MP3 player levy could be reinstated in Canada
Conrad Quilty-Harper|February 12, 2007 8:02 AM
Continuing to prove that music rights-holders just don't "get it" is the news that the Canadian Private Copying Collective is pursuing the reinstatement of levies on MP3 players in Canada. You may remember that the CPCC was the body that lobbied hard for the original enactment of a levy on MP3 players that was in effect from December 2003 until the following December: in the end the levy was overturned by Canadian courts, and various companies that passed on the tax to customers were forced to offer refunds. The reason for the overturning was the fact that the levy focused on hard drives, which, in the court's eyes, didn't fall into the category of "audio recording media." The CPCC is now calling for the Canadian Copyright Board to classify MP3 players as a whole under category of "audio recording media," as well as an increase in the levy range from CAD$5 to $75 depending on the capacity of the storage. Fortunately, several experts in the field of intellectual property have stated that it's unlikely the CPCC will get its way: David Fewer, a professor at the University of Ottawa, states that he thinks the CPCC is "really getting quite existential" regarding whether or not players like the iPod are "mediums" or "players." We love a debate on the existentialism of MP3 players as much as the next geek, and when the end result could be a tax that blames all consumers for a problem -- which is supposedly "contained" -- that could be addressed in oh-so-many other ways, you know which side we'd be on.