Home > Music, Musings, Technical > How not to catch a thief

How not to catch a thief

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

In Canada, if you buy a blank CD, it is presumed that you are going to steal music.  A levy of 21 cents is added to every blank CD purchased and 24 cents for every blank cassette more than 40 minutes in length.  These funds are distributed to the music industry.

Proposed legislation will compound this: the Canadian Private Copying Collective, a non-profit agency created by the music industry wants to collect up to $75 for each MP3 player sold, and 29 cents for every blank CD and Mini disc.  Futher all memory sticks would be tariffed, up to $10 per card.  Details here.  Looking at the financial report, the motivation may be the drop in revenue from CD tariffs since 2004, probably the result of the use of alternative media.   It’d be interesting to see how these revenue numbers might jump with the proposed tariffs.

Canadian music industry proponents would argue the funds will go towards fostering Canadian artists and music.  Futher artists don’t have the protection against file sharing that they do in the US: we have no equivalent to the Digital Millenium Act. 

Personally I purchase all music (and software) I download or copy.  So the presumption that I am stealing music and must be penalized is at best disappointing, at worst, theft.  I want my support of Canadian artists to be by choice, not legislation.  It makes a lot more sense to me to modify our copyright laws to protect against people who steal music, than to penalize all music lovers.  How this legislation will deter thieves is not clear.  You can contact your Member of Parliament if you agree.

Categories: Music, Musings, Technical
  1. Larry Thompson
    Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Happy Newyear Jon I know what you mean. I always stay away from the free sites and pay for my music. Its funny though that you don’t have to pay this tariff on DVDs But you can still burn music to them ? Also when purchasing music online most songs are limited to burn three copies and you are not actually buying the music but purchasing a license to listen to it . If you lose the license
    (Hard drive/system crash)companies like Puretracks allow you to renew the license once for free before having to repurchase the music. I use a program called tunebite to digitally record my downloads and save them as non protected files . Now the music I purchase online is mine forever.


  2. Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    I think these sort of legislations are worldwide standard (maybe not those prices). Back in the VCR controversy (ie industry not liking the idea that people record movies off TV), I think a similar fee was introduced on every VCR recorder. If I know my facts right (not 100% sure though), today you pay such a fee on most recording devices you buy in many contries.

    France recently came up with quite a novel approach, which to me makes a lot more sense than other contries. If you get caught downloading you get a slap on the wrist. If you get caught a second time, your Internet connection gets cut for a few months…


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