Canadian MP3 tax is a no-go

Canadian MP3 tax is a no-go

iPods remain affordable in Canada thanks to the Federal Court of Appeals.

An extension to the controversial tax on recordable media planned by Canada's Copyright Board to cover digital audio players has been rejected by the Federal Court of Appeal.

The Copyright Board's plan was to introduce a rising tax on MP3 players, starting at $5 for players with a capacity of less than 1GB and hitting a whopping $75 for players with 30GB of storage or more. This tax would be levied at a retail level in the same way as sales tax.

The Board accepted claims that the tax was required to compensate artists for revenues lost due to "private copying." This same reasoning is already used in Canada to enforce a levy on recordable media including cassette tapes and writeable CDs, although the current legislation does not cover flash media or MP3 players.

The Canadian Private Copyright Collective, the party lobbying for the extension, wants for MP3 players to be treated as any other audio recording medium. This was preliminarily accepted by the Copyright Board last year for implementation in 2008. The Federal Court of Appeal has now nixed these plans, saying that the Board "erred in law when it concluded that it has the legal authority to certify the tariff that [the] CPCC has proposed for 2008 and 2009 on digital audio recorders."

Such a decision by the Court of Appeals may leave the way open for future lobbying against the existing recordable media tax, although it is highly unlikely Canada would ever completely abolish it unless a replacement revenue source were found.

Do you think the starving artists need all the help they can get, or do you feel aggrieved at paying them twice - once on purchase and once on iTunes? Give us your thoughts over in the forums.


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cjoyce1980 15th January 2008, 10:22 Quote
i guess these idiots need to watch MTV cribs. with there basketball courts, swimming pools, home cimena's and hummers, they dont look like there starving to me!!!!
mclean007 15th January 2008, 11:45 Quote

I presume if they put this tax in place, it will mean that anyone who buys an MP3 player in Canada simultaneously acquires a legal right to fill it with music acquired from any source, including copies of mates' CDs, P2P downloads etc., and that, accordingly, P2P downloading of all MP3 files will be legalised in Canada? No? Didn't think so.

Doesn't seem fair to punish the law abiding Canadians who just rip their own CDs or use legal download services by taxing them to compensate artists who lose out through the illegal activities of others. What next? Maybe a tax on hard drives? Most illegally shared MP3s are, after all, stored on the sharer's hard drive, so why not put a levy on them? If it's $75 for 30GB ($2.50 per GB) then surely it should be $1,250 for a 500GB drive?

Oh well, maybe all Canadians will just start jumping over to the US to spend their strong Canadian dollars on cheap US MP3 players without the tax?
RedDethX 15th January 2008, 12:46 Quote
That would be simply....stupid. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have to pay extra money if I choose to buy an MP3 Player because of "starving" artists. :(
chrisb2e9 15th January 2008, 13:32 Quote
Originally Posted by mclean007

Oh well, maybe all Canadians will just start jumping over to the US to spend their strong Canadian dollars on cheap US MP3 players without the tax?

cant argue with that logic.
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