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Is Canada's iPod tax back? And if so, will BJ Snowden get her cut?

Joseph L. Flatley
March 17, 2010
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We know, BJ Snowden is an American artist -- but since her song "In Canada" is probably on every iPod and computer up north, we have to wonder whether a proposed amendment to the Canadian Copyright act will help her finally get what's coming to her. The brainchild of the New Democratic Party's Charlie Angus, the bill would extend 1997's Private Copying Levy "to the next generation of devices that consumers are using for copying sound recordings for personal use." Proponents of the plan says that it ensures that artists get paid for their work -- essentially, the government wants you to pay upfront for the music you're likely to steal anyways by taxing your next digital audio player purchase. Of course, much about the plan doesn't make sense (it doesn't address digital video, for instance, or the computers that people use to download and store their music in the first place) but we guess we'll let the Canadian government hash that one out. This is obviously not a new idea, and it is one the courts have rejected already, but who knows? Maybe this time it will "take." Lets hope not, eh?

Update: No surprise, but the levy is already being shouted down by Industry Minister Tony Clement calling it "totally nonsensical" and "180 degrees in the wrong direction" with regard to the government's strategy to embrace the internet, not stifle it.





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