Retail Council Calls for Scrapping Private Copying Levy

The Wire Report reports that the Retail Council of Canada is calling on the government to scrap the private copying levy in the aftermath of the CPCC demand to create a levy on memory cards. The CPCC’s David Basskin argues eliminating the levy would “recriminalize making private copies” but that need not be the case. Bill C-32 included a format shifting provision that could be extended to include copies onto blank CDs and cassettes.


  1. Scott Walsh says:

    Levy VS Taxation of an Illegal Activity
    Maybe I’m stretching here, but can’t a media levy be construed as taxation on an illegal activity (and you can’t tax illegal activities)? Isn’t this is akin to having a “bludgeoning levy” on hammers in the event that someone uses it as a weapon? A “drunk driving levy” on cars, a “libel levy” on all writing instruments, a “slander levy” on megaphones…

    It would be very questionable to be prosecuted on any copying, not just private copies, as you’ve been taxed on the media to offset “illegal” copies.

  2. Keep the ball, I’m going home …
    Again, blatant overreach by the copyright industries has made people shake their heads and just not want to play with them anymore. This mindset of entitlement is endemic in the content industry, to the point of causing serious harm to themselves and those they purport to represent.

    I do have sympathy for creators who see their work infringed, and they do have a moral right to be upset at that, but rather than look at the root causes of such behavior they instead look for ways to punish it. A much more productive approach would be to address the problems that lead to infringement, rather than compounding them.

  3. Black market
    A tax on memory card would benefit Canada Post… and USPS. These things fit into an envelope.

  4. @Scott
    “Maybe I’m stretching here, but can’t a media levy be construed as taxation on an illegal activity (and you can’t tax illegal activities)?”

    This is, technically, money laundering. Now, C-32 will make private copying legal, as long as there is no DRM involved (Not that anyone will listen), so what becomes of a levy that is intended to compensate for illegal private copying when private copying becomes legal? It’s a tax to compensate for an illegal activity (money laundering), which is no longer illegal. There’s a little bit of wanting their cake and being able to eat it here.

    Wish I could see the full article. 🙁

  5. Pfffft, London Drugs is the only one charging it
    When I can get 100 disks in WalMart or Superstore for $10, there’s no way they are charging it. CPCC can go to hell!

  6. Scott Walsh: “A ‘drunk driving levy’ on cars”

    We already have that, the Victim Surcharge – 20% added to all traffic fines except for parking, regardless of whether there could possibly be a victim or not. It’s ludicrous! And of course you pay for that with after-tax money so it’s the usual double taxation deal.

    On a more related note, remove the levy! It didn’t make sense when it was introduced and it sure as hell doesn’t now. It’s been proven that piracy exists as a result of market failure. Let Big Media sort out their own problems.