Post Tagged with: "private copying levy"

IPod Tax Battle Hides Multi-Million Dollar Increase in Copyright Levy

Appeared in the Toronto Star on April 17, 2011 as There’s No Liberal iPod Tax, But Here’s the Tory One The current election campaign has raised many tax related issues, yet the strangest must surely be the battle over the so-called iPod tax. Last week, the Conservatives launched a major […]

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April 17, 2011 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

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

The CCA’s $126 Million Wheel of Fortune: Guessing at Bill C-32’s Costs

The financial impact of Bill C-32 has been one of the key issues throughout the recent rounds of the copyright reform hearings. Numbers have been bandied about, but when challenged by MPs such as Dean Del Mastro and Mike Lake, the evidence for claimed losses has been lacking. The Canadian Conference of the Arts recently attempted to address the issue by floating a figure of $126 million that is says is “at serious risk of disappearing” for artists and rights holders as a result of Bill C-32. While it is good to see the CCA effort to quantify a number, the $126 million does not stand up to even mild scrutiny.

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March 3, 2011 32 comments News

CRIA Wrote To PCH Committee To Support iPod Levy Weeks Before Telling Gov’t Officials It Opposed It

Yesterday I blogged about how the Canadian Recording Industry Association has broken with creator groups and the Canadian Independent Music Association on the issue of an iPod levy.  While the creator groups continue to express their support for the levy, CRIA’s Graham Henderson told government officials on September 27, 2010 […]

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March 2, 2011 8 comments News

Sorting Through The Spin: The Liberals and the iTax

The issue of Liberal support for an “iTax” hit a fever pitch this week with competing releases – the Liberals stating they are against it and the Conservatives releasing a radio ad that says the Liberals support such reforms.  That led some to ask for evidence to sort out the competing claims.  This post is an attempt to do that.

First, it is clear that the radio ad is factually wrong.  The Liberals now unequivocally state that they oppose an iPod levy.  The radio ad says of the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc “now they all back an iPod tax.”  There isn’t much room for interpretation here – the Liberals have stated their current policy and the Conservative ad says the opposite.

Second, even if the ad is wrong, some claim that the Liberals have flip-flopped on the issue.  For example, Stephen Taylor makes that case, pointing to their support for a motion on the private copying levy from earlier this year.  He adds that the press release says one thing, the vote another.

This position requires a more careful examination of the motion and the vote itself.  This saga begins with a motion in March at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage stating:

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December 18, 2010 52 comments News