Canadian Consumers Could Pay Dearly For Their Next iPod

The next time you buy a pack of blank CDs or scroll through the playlist on our iPod youill think of our northern neighbors after reading this: Canada currently collects a tariff on media that can be used for recording music; cassette tapes, blank CDs, and similar items. The purpose of the tariff is to compensate Canadian artists for losses incurred due to consumers reproducing their music. According to the Toronto Star, a decision is being made today (Friday, Dec. 21, 2003) that could significantly increase and broaden the scope of current tariffs, including even digital music players like the iPod.. From the article, Copyright body may slap levy on digital music players:

That 20-gigabyte MP3 player going under the Christmas tree this season could soon cost 20 per cent more if the Copyright Board approves a proposed levy tomorrow on the sale of digital music devices.

It could also mean new levies on recordable DVDs, removable flash memory and micro hard drives, as well as increased tariff rates on blank cassettes and recordable CDs, assuming a music-industry group called the Canadian Private Copying Collective, or CPCC, gets its way.

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"Itis the kind of decision thatis likely to leave everybody unhappy," said Michael Geist, a professor of Internet law at the University of Ottawa and technology counsel for Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

"The retailers wonit like it because they donit like the levy, period. Consumers wonit like it because they wonit be paying a fair price for the product. And copyright holders will probably feel theyire not getting enough."

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Under the proposed levies, a pack of 50 recordable CDs that have 700 megabytes of capacity will have a 49-cent levy on each disc. Today, that pack costs CAN$29.99, but the levy would impose an additional financial burden of CAN$24.50 if approved

Read the full account on the Toronto Star Web site.