Post Tagged with: "IPod"

Copyright Board Gives Go Ahead to iPod Levy

The Copyright Board of Canada has released its decision on a series of motions contesting the latest attempt by the Canadian Private Copyright Collective to apply the private copying levy to iPods and removable memory storage cards.  The proposed levy was challenged by the Canadian Storage Media Alliance and the Retail Council of Canada, who argued that the Federal Court had already struck down a previous levy on iPods (or more accurately digital audio recorders) as outside the Copyright Act.  The CSMA and RCC argued that the Board had no jurisdiction to consider or approve the levy or alternatively that the CPCC should be prevented from proposing it.

The Board conducted hearings on the motions last month and has responded quickly with an emphatic rejection of the CSMA and RCC.  Siding consistently with the CPCC, the Board has left little doubt that it believes that the earlier decision has not foreclosed the possibility of a levy on devices such as the iPod.  In fact, the Board provides the clearest statement yet that it believes that the levy could be applied to any device, including cellphones and computers.  At paragraph 70, the decision states:

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July 19, 2007 43 comments News

Steve Jobs on DRM

A true must-read.

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February 6, 2007 1 comment Must Reads

The Legal Limits of Government Tinkering With Technology

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) uses the recent French Parliament law involving interoperability and Apple's DRM as the basis for a discussion of governments that tinker with technology through regulation.  The law should be understood as a logical reaction to mounting consumer frustration with technological limitations on their purchases and a desire for balance in copyright. 

Although the French law may appear to be unique, many governments regularly tinker with technology through regulation.  For example, the Liberal government last year introduced "lawful access" legislation that would have required Internet service providers to dramatically overhaul their networks by inserting new surveillance technologies.  Similarly, the U.S. established "broadcast flag" requirements that would have mandated the inclusion of copy-controls within a wide range of electronic devices (a court struck the requirements down as unconstitutional).

Moreover, experience demonstrates that the private sector may not respond to consumer demands to offer compatible products.  The satellite radio market provides a recent example, with the two major providers – XM and Sirius – steadfastly refusing to offer a device that supports both services despite the fact that they have jointly developed just such a product.

With government intervention looming as a possibility and the private market unlikely to resolve compatibility concerns, what principles should regulators adopt to provide all stakeholders with greater certainty about the appropriate circumstances for lawmakers to tinker with technology?

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April 18, 2006 3 comments Columns

Battle Lines

I'm just returning from participating in the OECD's Future of the Digital Economy conference in Rome. The conference attracted about 350 attendees with all expected companies, lobby groups, NGOs, and governments in attendance.  I may write more about the conference next week, but it is worth highlighting my major take-away, […]

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February 1, 2006 2 comments News

Stand Up

The CD version of Stand Up, the latest release from the Dave Matthews Band, contains copy control technology that is ostensibly designed to limit or prevent copying. The technology doesn't do a particularly good job at stopping copying, however, though it is very good at annoying consumers. Artists don't appear […]

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August 19, 2005 5 comments News