Post Tagged with: "c-32"

Digital Locks Emerge As Election Issue in Battleground Riding

Digital locks emerged as one of the first issues discussed last night in one of Canada’s most hotly contested ridings. An all-candidates debate in Kitchener -Waterloo, home of RIM and one of the closest ridings in the 2008 election, moved quickly to a discussion of digital locks and the “PlayBook […]

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April 20, 2011 57 comments News

Liberals on C-32’s Digital Lock Rules

Liberal Marc Garneau, who served on the C-32 committee and as the party’s Industry critic, issued a tweet last night that provided the clearest statement yet on the Liberal support for reform to the digital lock rules. Garneau stated: “Liberals believe Copyright Bill C-32 must be amended to allow digital […]

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April 20, 2011 2 comments News

Why the Conservatives Copyright Plans Create a Hidden Cost for RIM’s PlayBook

Appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on April 19, 2011 as ‘Playbook’ Tax Means Apple Wins Research in Motion, Canada’s technology giant, releases its much-anticipated PlayBook this week. The PlayBook, a tablet computer competitor to the Apple iPad, is enormously important not only to the company, but given RIM’s role as […]

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April 19, 2011 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

The PlayBook Tax: Why the Conservative’s Copyright Plans Create a Hidden Cost for RIM’s PlayBook

Research in Motion, Canada’s technology giant, releases its much-anticipated PlayBook this week. The PlayBook, a tablet competitor to the Apple iPad, is enormously important to the company and some commentators have cited its importance to the country as well.  This weekend, the Globe noted “there is a lot on the line for Canada, too, of course – not because it needs the PlayBook but because the country’s technology sector has come to rest heavily on RIM’s success.”

Given its importance, one would think that Canada’s political parties would ensure that their policies do not create unnecessary roadblocks or barriers to its success. Yet the Conservative plan for copyright reform (as found in Bill C-32) establishes a significant barrier that could force many consumers to pay hundreds in additional costs in order to switch their content from existing devices to the PlayBook.

The PlayBook may be competitively priced with the iPad, but the hidden cost of transferring content to the new device – effectively a PlayBook tax – may mean that many Canadian consumers take a pass.

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April 18, 2011 51 comments News

iPod Tax Fight Conceals Another Consumer Copyright Fee Hike

The Conservatives have launched another campaign over the iPod Tax today complete with website, video and Twitter account. I posted a lengthy account  of the claims last December (short version – the Liberals on record now as opposing, the earlier record is open to debate), but the issue keeps returning.  Given the attention to the issue, it is worth noting that Bill C-32, the Conservatives own copyright bill, would likely have led to a doubling of the fees that Canadians pay on blank CDs. Alternatively, it would have led to a dramatic reduction in revenues for Canadian artists. The reason stems from the government’s commitment to ratify the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Internet treaties and the legal requirements found in those treaties.

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore has gone on record confirming that Bill C-32 would allow for ratification of the WIPO Internet treaties, telling the Bill C-32 Legislative Committee that “what is in this legislation – the ratification of WIPO, the fair-dealing policy, the digital protection measures – is a huge victory for all Canadians.”

Yet what Moore did not say is that ratification of the WIPO Internet treaties requires Canada to provide “national treatment” to all artists (in other words, treat Canadian and foreign performers equally). Since the current private copying levy system does not provide national treatment, this would likely lead to a substantial increase in payments from Canadian consumers to foreign performers and makers and minimal increase in payments from foreign consumers to Canadian makers and performers.

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April 12, 2011 11 comments News