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Canadian blank CD media levy increased

By gauntlet in News
Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 02:59:45 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)

Recently, the Copyright Board of Canada, opposed by the Canadian Storage Media Alliance, increased the tariff on CD-R and CD-RW blank media to $0.21/disk up from $0.052 (CDN). The original tariff was set in December of 1999, and upheld (application for judicial review was dismissed) by the Federal Court of Appeal on June 14, 2000. The news release says:

The increases in the levies reflect, among other things, the significant changes in private copying behaviour since last year, especially the increased usage of digital media, such as CD-Rs, for copying pre-recorded music.

In reading the reasons [pdf] it is given that they considered the fact that not all use of the media is for music. The Board notes these four major changes since the original levy was imposed:

  • Digital Copying is easier, faster, more accessible.
  • CD-R and CD-RW blank media sales are skyrocketing.
  • The price of media, even after the imposed tariff, has dropped dramatically.
  • MP3 and the Internet are throwing a wrench into things.

The Board seemed appropriately modest in their judgment, noting:

[The Board] accordingly accepts to act as if it were "faced with assessing damages for copyright infringement: 'the tribunal must do the best it can, although it may be that the amount awarded will really be a matter of guesswork'."

Although the Board noted the importance of MP3 in the matter, they opted to ignore it, saying:

It would be premature to venture onto [copying from the Internet] at this time. However, one can expect that a large share of the next hearings will address this matter.

The Board has evidently made a serious effort at implementing the levy in a fair and legal manner, and has succeeded in doing so. However, two question remain: Is it the government's responsibility to financially reimburse persons or companies for lost profits based on the government's inability to enforce a law? And is a levy, which will be passed on to innocent consumers, the right way to do it?


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Should producers be compensated for copyright violations through media levies?
o Yes 1%
o No, not through media levies. 59%
o No, they shouldn't be compensated. 39%

Votes: 69
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Copyright Board of Canada
o Canadian Storage Media Alliance
o news release
o reasons [pdf]
o Also by gauntlet

Display: Sort:
Canadian blank CD media levy increased | 25 comments (22 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
What am I getting for that money? (3.66 / 3) (#1)
by johnzo on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 12:50:03 PM EST

Okay, so does this mean that since I've paid the copy tariff, I've got the right to copy whatever music I want onto the CD-R or CD-RW?

If not, then what am I paying for?


To some degree, yes. (none / 0) (#3)
by gauntlet on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 12:59:56 PM EST

Under the new "regime" (see the "reasons" article for a quick explanation), you can now make copies for personal use, where this was illegal before.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

And what about me? (4.00 / 2) (#5)
by jabber on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 01:04:31 PM EST


I don't use CD-R/RW for copying music at all.. I have a 3MegaPixel digital camera, take lots of pictures and archive them on CDs.. Why should I pay for your music copying practices?


[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

My suggestion (3.55 / 18) (#6)
by trhurler on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 01:04:34 PM EST

Since it is obvious that a great many people are violating Microsoft's license agreements, we should definitely tax computers and give all the money to Microsoft. Of course, not all computers ever run any Microsoft software, but this is no objection.

Since it is obvious that a great many people are using cars to flee the scene of crimes, we should place a tax on cars and give it to victims of armed robberies.

Since it is obvious that a great many people are using guns to shoot people, we should tax guns and give the proceeds to shooting victims and their families.

It is absurd to fine everyone who buys a product on the grounds that a few of them will misuse it; what is being said, basically, is that the government cannot be bothered to enforce the law and prosecute violators, so instead, honest people will pay for the crimes of the rest. One might ask why he even needs a government if that is to be the outcome; after all, honest people paying for the crimes of the rest is the exact situation a government is SUPPOSED to rectify.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Patience my friend (none / 0) (#22)
by wimmi on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 07:19:30 PM EST

We're just at the dawn of a new millenium. And there's bound to be some sort of revolution to bring this injustice to a good ending.
(Just like women's rights to vote less than a century ago.)

Keep protesting, keep copying! We're the Robin Hoods of the 21st century. :-) (Now where's that Lionheart who's supposed to fix everything again?)

[ Parent ]
So I am paying for it, after all? (3.00 / 6) (#8)
by hardburn on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 01:12:40 PM EST

If there is a levey on such media, that means I'm paying for it no matter what. Great! Now they don't have a leg to stand on against Napster!

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

different (4.00 / 1) (#10)
by spacejack on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 02:30:48 PM EST

the people on Napster would have to lend you their cd for you to copy it.

[ Parent ]
Take advantage of it then (4.80 / 10) (#9)
by GreenCrackBaby on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 01:12:59 PM EST

The tradeoff with the levy is that it is legal for any Canadian to borrow a CD from someone else and copy it. (no, I'm not making this up -- go here for details)

You're paying for it, so take advantage of it.

Small technicality (none / 0) (#13)
by reshippie on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 02:59:33 PM EST

One that won't really get in the way, but is interesting nonetheless. You can only make copies for yourself. Which means you can't copy things for your friends.

What I believe you can do, is make 2 copies for yourself. Then you can "give" one of your "extra" copies to a friend.

It's a little tedious, but I think it's totally legal.

Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)
[ Parent ]

Re: Small technicality (none / 0) (#23)
by elemental on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 07:38:23 PM EST

Better yet, loan the CD to your friend and let him make his own copy. Don't forget to make him return the favor.

I love my country but I fear my government.
--> Contact info on my web site --

[ Parent ]
Friends... (none / 0) (#24)
by reshippie on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 08:58:05 AM EST

I was thinking of those friends who are not fortunate enough to have their own CD Burner, but who do have nice friends. Should've made that clear.

Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)
[ Parent ]
This is interesting... is there corroboration? (none / 0) (#14)
by gauntlet on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 03:13:29 PM EST

The linked article is saying that it's not legal for you to make copies of a CD for a friend. You can, however, lend a friend your disk, and let him make his own copy. This seeems to be supported by the documentation, although it's not clear whether this applies iteratively. Or, to put it another way, it's not clear that the disk being lent can be a copy.

Does anyone have any better info on this?

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Quoting from the act: (none / 0) (#16)
by gauntlet on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 03:47:38 PM EST

Bill C-32 under copying for private use Section VIII, Article 80 reads:
(1) Subject to subsection (2), the act of reproducing all or any substantial part of
(a) a musical work embodied in a sound recording,
(b) a performer's performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording, or
(c) a sound recording in which a musical work, or a performer's performance of a musical work, is embodied
onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the musical work, the performer's performance or the sound recording.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the act described in that subsection is done for the purpose of doing any of the following in relation to any of the things referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) to (c):
(a) selling or renting out, or by way of trade exposing or offering for sale or rental;
(b) distributing, whether or not for the purpose of trade;

The important parts here are that you can copy music for yourself, unless you plan to sell, rent, or otherwise distribute.

I think copying a disc for a friend qualifies as distribution. However, lending a disk to a friend, and their copying may still be within the law, as long as the FRIEND doesn't do it for the purpose of distribution.

That would seem to say that you can make as many first generation copies as you like, but no second generation copies.

Can anyone confirm?

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Fare and appropriate? Bullshit (3.00 / 4) (#11)
by Inoshiro on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 02:39:01 PM EST

This is another case where the RIAA has bought and paid for a nice, constant stream of revenue that is not affected by the boycotts of RIAA sponsored bands.

21 cents a disk is quite the price when you consider that some media is 75 cents a disk. You've just made a box of a blank CDs go from 80$ to 100$ in one blow. When they first imposed the levy, most blank CDs went in in price more than 5 cents (an average box went from 1$ a cd to 1.50$ per CD) -- I know this will be an excuse to jump to 3$ per CD for most companies.

The worst part of it is that the people who pay for this blank media, the people who will be paying this fine because they buy from retail outlets (rather than ordering online) tend to be using the CD to bring presentations into the office/school from their home machines, or to make a remix of several songs from several different CDs they own. Or in the case of the music people I know, burning their own music CDs. They, as artists, know what it's like to lose revenue. That's why they don't pirate music.

Still, based entirely on unsubstantiated reports, the Canadian Government is fucking its citizens at the behest of the RIAA. Perhaps it's time to enlighten the Copyright board of Canada that their corporate whoring is not appreciated by sending in a few thousand letters and signatures. I hope other people will join me in setting up a chair and table in a public place and collecting them.

[ イノシロ ]
What are you talking about, Ino? (none / 0) (#15)
by gauntlet on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 03:18:21 PM EST

The Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC), the people collecting the levy, consists of four groups:
  • Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA)
  • Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)
  • Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada (SODRAC)
  • Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada (NRCC)
Where's the link to the RIAA?

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Can you prove... (2.00 / 1) (#17)
by Inoshiro on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 03:49:42 PM EST

Can you prove there are no links whatsoever between the RIAA working "in the interests of the artists" and SOCAN or SODRAC, etc? I'm sure a few people there might have socialized with the larger evil to the south. They see how the RIAA has acted, and they think they can subsidize themselves with additional money from other media through lobying.

They blame copying for a downturn in sales... but if you look at the bigger picture, you notice that music in general goes through many up and down selling cycles over the course of a couple of decades. We're going into one now (which could couple with the supposed recession we're slipping into). It's just an excuse to make more money. A tactic they have learned from the RIAA.

[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
You must be taking this personally. (none / 0) (#20)
by gauntlet on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 06:41:52 PM EST

Can you prove there are no links whatsoever between the RIAA working "in the interests of the artists" and SOCAN or SODRAC, etc?
No, I can't. I'm not even going to bother trying, either, because you're asking me to prove a negative. You can't prove a negative, Ino. I'm sure the RIAA is happy to see that USA's nearest neighbor shares it's values, but what you're spouting is unfounded conspiracy theory.

They blame copying for a downturn in sales...
Well, to be perfectly honest, I didn't see that. Where did you see that? All I saw was their saying that they are losing money. I'm not going to bother debating something I have no evidence exists.

It's just an excuse to make more money. A tactic they have learned from the RIAA.
Yeah, well it wouldn't surprise me if they were inspired by the RIAA, but who cares? As for it being "an excuse to make more money", it's money that they are owed under the law, is it not? If you were owed money under a law the government couldn't enforce, what would you do about it?

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Nope, not fair at all. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by johnzo on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 04:15:05 PM EST

Or in the case of the music people I know, burning their own music CDs. They, as artists, know what it's like to lose revenue. That's why they don't pirate music.

This, IMO, is the greatest evil of this -- that the small-time unsigned band that's selling roll-their-own CDs at shows is paying a tax to the big music labels (through the CPCC) for the privilege of doing so.

The outright admission of the legality of private copying might be worth that evil, though.


[ Parent ]

Are levy-free CD-Audio an option? (none / 0) (#21)
by gauntlet on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 06:58:22 PM EST

I don't know anything about that standard, but CD-Audio disks are levy free for people in the music industry that apply to the CPCC for zero-rated status. The levy on CD-Audio is over 3 times as large as the levy on CD-R[W] disks, at $0.77/disk. Is the price of a CD-Audio disk significantly large that this isn't a good option?

Obviously the problem here is that by using CD-Audio discs to distribute your music, your limiting where it can be played. But at the same time, with changes in the hardware landscape, you're really limiting where things can be played by going with CD-R, too.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

The levy IMHO is BS (5.00 / 3) (#12)
by spacejack on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 02:42:40 PM EST

There's no way the money can feasibly get back to those who get hit the worst by unauthorized copies. Copyright is a good law in principle -- when it protects everyone, this tax just undermines it by protecting its group of members.

IMHO it's just about the Canadian Private Copying Collective getting money & power while sabotaging the rights of independent copyright holders.

I might as well bend over (3.50 / 2) (#18)
by retinaburn on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 04:04:02 PM EST

I purchase blank MDs, CD-Rs and CD-RW better get out the old lube and bend over.

Honestly if this goes any higher it could become a problem. I wonder what the feasiblity is in purchasing in bulk in the states and then having them shipped/brough over.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho

Rrrr time to write my MP... (none / 0) (#25)
by Mantrid on Thu Feb 22, 2001 at 09:12:14 AM EST

This is ridculous plain and simple. I rarely use CD-Rs for anything remotely to do with Audio. My main purpose in using CD-Rs is backups and as a way to physically transfer data.

We Canadians should start up a website with local CD owners in various areas - we could post our CD collections and people that live near by could come and make copies (for their personal use naturally) of whatever CDs they wanted....we're obviously paying for it! If the recording associations are going to give it to us, it's time for us to give it to them...and not just in the background...looks like according to the law we can openly copy this stuff within the guidelines!

Canadian blank CD media levy increased | 25 comments (22 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
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