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I found out about the new Canadian levy on MP3 players today, which is a big fat drag. As Shannon explains:

Last week, the Copyright Board of Canada imposed a new copyright levy on MP3 players. This is in addition to surcharges that Canadians also pay on recordable media such as CD-Rs, cassettes, and Minidiscs (CBC has a nice summary of the existing and proposed increases). On the bright side, the Copyright Board of Canada decided against increasing the levies on these media, and also decided against imposing new surcharges on DVDs, memory cards and other removable storage media. And the fees on MP3 players were much lower than they might have been.

The original plan would have added $21/gigabyte of storage to the cost of audio players with permanent memory. That would have added $840 CDN to the cost of a 40G iPod. Instead, they went with a straight $25 CDN fee on players with 10G or more of storage, which is nearly small enough to shrug off.

On the subject of that I just got a 128 meg Creative Muvo the other day for $99 Canadian which I guess was unaffected by said annoying levy.

Posted on - December 16, 2003 [at] 12:12 am by Brad
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1 Comments on this post

Rob Fairchild on Canadian MP3 Player Levy
December 16, 2003 at 1:09 pm

I bought a 10 GB iPod just a week ago; if I’d waited a week longer, it would have been subjected to a $15 levy. That kind of money isn’t ridiculous, I suppose, but it’s obnoxious that the piracy is just assumed and we’re basically paying a subsidy to an industry that already charges too much for CDs and pays too little to musicians. All of the 1560 songs on my iPod are legal — I bought it because I don’t like carting CDs around and changing them, and because my life was found to be tragically wanting for bling.

On the bright side, the levy isn’t nearly as much as the industry groups wanted. They were hoping for anywhere between $10 and $20 per gigabyte.

Of special interest is the case that will be coming down from the Supreme Court next year regarding ISP liability for the losses of downloaded music. The Society of Compsers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) is arguing that royalties for downloaded content should be charged against ISPs as well. The case is Canadian Association of Internet Providers, et al. v. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, et al. Look out for that one.

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