Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh Canada, Record TV, Pay A New Tax

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As Canadians we are heavily taxed copyright infringing hosers. We pay a levy on every blank CD we buy to save the recording industry from all that illegal music that Canadians download. There have been proposals to extend the levy to memory cards, USB flash drives and hard drives just because they can be used to store music. There has been a proposal to put a special tax on Internet access just to compensate the music and movie industries from illegal downloading.

The latest proposal to pull money from Canadian consumers comes from a rights holder group that collects royalties for publishers and authors from public libraries. Canadian agency Access Copyright is putting forth a yearly fee to be collected from owners of any device that can record TV shows. Owners of personal video recorders (PVR's) would pay the fee through cable or satellite bill. Anybody with a VHS VCR would have to pay up too.

The proposal would not just affect TV time shifting but format shifting too. Somehow people should be forced to pay for digitizing TV shows, movies, and music to burn to CD or DVD or put on a portable media players such as iPods or Zunes. This of course goes to show how ridiculously unworkable this tax proposal is.

This makes me wonder why an agency that collects for the publishing industry is trying to tax video recording devices? Could it be that Access Copyright is just saying what the Canadian Association of Broadcasters is paying them to say? I think that the same networks that are looking for corporate welfare in the form of carriage fee to be charged to cable companies and handed down to cable subscribers have something to do with this.

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