Canada Wants To Tax Your iPod, Give Your Money To The Music Industry

Jul 20th, 2007 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Citizen Media, Digital Music, Internet TV, iPhone, iPods & Portable Media Players, Podcasting Law, Video Podcasts, Vlogs

From the department of bad ideas that won’t die comes word that Canada may be levying a fee on iPods & other portable media players, along with digital media, to meet demands of an organization that represents the interests of the music and movie industries.

Legal blogger Dr. Micheal Geist has an excellent rundown on the issue:

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.

The levy would effectively make it more expensive for Canadians to use podcasts with portable media devices.

The massive explosion of podcasting, the tremendous popularity of Apple’s iTunes Store and the huge variety of legal free music downloads that are available, demonstrate that there’s a wealth of content that can be legally loaded to portable media players. In addition, there’s a significant trend towards ad-supported Internet media.

Canada needs to bury this idea permanently. Any so-called “iPod-tax” is a subsidy for the status quo, a burden on consumers and a barrier to adoption and innovation for portable media in Canada.

One Response to “Canada Wants To Tax Your iPod, Give Your Money To The Music Industry”

  1. Kurt says:

    Ah, yes. The old Celine Dion/Brian Adams tax strikes again

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