Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Guess who's looking to pick your pocket - again

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Like it's a real surprise, some in Canada's music industry are looking to fleece Canada's Internet subscribers. In an open letter to the Canadian Government the Songwriters' Association of Canada is calling for a $5.00 per month levy on Internet subscriptions. This isn't the first time that there's been a proposal for a blanket levy on Internet subscriptions. A few years ago the Society of Composers, Authors, Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) went before Supreme Court of Canada to force Internet subscribers to pay musicians and songwriters whether a person downloads music or even if they don't.

Canadians are already hand over money to the recording industry when they burn music CD's. A levy of 21 cents per blank CD is charged in Canada. Of course that's fine and well the more people burn CD's but fewer and fewer are given the popularity of portable MP3 players.

Forcing people to pay a blanket levy for legal use of peer to peer networks isn't the way to go. Most P2P network clients have a lot of adware and spyware bundled with them, and there is so many viruses that circulate on P2P networks. Just allowing people to use P2P networks legally exposes people to online security threats.

Such a levy as is being proposed would act as a disincentive to use legal services like iTunes and, Paying a levy on the Internet subscription and paying a legitimate service would force users of these services to pay for music twice.

The levy that is being proposed amounts to $5.00 per month per Internet subscription makes no distinction between dial up which only allows very limited downloading and broadband which allows virtually unlimited downloading.

This proposed levy is nothing but mafia like behavior, this is not a business model.

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