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False Positives Adventures in Technology, SciFi and Culture from Toronto

Friday, December 17, 2004

Ottawa's MP3 Levy fee squished

Via Globe and Mail (Ottawa's MP3 fee quashed), Canada's Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that special copyright levies applied to digital music players are not legal.

Canada's Copyright Act gives the the Copyright Board of Canada the authority to apply levies on blank media such as compact discs and audio cassettes, but not the new technology of MP3 players, as represented by the iPod.

This year, MP3 sales are expected to generate $5-million of the $25- to $30-million in levies collected for musicians. The levies range from as little as $2 to $25 per device.

The decision may still be appealed.

Paul Audley, a consultant to the Canadian Private Copying Collective declared : “The big impact of this is, if you got an iPod for Christmas, on Dec. 13 you were okay copying music on to it; on Dec. 15, you weren't.”

But, but but….. as I noted on November 25 when some of Canada's best-known musicians appeared on Parliament Hill :

"Downloading, file-swapping, peer-to-peer networks -- these are all euphemisms for piracy, pure and simple. It is devastating to the Canadian music industry.''

So, piracy: was I or wasn’t I. And where do I get my Levy back?

Category: CopyRight


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