The prospect of new fees or taxes on Internet services is not the only digital tax proposal aimed at technology use (previous digital tax policy posts on digital sales tax, Netflix tax, ISP tax). For the past year, the music industry has engaged in a campaign to expand the existing tax on blank CDs to all digital devices, including smart phones. The groups argue that while the government is sorting out the details of its new digital device tax, it should provide a $40 million annual handout to the industry to compensate for consumer copying. It has proposed a four year commitment at a public cost of $160 million.
Post Tagged with: "private copying"
Music Canada was one of several witnesses that appeared before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology this week as part of the copyright review. The group continued its campaign on the so-called value gap, largely ignoring huge increases in streaming revenues with claims about legislative reforms that bear little resemblance to the Canadian experience. While those arguments will be old news to the committee members, it was the discussion of piracy and government handouts that merit attention.
Last fall, months before the start of the Canadian copyright review, the Canadian Private Copying Collective, the collective that administers the tax on blank CDs that has long advocated for extending the payments to iPods and other electronic devices, met with senior officials at Canadian Heritage including Deputy Minister Graham Flack and Melanie Joly’s chief of staff Leslie Church (over two days the collective also met with politicians such as Dan Ruimy, Peter Van Loan, and Pierre Nantel). According to documents released under the Access to Information Act, the collective arrived with a startling demand, asking the federal government to pay $160 million over the next four years to compensate for music copying.
As the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology continues its copyright review, the Canadian Heritage committee has launched its study on remuneration models for artists and creative industries. Yesterday, Music Canada’s Graham Henderson appeared before the committee to make his case for copyright reform (the organization will presumably make the same case in the coming weeks at the Industry committee). The industry is garnering record-setting Internet revenues, but it reverted to claims of a “value gap” that doesn’t fit within the Canadian legislative experience and demands for a copyright term extension that would cost Canadians millions of dollars and that was rejected by the government in the TPP.
Most notably, after privately lobbying for a new tax on all smartphones and other devices, the group is shifting toward an even bigger cash haul. Rather than apply a tax on all smartphones, the industry is spinning for a tax on everyone by simply calling for a $40 million handout:
Canadian Music Industry Seeks New Fees, Content Blocking, and Right to Renegotiate Deals Despite Generating Record Digital Revenues
The global music industry released its annual report this week with data that shows an industry successfully transitioning to digital services. The Canadian market is particularly strong as revenue growth far exceeds global averages. Despite the success, behind the scenes the industry is calling on the government to implement radical copyright reforms that include creating new levies to cover smartphones, requiring Internet providers to block services and report activity back to the industry, and even the power to require renegotiation of commercial deals it no longer thinks are fair.
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