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No Levy on iPods in Canada 236

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the business-as-usual dept.
colinemckay writes "The fight over a levy on iPods and other digital music devices ended Thursday when the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear any further arguments on the matter. That means there will be no levy applied to digital audio recorders such as Apple's popular iPod and iPod Shuffle as well as other MP3 players like iRiver."
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No Levy on iPods in Canada

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  • Pack of Rats (Score:3, Informative)

    by bigwavejas (678602) * on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:56PM (#13190726) Journal
    It also collects a levy on blank audio such as CDs and mini-discs.

    Who the hell are they giving tariff royalties to from blank media? That's asinine. The CPCC are just like our RIAA, all a pack of crooks. If you want royalties to go to the Artists, than lower the damn price of the music your sell and people might actually buy a CD. Inflating the price of a CD to pay for the CPCC/ RIAA Rats, who claim to "protect" Artists is wrong! I'm curious how much of these collected tariffs actually makes its way back to the Artists.

    • I agree completely. I don't recall the last time I burned an audio cd, it's been too long. Why should I have to pay royalties to crappy CRTC approved bands as a tax on my data only media? I don't see the harm in applying the levy to MP3 players though, I figure if you're paying the levy you must have a license to copy the material from at least those bands as much as you want.
      • Re:Pack of Rats (Score:3, Informative)

        by rikkards (98006)
        Just remember that because of the levy, in Canada you can download anything you want. They can't penalize you twice (once with the levy, twice with a lawsuit).

        However with the new copyright ammendment this may change...
    • Re:Pack of Rats (Score:5, Insightful)

      by a.different.perspect (817184) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:12PM (#13190838) Journal
      Yup, it makes no sense at all. Most obviously, there's a bizarre assumption of guilt in collecting levies on all blank media. Why should the RIAA be paid for me burning my children's photos to a disc? What have I gotten from the RIAA for my money? More interestingly, it means that copyright holders have been reimbursed for any piracy on that media - and that they should have waived their right to seek further damages. And if you've already paid for your piracy, haven't you a license to pirate as much as you want, then? The answer is apparently nope and nope. Which, it is equally apparent, makes no sense. The music industry wants it both ways - being paid for piracy in a way that implicitly legitimizes it while insisting on its illegality. And who can blame them for trying to get as much money as they can? What's astonishing is that they're being allowed to do it.
      • Re:Pack of Rats (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Deliveranc3 (629997)
        Amazingly most Canadians can understand this...

        Now here is how it works...

        few cent levy on blank CD's (More on those specifically designed for Audio.

        This money is partitioned up and used to support Canadian artists (Who apply for this funding from the government sponsorship) and some goes to the artists most downloaded from the internet.

        See simple.... in exchange it's legal for us to Download.

        Except for some reason the Candian record companies are still trying to sue, but with less success than th
      • "Why should the RIAA be paid for me burning my children's photos to a disc? What have I gotten from the RIAA for my money?"

        I'm not sure I understand. What does the RIAA have to do with it? Even here in the US, most of the money from the music CD-R levy goes to artists, and none goes to the RIAA.

        "And if you've already paid for your piracy, haven't you a license to pirate as much as you want, then? The answer is apparently nope and nope."

        Again, I don't understand. The Canadian courts have ruled t

      • by jimicus (737525)
        Well, it seems quite obvious to me that this levy was produced on the assumption that most of the blank CDs sold would be used to pirate audio.

        It therefore makes sense that there's a government department somewhere which has the authority to give you a refund if you've used a CD for something else. Why don't you give them a call and see if they can help you?
    • Some time ago... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Zzyzygy (189883) *
      My memory is really foggy on this, but when I was a teenager back in the late 1970's, I had heard that when you buy blank cassette tapes, you paid a one cent [tax|levy|fine] for each cassette. I asked my father (whom worked peripherally with recording studios) about this. He told me that you are paying "the industry" because they think you are going to pirate music with it.

      I'm thinking that this is the same or similar situation happening now.

      -Scott
      • ...the more they change.

        Back when this battle was fought over VCRs and casette tapes, the eventual conclusion was levys and then the matter was settled.

        I think, however, that this time around, the companies and corporations have enough influence, a greater hold on the justice system, that consumers won't get the same deal they did before. The slow warping over time of copyright laws shows this trend quite clearly, methinks.

        The argument, of course, is that this digital stuff is somehow different; in
    • For god sake don't go and mod such an ignorant statement as informative, the guy blatantly assume stuff and judges others on it. Lemme set thing straight a bit:

      -All the money they get trough the Levy is splitted proportionnally amongst all artist who received royalties during the year.

      -The idea comes from the fact that most popular artist get pirated more often and indeed that's true, while the obscure ones don't get pirated much.

      -The system isn't perfect but it's the artists who receives the money comming
    • Re:Pack of Rats (Score:5, Informative)

      by shark72 (702619) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @08:38PM (#13191331)

      "The CPCC are just like our RIAA, all a pack of crooks."

      Who modded this "informative"? Sheesh.

      The CPCC is most definitely not the equivalent of the RIAA. The CPCC primarily represents artists, while the RIAA is a trade group representing record companies. Each group has different goals.

      The CPCC is a non-profit agency that was set up to distribute the money collected from the tarrif. They distribute the money to songwriters, music publishers, recording artists, and record companies. Specifically, 66% goes to songwriters/composers/publishers, 18.9% goes to performers, and 15.1% goes to record companies. This breakdown is similar to the levy collected in the US on music CD-Rs -- it's primarily for the benefit of artists, with record companies getting the small slice of the pie.

      Interestingly, presently only Canadian artists are eligible to collect this money. So, while the tariff is seen by many Canadian Slashdotters as a moral and legal free ride to pirate music, it's only Bryan Adams, Anne Murray and their ilk that are getting compensated. So, you Canadians... start pirating more Rush! Leave our poor US artists alone!

      • by gartogg (317481)
        The point is that the CRIA (the ACTUAL Canadian RIAA) has not managed to sucessfully even get the download of music to stop; Canadians can download all they want, and possibly even host music, according to one federal Canadian judge.

        The CPCC is a completely seperate company; it's like saying that SCO is microsoft, just because we don't like them... well, bad example, but you know what I mean. It's like saying that stealing and piracy are the same thing. OK, another bad example on slashdot. OK, like the diff
    • The tax is not about piracy; it is about good taste. If you can prove you have not used your blank media to record Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams or Geddy Lee, you can recoup the extra charges.
    • Friend of mine actually phoned his mp to find this out. He was told $71 million had been collected and about half had been paid out in the first 3 years or so. I bet it only goes to Canuck artists though.

      Still, because of this tarrif, which is peanuts, downloading songs is still basically legal in Canada until they change the copyright laws. (which they will try to do when parliment reconvenes in the fall)

    • Re:Pack of Rats (Score:3, Informative)

      "Who the hell are they giving tariff royalties to from blank media? That's asinine. The CPCC are just like our RIAA, all a pack of crooks. If you want royalties to go to the Artists, than lower the damn price of the music your sell and people might actually buy a CD. Inflating the price of a CD to pay for the CPCC/ RIAA Rats, who claim to "protect" Artists is wrong! I'm curious how much of these collected tariffs actually makes its way back to the Artists."

      The tariffs go "to organizations representing rec

    • "The CPCC are just like our RIAA, all a pack of crooks."

      Well apparently, the CPCC are not the equivalent of RIAA, but you have a point. The entertainment industry has a history of breaking the law. Forming cartels, bribing people, and so on. In fact, there's another scandal on the horizon. They've been paying off people working at radio stations to get their music played more [foxnews.com], and these radio stations are paying RIAA good money to play the music in the first place!

  • How about CD media? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mingot (665080) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:56PM (#13190727)
    Is there still a levy on that? Seems like they could use this to try and get rid of that . . .
    • How about DAT? minidisc? Those are digital recorders too, are there levies on those?

      And of course, there's the good ole cassette tape recorder. Admittedly, they're not digital recorders, so anything you copy out of a copy will get degraded. But still, many MANY people copied music on cassette, and the *AAs have stopped making a fuss over that decades ago. Digital copying is arguably no different, and anyway, the *AAs' record sales are here to show they're not harmed by copying one bit (pun intended).
      • by Bun (34387) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:16PM (#13190861)
        How about DAT? minidisc? Those are digital recorders too, are there levies on those?

        No to DAT, yes to minidisc. [cb-cda.gc.ca]
      • by Curtman (556920) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:19PM (#13190888)
        "How about DAT? minidisc? Those are digital recorders too, are there levies on those?""

        Here [justice.gc.ca] is the law that enforces the levy. It just says "blank audio recording medium". I don't see how a CD is a blank audio recording medium any more than a hard drive is, but let's not tell them that. Before we know it we're paying the levy on RAM too. ;)
        • by Nogami_Saeko (466595) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:24PM (#13190934)
          BTW: If you import your media into Canada from another country (the U.S. springs to mind), you pay no levy on media.

          And Canada Customs will NOT collect the levy at the border (they've said that it's "someone else's problem to collect" - quote from a customs officer when I asked him).

          N.
          • But if you went to the US, you might have a problem with the strong US vs Canadian dollar. And the price of the trip (well, unless you just pick them up when you happen to be out of the country) would probably outweight the taxes. Now, you may be able to work it out by buying online, not sure if importing would be the same as bringing back for personal use. That, and losing a little money in the deal is worth it to some people just on the princible of the whole thing.
            • But if you went to the US, you might have a problem with the strong US vs Canadian dollar. And the price of the trip (well, unless you just pick them up when you happen to be out of the country) would probably outweight the taxes.

              It's not that bad any more. An $0.82 dollar means basically the savings of not paying sales tax are gone. It was a terrible deal at $0.70, but it's much easier to do by mail than crossing the border.

              [U.S.] MAXELL 48X CD-R 100-SPINDLE: $29.99 USD [outpost.com] = $36.92 CDN [yahoo.com]
              [CDN ] Maxell
              • Hmmm... That's all nice except for the fact the last 100 CD-R spindle I bought was $23.95 CDN, not $36.92 or $59.99. I just checked, and it looks like it has gone up a bit, but not that much:

                Ridata CD-R Media 100 Disc $26.95 [www.cbit.ca] CDN

                So, how much are Ridatas in the US?
                Same thing: $19.99US [meritline.com] = $24.38

                I doubt you could pay for the shipping with that small of a difference.
  • But as far as I know DVD-R and CD-R blank media labeled for "music" use have a piracy tax applied to them.

    Many consumers are tricked by this because they don't know much and think blank media labeled for "data" will not support mp3s, etc. which is not true.
    • I buy the media labeled 'music' on purpose actually. Then I fire up a bittorrent client, or limewire pro, and get whatever music I want. You know why? 'Cuz Fuck em, I'm not paying twice! If you treat people like criminals, then that's what you get.
      • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:25PM (#13190942)
        I buy the media labeled 'music' on purpose actually. Then I fire up a bittorrent client, or limewire pro, and get whatever music I want. You know why? 'Cuz Fuck em, I'm not paying twice! If you treat people like criminals, then that's what you get.

        Actually I don't feel like you act like a criminal. In my opinion, buying "data" CDs and burning music from P2P on them would be criminal, but you've chosen to pay the CD tax, so you should bloody well be entitled to download 700M worth of music to put on each CD.
      • I buy the media labeled 'music' on purpose actually. Then I fire up a bittorrent client, or limewire pro, and get whatever music I want. You know why? 'Cuz Fuck em, I'm not paying twice! If you treat people like criminals, then that's what you get.

        I am probably one of the biggest opponents of Internet music piracy on Slashdot, but even I think this is somewhat alright. I still think you shouldn't share the music further to others or even keep it on the hard drive, though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:58PM (#13190747)
    "The money is sitting in an account and will be returned to the importers and manufacturers of the products, said Basskin."

    I think it should be going to the consumers not the corporations and distributors. I spent way too much on my 3Gen iPod when it first came out. I wouldn't mind an extra $25 in my pocket.
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:58PM (#13190748) Homepage Journal
    in fact, of the legal products and services generated in Canada, music is in the top ten, along with telecom and other useful things.

    So if they don't need this tax, why do we, music importers in the US, need one?
  • Gee. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:00PM (#13190757)
    "Obviously we're disappointed. We felt it was self-evident that those products are sold for the purpose of copying music," said David Basskin, of the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC), the non-profit agency which collects tariffs on behalf of musicians and record companies.

    Yes, yes, everyone who owns an mp3 PLAYER, must have bought them to STEAL MUSIC. As opposed to, oh I dunno, LISTENING TO MUSIC.

    Next thing we know everyone who owns a kitchen knife must have bought them to KILL PEOPLE.
    • Re:Gee. (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, yes, everyone who owns an mp3 PLAYER, must have bought them to STEAL MUSIC.

      Can someone please STEAL the music of Celine Dion and Brian Adams already? Please?! I'm tired of hearing them in stores and around town.
  • Tapes??? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mecanicaz (641010)
    Why these people didn't suggest a levy on tapes while they were widely used, this is all greed...
    • As there is on blank CDs, DVDs, and minidiscs.
  • Not much (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JonN (895435) * on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:01PM (#13190770) Homepage
    The group said Thursday that approximately $4 million was collected between December 2003 and December 2004.

    How is $4million, split between the many record companies and artists, a substantial amount? I don't agree with the levy, however, was it even doing much in support of the artists? Yes each little bit helps, but if the CPCC was serious about collecting lost profits on behalf of the artists and companies, they would at least have a bit more bite imo

    • Re:Not much (Score:3, Informative)

      by yamla (136560)
      Last time I checked, 100% of the monies collected from the very beginning were still with the record companies. Nobody had been able to find a single example of an artist who had received even $1 from the levies. This may have changed in the last year, however.
      • " Last time I checked, 100% of the monies collected from the very beginning were still with the record companies."

        Really? Where did you hear that? That's mighty strange, as the CPCC gives money to the record companies, not the other way around. The record companies get about 16% of the money collected by the CPCC, with the rest going to artists.

        Would love to see a citation showing that CPCC gave 100% of the money to the record companies -- that would be quite a scandal.

      • Re:Not much (Score:4, Informative)

        by quantaman (517394) on Friday July 29, 2005 @12:15AM (#13192300)
        Last time I checked, 100% of the monies collected from the very beginning were still with the record companies. Nobody had been able to find a single example of an artist who had received even $1 from the levies. This may have changed in the last year, however.

        Apparently it has. My friend used to play in a band who put out a CD. Some time ago he did received a check in the mail from that very levy, it was only for $1.29 but receive it he did.
    • Re:Not much (Score:5, Informative)

      by SheldonYoung (25077) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:10PM (#13190825)
      How is $4million, split between the many record companies and artists, a substantial amount?

      The $4 million was only the amount collected on non-removable memory, such as iPods.
  • Gah! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FFFish (7567) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:03PM (#13190784) Homepage
    So why in gods' names do we pay a levy on blank CDs, when blank CDs are MUCH more likely to be used for non-music purposes?

    I hate politicians and special interest groups.
    • So why in gods' names do we pay a levy on blank CDs, when blank CDs are MUCH more likely to be used for non-music purposes?

      That's right, they can be used to store movies too :-)

      I hate politicians and special interest groups.

      There is no difference these days. One group pushes laws in favor of the other, who in turn pays them to do so. Who loses: you, the voter/taxpayer. In case you wondered, it's called corporativism [wikipedia.org].
    • I hate politicians and special interest groups.

      Good thing you don't live in the USA then. We combined the two groups into one. It's called Congress.
    • when blank CDs are MUCH more likely to be used for non-music purposes?

      What's the basis for this claim?

      The levy is supposed to be set so that the appropriate amount of royalties goes to the copyright holders. If you happen to be one of those who uses CDs for non-music purposes you lose, but just think how much you're helping someone who uses CDs only for music recording. Unless there aren't many such people, as you are claiming. Proof?
  • by AutopsyReport (856852) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:04PM (#13190792)
    Since the link is down, here's another article. [www.cbc.ca]
  • Here is the Copyright Board's Private Copying 2003-2004 Decision [cb-cda.gc.ca]. Interesting about it, is a few of the generalizations they make:

    "Digital Audio Tape (DAT) and micro-cassettes are not typically used by individuals for copying music for private use and, therefore, are not subject to a levy."

    "Yes. Both "ordinary" CD-Rs and CD-RWs and their "Audio" counterparts can be used to copy music, and both are commonly used for this purpose. In fact, in volume terms, most CDs used to copy music are "ordinary" CD-Rs

  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:07PM (#13190811) Journal
    And why would I want him on my iPod anyway?
    • He played the loveable dad in American Pie. Thanks to the Canadian government you can't get him on your iPod any more, even if you ask for him!
      • He played the loveable dad in
        American Pie. Thanks to the Canadian government you can't get him on your iPod any more, even if you ask for him!

        Which is especially perverse, given that he's Canadian [imdb.com]; is this how the Canadian government supports successful Canadians?

  • Maybe this is the final word on the matter, but I'm pretty sure these levies were ended months ago. Any mp3 player fanatic in Canada (such as I) probably noticed the significant reduction in prices.

    You can now roughly predict the price of an Ipod in Canada by just taking it's US dollar price and doing the exchange rate. It used to be that it was much more expensive here.
  • ...kind of makes you wonder if perhaps you got it wrong the first time when you put the levy on blank media, huh Parliment? Death to the CPCC [www.cpcc.ca] and their outrageous greed [musicbymailcanada.com].
  • No Levy on iPods in Canada

    I read that as Levis, ie pants.

    I know Paris Hilton has some funky cases for her cell phone and such, but I didn't think an iPod had to have pants on too.

    How about a thong for it [tmcnet.com]?

  • Free Music (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SpottedKuh (855161) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @07:30PM (#13190969)
    Let's consider for a moment what would have happened if this levy passed. Quite simply: Free music for everyone!

    Does this sound counterintuitive, or just nonsensical? Hear me out.

    As a Canadian university student, I feel I have a pretty good idea of how the music-swapping scene looks in Canada. There's one group of people who happily share as much music online as they want; then, there's a second group of people who still buy CDs (either because they like the pretty package, or because they actually want to pay for the things they receive).

    However, everyone I know in that second group (including myself, among many people) stopped purchasing audio CDs after the Canadian levy was placed on blank CD media -- after all, even though it was of grey legality, the prevailing thought was, "Hey, I'm already paying the music industry each time I purchase a blank CD, to compensate them for people downloading songs and putting them on blank CDs. By that token, it is my right, since I have paid this compensation, to go and download all the songs I want and put them on this CD."

    This very line of thinking played a role in trials held against music sharers in Canada in early 2004 (they were all exonerated).

    Since I no longer burn songs to audio CDs, but rather put them on iPods, I (and everyone I know in that "second group") have once again started purchasing music CDs in stores. However, were a levy to be placed on iPods, well...that exact same argument used for blank CDs could be applied to iPods. And you know that wouldn't make the industry very happy. I mean...40 GB iPod vs. an audio CD...heh.

    Of course, now some audio CDs in stores include copy protection. I have yet to purchase one, but I assume this would make it impossible (or difficult) to get the songs onto my iPod from the CD. So, you can probably tell exactly what will happen with that "second group" as soon as this protection becomes more prevalent. The industry is so skilled at alienating its remaining customers (with what is an illegal practice in the first place, since under Canadian copyright law, to the best of my knowledge, you must be allowed to make a backup copy of any digital media you purchase).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 28, 2005 @08:09PM (#13191184)
    As a musician, and member of a musical band, I would say that I encourage "free music". Our CDs aren't sold that much, as we did not sign any contract with big label corporations such as Sony Music. We do not make our profits from the CDs we sell directly but more on the shows and materials we sell there such as t-shirts. We even intentionally share our music over the internet! As a result, we get to make more shows and the t-shirts sells more. Long live the MP3! Long live Free music! :)
  • I applaud this ruling. The levy was an asinine idea that was not helping new technology spread as it should. Just imagine if the music industry wanted to put a levy on wires, or speakers, or stereo systems. It just wouldn't make sense, and this levy is no different.

    Good work Canadian supreme court.

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