Record Labels, Music Publishers, Technology
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the Canadian Private Copying Collective cannot apply a levy on digital music players. The $4M collected to date must be paid back to the device manufacturers and importers. The Supreme Court upheld the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to quash CPCC levy on i-Pods and other MP3 players and other similar digital music devices which was initially approved by the Canadian Copyright Board. The Supreme Court has refused to hear further arguments regarding a levy and confirmed that that the Copyright Board was ultra vires its authority when it applied the private copying levy to digital audio recorders, and that the levy was an unconstitutional tax. The levy was collected on the basis that individuals ordinarily use these devices to make copies of recorded music for personal use. The Canadian Private Copying Collective, a non-profit agency that collects tariffs on behalf of musical artists and record companies, had been pursuing the appeal and has said that it is “disappointed” and that it felt that it was “self-evident that those products are sold for the purpose of copying music” The group argues that since many people use these new devices to make illegal copies of songs, a levy should be collected for musical artists. It currently collects a tariff on CDs, mini-discs and other blank audio recording media.
See Law Updates January 2005
For a BBC article on music file-sharing and buying habits – showing that those who download illegally spent four and a half times more on paid-for music downloads than average fans, see:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4718249.stm