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Canadian Copyright Group Wants iPod Tax 408

Posted by kdawson
from the oh-and-5-bucks-for-the-earbuds dept.
soulxtc writes "Unable to define memory as a 'recording medium,' Canada's Private Copyright Collective goes directly after portable music player devices, memory cards, and anything else that can be used to make private copies. The PCC submitted a proposal to the country's Copyright Board that suggests levies of $5 (Canadian) on devices with up to 1GB of memory, $25 for 1-10 GB, $50 for 10-30 GB, and $75 for over 30 GB. If approved, this propoal would increase the price of a 30-GB iPod by 26%. These collections are intended to compensate artists and labels for the losses they suffer when people 'illegally' copy or transfer music. The PCC is also seeking a new $2 to $10 tax on memory cards. The backbone of digital photography has become tangled up in the fight for making sure music companies get every nickel and dime they feel that they deserve."
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Canadian Copyright Group Wants iPod Tax

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:02PM (#17977592)
    Is have a true sliding scale. Under that pricing scheme, the 1gb ipod has a $5 tax, while the 2gb model has a $25 tax rather than $10. Sheesh.
    • by AlHunt (982887) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:55PM (#17978092) Homepage Journal
      Really? Why would you suggest knuckling under to it at all? Don't BUY an iPod, or anything else the bastards tax. Let your voice (dollars, euros, whatever) be heard. At the end of the day, business buys legislatures and your money effects business. Vote where it matters - forget the ballot box.
      • by sumdumass (711423) on Monday February 12, 2007 @01:20AM (#17979166) Journal
        Well, getting more people who might say "ok" to it to realize it is disproportionate and object on that ground would be nice too. As for the tax thouhg, doesn't canada have fair use rights? If so then why aren't these considered above possible illegal copying? And how long will it take before Apple sells the memory as an addon to the "Ipod canadian edition" to keep them affordable and end up having these people try to tax hardrives? I mean $75 for 30 gig? when the storage in the ipod is basicly the same thing? And herddrives can hold music too!

        Anything to get people to reject this so some common sence can be used.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by refitman (958341) *

          Don't tell let them hear you, or we're all screwed. What happens when they realise we can record music in our memories and play it back at will, will they start taxing our brains. 'Spose I'd best start drinking heavily to reduce my capacity.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by steveo777 (183629)

            Spose I'd best start drinking heavily to reduce my capacity.
            Haha! Mandatory shots after a concert! Drive safe!
      • by Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) on Monday February 12, 2007 @05:12AM (#17980478) Homepage Journal
        If I read this correctly, the people wanting these taxes also want to tax memory cards of a sort that work in MP3 players but are more often used in digital cameras. What should the digital photographers do, if this law is passed, when their current stock of memory cards runs out?
        And if hard drives get taxed, what will you do when your current HD dies?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        No kidding... The next thing you know, they'll be taxing products like gasoline or tobacco at different (and much higher) rates for no apparent reason. True, true, usually there is some hand-waving about supporting roads and health care costs but I think the accounting out the other end says different. At least in this case, they TELL you the tax rates. Anybody here know the tax rates for gasoline in their city/state? Here, I think it's around 15%, but I can't find info on it anywhere.
    • That $100 HD will now cost $150. Nice.
  • by mstromb (869949) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:03PM (#17977598)
    So, this means that I get to download anything I want while in Canada free of guilt and cost... right?
    • by Babillon (928171) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:09PM (#17977670)
      That's the way I go about things. They're pretty much just yelling at us "Hey, go for it. We think you're stealing anyway."

      Wouldn't it be grand if the people who distribute software started pulling this crap too? I'd feel obliged to take them up on their fees and start downloading away.
      • by BobNET (119675) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:09PM (#17978194)

        Wouldn't it be grand if the people who distribute software started pulling this crap too? I'd feel obliged to take them up on their fees and start downloading away.

        That'd be great since I wouldn't feel bad when I download OpenBSD instead of buying the CDs. The government would obviously give them their fair share of the levy...

    • What's more... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kythe (4779) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:11PM (#17977706)
      ...considering that you could fit maybe 250 128 bps mp3's on a 1 GB iPod (that comes to about $.02 per song), I guess we know now how much people should be penalized for illegal music sharing.
    • by acidrain (35064) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:35PM (#17977966)

      So, this means that I get to download anything I want while in Canada free of guilt and cost... right?

      Actually yeah. In Canada we pay a small tax on blank tapes and a special kind of recordable cd that nobody buys. The upside is that it is perfectly legal for Canadians to share their music with each other and to download music off the internet. Making files available on the web is brodcasting and therefore illegal, and charging money for copying is also illegal. However, if you want to set up an mp3 server at work, there is no law preventing that.

      What it comes down to is you cannot tax illegal behaviour. Our courts would never accept it. So this isn't that scary, in that there an upside because they also enshrine the right to share music with those players. As for digital photography? That would result in too many pissed off taxpayers. Probably the worst would be some brand of memory card being released with an absurd tax just like for cds. And it will quietly be ignored by consumers, if they ever see it.

      Finally, just because they are asking for $25 doesn't mean the politicians won't just give them $2.50 and tell them to keep quiet. We have a minority government right now so the politicians are far too busy kissing voter but.

      • > The upside is that it is perfectly legal for Canadians to share their music
        > with each other...

        So it's just like the US (hint: Audio Home Recording Act).
        • by shark72 (702619) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:58AM (#17979772)

          "So it's just like the US (hint: Audio Home Recording Act)."

          Nope. These two statements are true:

          1. Canadians pay a levy on recordable media.
          2. In some circumstances, it's legal for Canadians to share copyrighted music.

          However, the following is not true:

          Canadians pay a levy on recordable media. Because of this, in some circumstances it's legal for Canadians to share copyrighted music.

          To be sure, lots of Canadians use the levy as moral justification to pirate as much music as they can, often citing the fact that artists are compensated by the levy (the reality is that it largely goes to Canadian artists). In other words, Canadians have their choice of 94 moral justifications for piracy, vs. the 93 that we in the United States have.

          You're correct that the AHRA defines tariffs on some recordable media (including DAT machines, and those music CD-Rs that nobody buys). I'm sure there are lots of people who use the existence of this tariff as a moral justification for piracy, but the tariff certainly doesn't make it legal.

      • Crucial difference (Score:3, Interesting)

        by C10H14N2 (640033)
        "Making files available on the web is brodcasting"

        Americans don't seem to grok that one. "Sharing" to them extends to handing out a copy to every resident of the planet.
      • by Foerstner (931398) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:13PM (#17978238)
        What it comes down to is you cannot tax illegal behaviour. Our courts would never accept it.

        Count yourself lucky, I guess. In the US, it is, for example, illegal not to declare your income from criminal activity to the IRS for taxation. (Which is why so many mobsters were eventually nailed for "tax evasion" as opposed to racketeering, extortion, theft, or murder.)

        Further, I'm willing to bet that paying the tax would not protect you from a civil suit from the RIAA.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by _KiTA_ (241027)
          Further, I'm willing to bet that paying the tax would not protect you from a civil suit from the RIAA.

          Given that being dead doesn't even protect you from a civil suit from the RIAA, I somehow doubt you not breaking any mere mortal laws would slow them down, either.

          Hey, after all, it didn't stop them from attacking AllOfMP3, either. Or The Pirate Bay. Or any other site that they just don't like, eh?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bky1701 (979071)

        What it comes down to is you cannot tax illegal behaviour. Our courts would never accept it.
        I don't know about there, but in the US theft, fraud, extortion money, bribes and other illicit gain IS taxed, income taxed. Yes it's strange, but it's how it is. I am willing to bet it's the same in Canada as well.
    • by spagetti_code (773137) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:03PM (#17978146)
      I think we first need to ask who will actually get the money.

      Sure, they say its for the artists - but once the PCC's "costs" are taken out - how much will be left.

      How will they distribute the money? Proportional to the CD sales? To online sales? Will they just cut a check to every artists in canada? How will recompence non-canadian artists? Or is this just a scam fee going to the RIAA? (Just like the millions that the RIAA is making from their lawsuit business - that sure as hell ain't going to Justin Timberlake or Joni Mitchell)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by raehl (609729)
        How will they distribute the money? Proportional to the CD sales?

        As I have sold NONE of my CD's in Canada, clearly I have suffered the largest losses to piracy, and deserve the largest share of the levy.
      • by shark72 (702619) on Monday February 12, 2007 @03:13AM (#17979862)

        "How will they distribute the money? Proportional to the CD sales? To online sales? Will they just cut a check to every artists in canada? How will recompence non-canadian artists? Or is this just a scam fee going to the RIAA? (Just like the millions that the RIAA is making from their lawsuit business - that sure as hell ain't going to Justin Timberlake or Joni Mitchell)?"

        The CPCC has a web site here [cpcc.ca]. Hit the link on the left labelled "Royalty distribution." It's a bit dry, but you should be able to get an answer to all of your questions.

        Keep in mind that the CPCC != the CRIA (Canada's equivalent of the RIAA). The CPCC represents primarily artists.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Pig Hogger (10379)

      So, this means that I get to download anything I want while in Canada free of guilt and cost... right?

      More than that, you can borrow CDs from public libraries and copy them into your digital collection, then share that digital collection on a peer-to-peer system and, of course, download music, as the supreme court has decreed that this is legal according to the current copyright law.

      Better yet, at this moment, there is no bill pending consideration that would change that; bill C-60 died a year ago when

    • by quacking duck (607555) on Monday February 12, 2007 @01:05AM (#17979082)
      We had such a levy on iPods and other "recordable media" a few years back, it was struck down [slashdot.org] and collected levies had to be refunded. Now this organization wants to put the levies back (and expand them).

      At the same time, the Canadian Recording Industry Association (think Canadian RIAA) is lobbying [slashdot.org] to eliminate fair use rights [slashdot.org] in order to "harmonize" with the US's draconian copyright system (the same harmonization that fucked over the Australians when they signed their free trade agreement with the US).

      The attempt at double-dipping is truly mind boggling; it's depressing that no one in power cares.
    • ...I should legally be able to walk right up to any artist and kick them in the nads.
  • by DurendalMac (736637) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:03PM (#17977606)
    It's good to know that the record industry in the US aren't the only thugs in the business. Yeah, let's just assume everyone is a crook and charge them up front! The greed of these fuckers is absolutely endless.
    • by Derek Loev (1050412) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:09PM (#17977668)
      According to this article" [com.com] music sharing does not kill CD sales due to the fact that those that download music would not likely buy it in the first place. MP3 Players and P2P software have become the scapegoat of the music industry. They are trying to compensate for something they caused (by releasing music overpriced and more) by taking away from the consumer. It's completely ridiculous.
      • Shh, you're not supposed to point that out. Someone has to be blamed for "lax CD sales" [though I've been told they're doing better, who to trust, who to trust....] and it can't possibly be the complete and utter lack of talent.

        I think if any artists wants to test their bones they should set up an escrow. Give the world an ultimatum, "put $X dollars in an escrow or I won't release my next album." Once they decrease $X a few times they might stop thinking they walk on water. Though K-Fed's recent tour ca
  • by Derek Loev (1050412) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:04PM (#17977612)
    Is anybody else up for a Canadian Tea Party?
  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:05PM (#17977620)
    Do they want me to stop buying music? If I am going to be charged for buying a new iPod, I should be able to download at least as much music as it costs for the fee right? If they are going to accuse people of being thieves, then I suppose they have no choice but to stop buying music completely and just pirate it. Way to go CRIAA. Have fun with bankruptcy.
  • ... state-sanctioned anal penetration!

    Friends, we should rejoice, for it is quite clear that we live in exciting and progressive times.
  • Hey Canadians... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tsm_sf (545316) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:05PM (#17977632) Journal
    Is the fee you currently pay on blank CDs considered a license to burn whatever you want?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by flyingfsck (986395)
      Yes. I copy CDs from the town library guilt free...
    • Re:Hey Canadians... (Score:5, Informative)

      by edschurr (999028) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:26PM (#17977860)
      You can copy music from a friend if you put it on a medium which has the levy, because then you have paid royalties. It may be the case that you can download, given the same condition. See A Guide to Copyrights: Copyright Protection [ic.gc.ca].
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by KillerBob (217953)
      Basically, yeah. It is. It's the rationale for why the recording industry hasn't ever even tried to sue people for downloading music in Canada: it'd never stand up in court. We're already compensating the artists directly through the tariffs, which are getting distributed to the artists' guilds directly, not to their industrialist herders.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Henry V .009 (518000)
        The recording industry has never tried to sue anyone in the U.S. for downloading -- only uploading.
  • Consumers (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CriminalNerd (882826)
    Eventually, if this tax is approved, the entire weight of the tax is going to shifted onto the consumers. Why must the consumers be punished by the same people they're purchasing music from? And people wonder why I never listen to/buy new music these days.
    • Re:Consumers (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ChoralScholar (1062892) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:12PM (#17977720)
      First of all, this is more "you have an iPod, you must be a criminal" nonsense. Well, here's what I have to say about RIAA and it's Canadian counterpart: If you treat everyone like they're a thief, it's probably because you're a thief too. (Credit to my father who said this referring to Wal-Mart) Furthermore, from their standpoint, why give people MORE ammo with which to justify pirating music and video. This will have the OPPOSITE effect than they want. (i.e. I paid $75 extra for this 30Gig iPod, and I'm gonna get my money's worth.. etc...)
    • Think of the poor artists! Since they cannot make money from bad quality new music, they are forced to charge consumers multiple times for the same old music. Sniff...
  • by Kythe (4779) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:08PM (#17977644)
    These collections are intended to compensate artists and labels for the losses they suffer when people 'illegally' copy or transfer music

    No, they're not. They're intended to set up yet another cash cow for large recording companies, irrespective of whether individuals put legal or illegal copies of music on their recording devices.

    And no, they're not intended to supplement the compensation of artists, regardless.

    Geez, that was easy to translate. The recording companies don't even try to hide their intentions behind competent PR any more.
  • by ezratrumpet (937206) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:08PM (#17977656) Journal
    I know musicians who can reproduce a musical score after only one hearing. Are we going to find a way to control them? What's more - they have virtually limitless memory.

    Someone call someone before the fabric of society is torn!
    • by TheLink (130905) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:49PM (#17978036) Journal
      The problem with current copyright laws is that in the future everyone might be able to have that sort of memory for hearing, sight etc. You can also have virtual telepathy. Most of the tech is already available, it's just a matter of cost and making the implants safer and better.

      As it is, you'd probably have to have DRM in your brain "add-on", and possibly pay a fee just to remember stuff, and be prohibited from communicating with your friends about certain things.

      A penny for your thoughts? That's probably too cheap for the RIAA, MPAA etc.
  • Levies get shot down entirely, music industry goes and sits on their thumbs. Why should I pay SOCCAN [or whatever] money for DVD-Rs that I use to backup my HD with?

    Or they pass this and add to the madness that is corporate greed. Cuz you know not one dime will go to indy arties.

    Tom
    • soon enough we'll be paying a tax on hard drives because of this nonsense. I say fuck this noise. No agency has a right to charge me a tax on something I may not use for music, or if it does get used for music, it's MY music. Charging me for using my own property in my own way is just fucked up.
      • Yeah, but you have to realize this is driven by greed, not necessity. Logic flies out the window. What I love is the double standard. They claim the levy is to offset piracy, then claim that piracy should be illegal. Well can't have it both ways.

        To me this is the patent and DRM situations. It has to become completely ridiculous before the average layperson [re: 99% of the population] will start to give a damn. In the meantime, every hack in a suit will try to slice a bit of the illegitimate pie for th
  • Hah! My paper tape player will be exempt from this money grab!
  • Write your Mp about this and explain to him that he/she was not elected so that they could enact a 'tax' that by definition makes both Them and you a criminal.
  • by swordgeek (112599) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:16PM (#17977772) Journal
    My brother is a full-time professional musician in Alberta, and has been now for about 20 years. It's not an easy job, but it's his love and his passion.

    He's now been an artist on about six albums over the years, one of which was nominated for a Juno. Why, pray tell, has he not gotten a single bloody cent from this tariff?

    If I didn't know better, I'd almost believe that the point of it isn't actually to reward the musicians! But of course, that's just crazy talk.
    • Because these CD tarriffs and whatnot are not actually collected. There is no mechanism in place to collect and distribute the tax, consequently the existing CD levee is ignored by blank CD importers. My guess is that the same fate will befall the latest money grab attempt.
      • by wes33 (698200) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:32PM (#17977938)
        It's a levy not a tax. You don't see it at the cash register. According to the Canadian Private Copying Collective they collected $35M in 2005 (http://cpcc.ca/english/finHighlights.htm). Up to 2005 they have distributed almost $93M. Why the OP's brother hasn't seen any of it, I can't say.
  • Revolution! (Score:5, Funny)

    by rossz (67331) <ogre@nOsPaM.geekbiker.net> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:20PM (#17977816) Homepage Journal
    The members of the RIAA and the Canadian equivalent will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

    Ah, fuck it. Why wait for a revolution? Everybody get your guns and we'll meet down at the bar to plan our attack on these useless leeches.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by RyoShin (610051)

      Ah, fuck it. Why wait for a revolution? Everybody get your guns and we'll meet down at the bar to plan our attack on these useless leeches.
      I believe you mean "Everybody get your guns and we'll meet down at the bar, get drunk, shoot ourselves in the foot, then decide this was a stupid idea and go home to watch TV like the placid Americans/Canadians we are."
  • Private Copying Levy (Score:5, Informative)

    by vic-traill (1038742) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:21PM (#17977824)
    The Private Copying Levy is what lets me download with impunity in Canada. The dollars may or may not actually get to the artists (google away on this one), but it certainly does facilitate my p2p activities.

    I don't know who the 'Private Copyright Collective' is, but this position is at odds with what we've been hearing about the Canadian Recording Industry Association's position - last heard as wanting to do away with the levy:

    http://michaelgeist.ca/component/option,com_conten t/task,view/id,1200/Itemid,85/nsub,/ [michaelgeist.ca]

    I think this is an interesting tactic: collect levy at the front end, squeeze the availability of material via p2p networks through increased DRM on released materials.

    Quite honestly, I don't really notice the levy at my pocketbook, and it does make for an entirely different legal landscape for p2p downloading. Michael Geist is the Guy in the Know about this landscape in Canada - check out his blog at the address above, there's reams of material there.
  • by Kythe (4779) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:23PM (#17977836)
    If they think this is a good deal, then why not make it part of a package when one buys an iPod? Spend an additional $5 for your 1GB iPod, and you get a contract that says you can download as much cartel music as you want, from any source, to that device.

    For people who want to go the iTunes route, they could simply turn down the contract.

    Sigh. Something tells me the fact that they're trying to legislate this means they wouldn't go for my idea. Not enough free money in it for them, I'm guessing.
  • by javacowboy (222023) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:24PM (#17977842)
    How do I contact the organizations making these proposals? I want to give them a piece of my mind, namely to tell them they can't have it both ways:

    1) Make unauthorized copying illegal.
    2) Charge me for it.

    Do they want a compulsory licensing scheme, as has been proposed by The Register, or do they want people to pay for each copy of music they purchase.

    They should make up their damn minds, because they can't have their cake and eat it too.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Seems like local versions of these interest groups in other countries, are lobbying for similar taxes. sometimes they get away with it, sometimes they don't. The all have the same thing in common that they lack any form of PR skills. :)

    There have been a game going on for years here in Europe, fx in Denmark the price of a blank CD or DVD were at one point 5-10 times higher than the same product in Germany. So of course people would just buy a spindle when on vacation og ordering it on the internet and save
  • Actually, it only makes sense. DRM etc won't stop downloading so the companies may as well get something. This is all cool provided two things: the first is that the artists actually get the cash, and the second is that this set of numbers is only a start position for negotiations. Properly done, this can be quite a decent solution for all involved.

    And yes, then you can continue to download guilt free.
  • We (the people who have to pay this tax) get paid back .50 for each song that we buy (be it digital download or off of a CD) due to the fact that RIAA and Canadian equivelent are stealing from us due to overpriced crappy products.

    Oh, as to assuming that we're all stealing, I would now presume that we have a reason for a class action libel lawsuit due to the fact that they are essentially calling everyone on the North American continent thieves. I assume that not all of us are, and should stand up to thes
  • why is it (Score:5, Funny)

    by v1 (525388) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:35PM (#17977960) Homepage Journal
    that the recording industries believe that all they have to to do make money is to make more laws?

    Why don't they try something novel like oh.... selling a product to us?

    I say we pass a law that everyone that buys a crowbar has to pay me a nickel, to make up for the losses I incur every time someone breaks into my house. ya.

    Idiots. No, I take that back. By saying that I'm just insulting the idots and that's not fair for even them.
  • Brilliant (Score:2, Insightful)

    by augnober (836111)
    I always did find "innocent before proven guilty" to be rather ineffective. Why not just calculate the average of criminal activity among the whole population, and incarcerate each person for the amount of time found in the result? Think of the money that could be saved when the courts are closed down.
  • by guardiangod (880192) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:51PM (#17978052)
    For each 700mb cd-rw, the levy is 30 cents.

    A 30gb ipod has 30000mb-

    30000mb/700mb = 42.9 cdrs

    42.9 cdrs x 30 cents = 1286 cents = 12.86 dollars

    The association better have a very good reason why they want to charge for than 3x for the ipod compared to cd-rws.



    Also, why stop with ipod? I can record information on harddrives too! Let's see, a typically hard drive in a computer has 250 gb. Obviously, if a 30gb ipod costs $40, a 250gb computer should cost (250/40) x $40 = $240! We all know computers are the main source of illegally downloaded mp3!

    • by TheoMurpse (729043) on Monday February 12, 2007 @03:22AM (#17979914) Homepage

      (250/40) x $40 = $240
      Let's have a moment of silence for the death of a teacher, because every time you multiply X by 1 and get something other than X, a calculus professor kicks the bucket.
  • by wicka (985217)
    I agree that these taxes are ridiculous - $75 being quite a hefty price increase - however, if this is a replacement for record companies suing random 12 year olds for $5000, I can't say it's totally bad.
  • Shouldn't every content provider / IP holder who's content could potentially be recorded onto these types of media get a cut of the money? It would be a great crutch for talentless hacks to still make money without worry. In fact, I think manufacturers of bags/backpacks/luggage etc. should be taxed because their products could possibly be used in robberies.
  • Comes WITHOUT storage.

    You then go buy your flash / hard drive and install yourself - or better yet - the Apple store sells the drive / flash separately, and installs it for you.
  • by guruevi (827432) <evi@@@smokingcube...be> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:04PM (#17978150) Homepage
    A few years ago some countries in Europe adopted a similar taxing on media-carriers and media. The problem is that not a single musician or even a record label sees any of the money. The state forwards it to this 'non-profit' organization and recently a 'scandal' quickly buried by the media came out that actually in over 3 years, millions of euros have been collected and none have been paid out. It also came out that the employees of this 'non-profit' organization (similar to RIAA) had salary's exceeding 250k/year.
  • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:06PM (#17978166)
    One point that everyone is missing is that many of the content providers pay very little tax - with Hollywood accounting blockbuster movies make a loss and with record company accounting even the performers have to pay for a lot of things which any other industry would pay for out of revenue - let alone money left over for to be taxed.

    I think the suppliers of blank media make a greater contribution to the economy and the tax base - and really shouldn't be victimised because some loud tax dodgers with good lobbyists want a special tax to feed themselves and drain from another portion of the economy.

    Goverments are not supposed to be fee collectors for private companies - they are supposed to work in the interest of their nations.

  • by Sgt_Jake (659140) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:12PM (#17978236) Journal
    I've seen it before, but I've never quite understood how any government can be convinced to collect taxes for a non-government enterprise. Unless the government is now going to start producing, regulating or in some other way getting involved in the music industry, and intends to use the taxes to pursue that enterprise, why exactly would they collect taxes for it? -- I know it's slashdot but this is a serious question if anyone knows [seriously though - I know it's slashdot, but please refrain from the corruption/collusion arguments for at least 3 posts... ] [[no, seriously... ]]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I believe that the Canadian government does subsidize the creation of Canadian music, on the theory that American culture would swamp Canadian culture (more) thoroughly without the subsidy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tim C (15259)
      I've never quite understood how any government can be convinced to collect taxes for a non-government enterprise

      Well, is the levy applied to the price before or after sales tax/VAT?

      If before, then there's your answer.
  • by steveoc (2661) on Monday February 12, 2007 @12:10AM (#17978694)
    Never quite understood how these levies/tariffs are distributed back to the artists.

    So say if I download a few songs from groups such as Blood-Axe, mix it up with a bit of psy-trance from Finland, and then round it out with some Pendulum ... and then burn it all on a CD for my car driving pleasure ... how does the RIAA know how to distribute the funds to the starving artists in this case ?

    What, they dont ?

    So you mean despite the efforts of the original muso's involved, plus my time to mix and burn the CD - they just end up writing out yet another cheque to Celine Dion for all of our collective efforts ?

    Fuck No !

    Ive never wanted to even to listen to Celine Dion. Not ever !

    But when I step into an elevator, or pass through a shoe shop - there she is, singing in the background and generally ruining my day.

    I dont want to listen to her, but yet she still gets royalties out of me when I make my own CD, or backup my harddisk ?

    That is so totally around the wrong fucking way. Man - I should be PAID by Celine Dion instead as compensation for HAVING to listen to any of her music, which is clearly against my wishes. She infringes upon my personal aural liberty, and yet ... money from my pocket ends up in hers anyway ?

    That is just WRONG on so many levels.

    Seriously - does ANYONE go the effort of actually downloading Celine Dion music and burning it on CD's Why ? So they can hold hands with their so-called 'friends' and dance around and be silly between glasses of cheap wine ?

    What they should do is just stick to selling normal CD's and iPods and things without the tarriffs, but give people the right, if they so choose, to pay $100 and get a licence key that will put their CD Burner or iPod into some sort of crappy 'Celine Dion Mode'. In the same way that you can take a perfectly good PC, and pay $400 or whatever it is to stick Vista on there - enabling 'Celine Dion' mode on the iPod will virtually trash the machine, in exchange for getting the 'Wow' of having it play Celine Dion songs .. for a fee of course.

    The iPod should just operate normally, unless you 'opt-in', and pay the fee, after which the iPod degrades itself to the point where it will play Celine Dion music. 'Look Herbert, my iPod it now plays Celine Dion !!'. 'Yayy !'. 'Hey Clarence, your iPod - its turning a pale shade of Green !!'. 'Its all about the Yayy !!'.

    Its just WRONG
  • ...and I might be willing to pay the fine.

    Seriously, there is no evidence at all that the labels (almost all American, btw) will actually give a dime to the artists on top of their existing contracts.

    The "standard recording contract" pays the artist an upfront advance that is recouped from the royalties (usually a meager 12-14%, some of which may go to the engineer or the producer). IF and ONLY IF that advance is recouped in full (and record labels have tons of accounting tricks to assert that even a million-seller didn't "recoup") will the artist actually start seeing real royalty payments come in. (BTW, through all of this and beyond, the label owns the music, not the artist.)

    There is nothing in the artist contract that actually has allowances for when extra "fees" collected on behalf of the artists of the label actually is applied to the payment of the advance. There is nothing in the accounting systems of a record label that will actually distribute such collected fees back to the artists of the label, either as cash or as applied to the advance.

    The label keeps the money, most of which is either pure profit (it didn't cost them anything except paying the lobbyist) or at least is applied to the "general fund" which is used to pay the advance for the next standard artist's standard contract, and the legalized slavery continues unabated.

    Unless the law goes against the labels as well, requiring that they show proof that they have changed their contracting and accounting systems to actually give an acceptable cut of this income to the artists, then all that has happened is that the legislation has totally bought into the lies and deceits of the music industry, and is sanctioning theft of both the artists AND the consumers.
  • by mh101 (620659) on Monday February 12, 2007 @11:01AM (#17982688)
    One of the details regarding the levy is that it is only on blank media that has never stored data. From http://neil.eton.ca/copylevy.shtml [neil.eton.ca]:

    If you are a manufacturer or importer, you can avoid the levy entirely on your products as long as you record some sound on the media before you sell it. The sound recorded on the media can even be erased. Clearly this is not an option for CD-Rs, but for devices that include a hard drive, simply recording a sound on the drive and then erasing it exempts the drive from the levy. This is because (as the legislation now stands) "blank audio recording medium means a recording medium, regardless of its material form, onto which a sound recording may be reproduced, that is of a kind ordinarily used by individual consumers for that purpose and on which no sounds have ever been fixed..."
    MP3 player manufactures could just preload some music onto it, and no levy for them! It's especially good for Apple then, that the Apple v. Apple thing has been settled.

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