.

    Taxes are for wider community benefit , not for individual gain.
    What is the wide community benefit of this memory tax?

  87. @Crockett
    “Not that I don’t agree with your take on this topic in general. But it has been my understanding the levy WAS to cover copying your own CDs, to mix, or backup, or shift. It was NOT to cover borrowing someone else’s CD and make a copy for yourself.”

    More than anything, I think that’s the “company line”, so to speak. It wasn’t as “politically correct” in those days to call the entire country pirates, I guess, and I don’t think the term Internet Pirate really had been thought up yet. I was 25, in university and living on campus at the time and had a screaming fast Pentium 200 running Windows 95 and a 38.4kbps dial-up Internet connection. I remember all the hype over this. All the rumors and everything I heard from the student union among other sources within the computing community pointed to the collectives trying to profit from, yes private copying, not of your own collection, but of your friend’s collection, since this tended to be a more common activity. Impossible to track, impossible to stop, definite chance for lost revenue, so let’s place a levy on the media. For them to say it was to cover copying your own CDs, to mix, or backup, or shift doesn’t really make sense in my mind. They couldn’t, not in their right mind anyways, expect people to re-buy the music they already owned, or pay to make mixes, it something NEW and I’m doing all the work, so only a minimal chance for lost revenue on the very off chance I ruin my CD and need to buy a new one, which has never happened in the almost 25 years I’ve been buying CDs. I buy music exactly once. If something happens to it, I will not buy another. It’s a principle I’ve lived by since in high-school. My first CD, 1989, Alice Cooper: Trash, I was in grade 10. I still have the disk. 🙂

    Well stated pedestrian!!!! I disliked it back in ’97 and still dislike it today. It’s basically a tax that punishes those who use the media for purposes other than music. Like you say, it’s also unfair to other creatives and even within their own. Why should musicians, above all other creatives be guaranteed income? Why not photographers, artists, hell, I’ll even throw in software developers. We’re as much creative writers as any song writer. Why should they, and not I, be guaranteed income. If I make a CD of a Within Temptation album I bought from iTunes, do they ship a check off to the Netherlands so WT gets their share of the levy? I don’t know for sure, but I’d bet some Canadian band I probably don’t even like gets it.

  88. end user says:

    @Greg said: This is compensation for the right of individuals to make personal copies. Nothing more.

    Then why don’t you add the $3 to the price of the cd/dvd or digital album/movie? Why not? If manufactured artists so and so want people to pay a fee for the right of personal copying it HAS to be included at the time of sale of the album/dvd.

  89. “what is” vs “what should be”
    It’s time to ease up on Greg. He is pointing out what the situation “is”, not what the situation “should be”. Don’t rake him over the coals for that.

    I haven’t seen him post much of anything on his opinions of what he thinks it “should be”, but he has pointed out that the only valid channel to change “what is” is though the legislature. Time to start hounding your MP – again.

  90. maebnoom says:

    Damn – I buy cards for my camera only. My music is on my computer & accessed remotely & securely when needed from anywhere in the world where I can get online. Even from an iphone. (via foobar + foo_httpcontrol, set up on my home rig – all freeware, BTW) I suppose they’ll want to slap a levy on that somehow as well.

  91. addiction treatment centers new jersey says:

    these are compensation that write the material not to b copy

  92. I’ll ask again why isn’t the extra fee for private copying/format shift included at the time of purchase. For example a $13 music cd is now $16. A $10 digital album is now $13. Seems pretty simple straight forward, transparent and 100% fair too all Canadians.

    Oh wait, that means sales would go down since the price of their product has just increase and there would be a greater awareness of the extra fee. Not too many people would notice the $3 price increase on an item from another sector that is unrelated to music.

    Can someone point me to any popular music player, home stereo, tv or other media device that has a SD card slot for importing in music.

  93. @end user: “I’ll ask again why isn’t the extra fee for private copying/format shift included at the time of purchase. For example a $13 music cd is now $16.”

    Because they want to piggyback on someone else product. Pirates! Actually privateers since they seek government’s blessing to do it.


  94. @end user
    Let’s be clear: this mechanism is spelled out in the Copyright Act, which was created and has to be changed by Parliament. Harping on the CPCC or the Copyright Board is pointless.

    The media-based levy is a legacy issue. It’s easy to see the pre-digital thinking in the act: some media are “audio” while others aren’t; the media are always separate from the mechanism; private copying is a huge concern, while format shifting is unheard-of. The media-based levy made sense when people copies from LP and radio to cassette, and Parliament hasn’t re-examined the mechanism since, including in the proposed C-32.

  95. @end user: “I’ll ask again why isn’t the extra fee for private copying/format shift included at the time of purchase.”

    That statement implies that they have a legitimate right to profit and/or control based on the way that I use the product AFTER purchase. I challenge this premise. When I buy it, it is mine to do with privately as I see fit. That includes making as many copies for personal use as I desire. There is no legitimacy in any ‘extra fee’.

  96. @Greg
    “The media-based levy made sense when people copies from LP and radio to cassette, and Parliament hasn’t re-examined the mechanism since, including in the proposed C-32.”

    Really? It was my understanding that the conservatives wanted to kill the levy altogether….which is the right answer. It didn’t make a great deal of sense at the time and makes even less sense now. If they’re allowed to apply the levy here it just opens up to door to applying a levy to everything else. USB keys, which wouldn’t apply as a memory card since it isn’t, it’s really a USB interface device with internal memory, more like a small solid-state hard-drive, not a memory device such SD cards. Hard drives, computers, computer memory, tablets, e-readers, gaming consoles, phones, etc. etc. etc. ALL devices which can potentially store music. Even devices with internal storage, such as MP3 players, will be reexamined. We’ll end up taxed to death on electronics all in the name of supporting the music industry. AND, where does all my levy money go? Certainly not to all the European bands I primarily listen to.

    If at any time, the levy should be applied at the time of initial sale to ensure the appropriate artists get their fair share. The current system is broken and has been since the day it was instituted.

  97. @IamME
    The sections of the Copyright Act that deal with private copying (and the remuneration levy) are 79 to 88. Bill C-32 is a list of amendments to the Copyright Act, and I don’t see any amendments to those sections.

  98. Hmmm, perhaps I mistranslated something. At the time they were pushing C-32, that was less of focus area for me. I’ll have to re-read it. Thanks for the clarification.

  99. @Darryl
    “That statement implies that they have a legitimate right to profit and/or control based on the way that I use the product AFTER purchase. I challenge this premise. When I buy it, it is mine to do with privately as I see fit. That includes making as many copies for personal use as I desire. There is no legitimacy in any ‘extra fee’.”

    This is the difference between what you want, and what is the law. You have the rights that are afforded you both explicitly and by exclusion in the Copyright Act. For example, you have no right to broadcast. You have no right to copy for resale. You have no right to calling it your own work. You have limited “fair use” rights. And the law currently says that you have the right to copy audio works for personal use, and that songwriters, performers, and copyright holders are compensated for that right by the blank media levy.

  100. “This is the difference between what you want, and what is the law.”

    Sometimes the law is out of sync with reality. A law is only so good as it is enforceable and respectable. Making private copies of music at home has been a perfectly acceptable, and often encouraged, practice since the 70’s. Even if it were to become outright illegal as the CRIA would like, it’s still considered to be a perfectly reasonable expectation by a VAST majority of all Canadian consumers. What’s that mean? It means few people would respect the law, it would go down as unenforceable and whither in to obscurity…a waste of taxpayer’s dollars. Technically, recording a TV show is illegal, is it not, yet it’s been commonplace since the early 80’s. I suppose the new euphemism is “time-shifting” (Makes it sound important eh?), and C-32 was to make legal, so I guess most of us are still criminals. Where is the law enforcement on this? Why aren’t we all brought up on charges? Much of what they’re trying to achieve is and will always be unenforceable at the civil level. Any new copyright act MUST embrace the digital age and technologies and CANNOT entrench the outdated business models of days past. Today’s younger generation will not tolerate it. They will either outright ignore it or find a way around it and there is ALWAYS a way.

  101. >> A recent report indicates that digital cameras are the primary market for SD cards

    Part of the levy should go to professional photographs. They are very frustrated, some even asks that family members not take any pictures at weddings.

    Personally a levy as described is a license to copy any (c) I want from any source available to me.

  102. I agree with the majority here. Stuff your media card tax where the sun doesn’t shine. Let’s go one further. Will this new fee also be subject to HST? I’m sure that it will be added to the base price depending on size so that also means HST gets added at the end.

  103. James Plotkin says:

    What really gets me is the lack of forward thinking with regards tot he tariff. Prof. Geist rightly points out that hardware and storage gets cheaper and cheaper. These fixed rates (subject to increase or not) do not account for that obvious phenomenon.

    Beyond that, who here actually stores music on a flash or SD card? I know I don’t…

  104. Richard M Stallman says:

    I’d be glad to pay such a levy in exchange for freedom to share.
    But the money should go to the creative participants, not to “rightsholders”
    (i.e., parasitic companies that exploit the creative participants).