Friday, September 18, 2009

iPod Tax Showing Its Ugly Head Again

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In the latest consultation on upcoming copyright legislation representatives from the recording industry and the Canadian Private Copying Collective told the government panel that a levy on iPods and other portable media players is needed. This comes despite the levy that they advocate was enacted in 2003 and struck down by Canadian courts in 2005. The Recording industry claims that because of portable media players people are not burning as many CD's and the pool of funds created by the current levy of 29 cents per CD-R will dry up is the levy isn't put back on to portable media players.

The Canadian Private Copying Collective has made applications to the Copyright Board to raise the CD levy as high as 54 cents per CD-R, enact levies on flash memory products and hard drives. Those applications were rejected by the Copyright Board. Since the inception of the CPCC in 1999 about 180 million from the CD levies have been collected but only 130 million dollars have been distributed to musicians, songwriters and other rights holders.

Why does an agency that is currently holding 50 million dollars in their own pocket should collect levies on portable media players? How much of the levy on portable media players will just sit in the bank account of the CPCC? Most people with iPod are buying their music on iTunes, this kind of double dipping on the part of the Big Music cannot be allowed to proceed.

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