O Canada! Our Home and Taxated Land!
April 18, 2005 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Will Canada's proposed 25% tax on music downloading kill legitimate music sales over the internet, or will it spur people to buy more online? via slashdot
posted by shepd (18 comments total)
If our CD Levy has any say on it, online music sales will be more popular than ever.
posted by shepd at 6:29 PM on April 18, 2005

probably somewhere in between, i would imagine.
posted by deliquescent at 6:32 PM on April 18, 2005

What's the argument for a tax stimulating more online music buying?
posted by scarabic at 6:44 PM on April 18, 2005

These people (CRIA) are idiots. Where is this money going? How are they deciding which artists get what money? It's nonsense. I have friends in all aspects of the Canadian music industry (bands, producers, label owners, promoters, club owners, etc.) and NONE of them agree with this. Not a one of them. The only people that are for this shit are the people making the legislation and people who don't need it (Tom Cochrane, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, etc.). It's bloody pathetic.

The following was forwarded to me a couple weeks ago by Bob Wiseman. I'm sharing it in case any MeFites are also professional musicians or otherwise involved in the industry and wish to contact Mr. Fewer with their support.


I am legal counsel at CIPPIC, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic. We are active in the effort to resist the over-expansion of copyright law. As you may be aware, the Canadian government is expected to bring down legislation in the near future to revise the Canadian Copyright Act.

The direction of this legislation is not clear at this point. However, the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) has been lobbying heavily for laws that give the big music publishers greater legal control over the uses and re-uses of musical works. CRIA is portraying itself as representing all Canadian musicians. We know that this is not true. Canadian musicians fall all across the spectrum on copyright issues. While CRIA would like to make peer-to-peer networks illegal, other musicians see P2P as a valid marketing alternative to the big foreign music houses. This second group of musicians sees downloaders as fans, not criminals.

CIPPIC endorses this second view: Canada should both encourage new technologies and find ways to compensate artists who choose to be compensated for consumer uses of music. Canada should resist CRIA's call to turn fans into criminals.

Unfortunately, CRIA’s claim to speak for the industry has gone largely unchallenged. No voices have been heard volunteering an alternative perspective. That has to change.

I’m writing you to invite you to participate in that voicing that alternative perspective. We are trying to establish a coalition--formal or otherwise--that would be ready, willing and able to respond to CRIA propaganda. Short term, we would like to have a response to an announcement we expect for the Junos on April 3: at the least, a press release, perhaps even a news conference. Longer term, we're thinking about a formal coalition--a website, perhaps a position paper and a presentation to the government Committee reviewing the bill when it arrives. More important, however, is the visibility: we need artists to stand apart from CRIA, and to take a position that is visible to the media, to independent labels, and to independent artists. CIPPIC would be more than happy to assist in any way we can.

David Fewer [note: email address is dfewer SQUIGGLYTHING uottawa DOT ca]

Legal Counsel
Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law
57 Louis Pasteur St.
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5

Ph: (613)562-5800 (ext.2558)
Fax: (613)562-5417


The CIPPIC site also has a petition you can sign as well as more info on CRIA's nonsense and CIPPIC's mandate.
posted by dobbs at 7:10 PM on April 18, 2005

I think calling it "Canada's proposed 25% tax" is misleading, you make it sound like it is originating with the government. It is a recording industry group making a request from a board.

In search of a new deep pocket, SOCAN has reformulated Tariff 22 by targeting websites that communicate music to the public. The largest tariff - an astonishing 25 percent of gross revenue - is reserved for sites or services that permit users to select, listen to, or reproduce music for later listening (ie. music download services). By comparison, the top SOCAN tariff for commercial radio stations in Canada is currently 3.2 percent of gross revenue.

It is a terrible idea...
posted by Chuckles at 7:50 PM on April 18, 2005

It is a recording industry group making a request from a board.

But that board has the power to compel provinces to collect moneys from retail sales. While it may not be a "tax" in name, it is analogous to one and, to the customer, it is exactly the same as a tax.
posted by clevershark at 8:03 PM on April 18, 2005

I'm not sure that anything Canada does would really have much of an impact on music downloading, unless they're downloading Bryan Adams songs.

In fact, if I remember my Ann Coulter right, Canada should hush up lest we invade them for the fuck of it. Or not. Actually, my vacation reading Weekly World News says a Canadian invasion over WMD's is imminent!
posted by fenriq at 8:06 PM on April 18, 2005

Oh yeah, I forgot to ask, how much are they paying people to download Celine Dion songs? Its gotta be alot because that shit makes my ears bleed.
posted by fenriq at 8:07 PM on April 18, 2005

dobbs writes " These people (CRIA) are idiots. Where is this money going? How are they deciding which artists get what money?"

See, it is quite easy when you think about it. The record industry has a short list of songs, albums and performers it want the public to buy into. Incidentally this is coordinated with the movie, fashion and cosmetics industries to allow for timely appearance of synergetic products. Anyway, this short list is eventually made into an easy to understand top 40 list that the radios, tvs and newspapers are paid to concentrate the efforts on. The top 40 focus is further enhanced by commercial support provided by those synergetic products we talked about. Now, if you care to notice that the record, movie, fashion and cosmetics industries, plus the above mentioned radios, tvs and newspapers are all ultimately owned by a group of about one hundred people, the question all but answer itself: the money is mainly distributed among this one-hundred strong group, with some leftovers falling down to a few chosen workers in each industry (to keep the "dream" alive).
posted by nkyad at 8:23 PM on April 18, 2005

Will these people just die off already?
The rest of the population has grown beyond their crap.
posted by nightchrome at 9:47 PM on April 18, 2005

See also this article by Michael Geist on how he debunked CRIA's claim of revenue loss due to p2p.

CRIA asked for levies years ago and now they're whining they're not getting enough? $30 million a year isn't enough? What next a law that makes purchasing music mandatory?
posted by squeak at 9:49 PM on April 18, 2005

Another summer is on the way, and another DVD set is purchased. This time, Carnivale, which I wouldn't have seen without P2P. Last year this time it was Six Feet Under. Oh, and can't forget about Firefly (bought six copies to give to friends -- easier then urging them to seek it out and (sigh) they get the whole series!).

Man, the industry sure isn't making money off these thieving thieves.
posted by dreamsign at 11:11 PM on April 18, 2005

Buy? Hahahaha.
posted by davelog at 8:40 AM on April 19, 2005

Hmm. 25% of free is how much? I've never been good at math...
posted by deborah at 11:02 AM on April 19, 2005

This levy will give me even more justification for pirating as much music as I can. If I'm being forced to pay those bastards, I'll be damned if I don't get to screw them as thoroughly as possible.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:19 AM on April 19, 2005

I call it a proposed 25% tax because all the other hare-brained CRIA taxation ideas have almost universally passed [for example, taxing CD-Rs, then INCREASING that tax to twice the consumer-level cost of a CD-R, or about 8x the manufacturer level cost] So, basically, the government almost certainly *will* try to do this, but probably not at 25%. Let's say more like 1% - 5%. Lucky for us, elections will likely happen this year. :-D
posted by shepd at 11:53 AM on April 19, 2005

Unluckily for us, should those elections happen, copyright issues are about the least likely things to become "issues".
posted by arto at 12:28 PM on April 19, 2005

I fail to see how it will spur people to buy more. Especially in the knowledge that Celine might be getting MORE of a cut than before.
posted by Napierzaza at 6:47 PM on April 19, 2005

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