Canada's Copyright Board slaps tax on music downloads

Just a few months after it deemed it suitable to reinstate a levy on digital audio players, the Copyright Board of Canada looks set to stir things up once again, with it now ruling that music downloads should be taxed as well. That decision comes after the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (or SOCAN) had pushed for such a levy, a position the Copyright Board appears to have sided with entirely. Under the new rules, online music stores will have to pay 3.1 cents for each individual track and 1.5 cents per track for entire albums sold directly to SOCAN, which will in turn distribute the funds to the artists. Sites that offer temporary downloads or customizable radio stations will also be facing taxes, although the board hasn't yet released a decision for those that offer music on personal websites. What's more, according to CanWest News Service, the levies will be retroactive all the way back to 1996, which is when the music industry first started pushing for the tariffs.