Canada: No Pirate Tax on iPods, MP3 Players (They’re Players, Not ‘Enablers’…Hello!)
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In a decision in which the Canadian Private Copying Collective (somewhat analagous to the U.S.’ RIAA, except that the CPCC actually represents the interests of the artists) says that it is “disappointed”, the Canadian high court has this week let stand a ruling that the CPCC could no longer levy what some have been calling “pirate tax” on iPods, iPod shuffles, and other MP3 players.

And the key word is “player”.


The levy was put in place in 2003, after the group successfully lobbied for the tax by saying that because these new-fangled devices enabled the copying of songs, Canadian artists would lose their royalties through increased pirating. The move was opposed and protested by MP3 manufacturers such as Apple, who urged the Canadian courts to overturn the tax.

Explained the CPCC’s David Baskin, following this week’s ruling, “Obviously we’re disappointed. We felt it was self-evident that those products are sold for the purpose of copying music.”

Hmm…what is self-evident is a stunning amount of spin. Come on. MP3 players are, well, mp3 players. It’s the same argument used against those who purchase paraphenalia such as bongs, when they may have a completely legitimate purpose such as..well, maybe that’s not such a good example. But the point is that just because you own a device which can play pirated music does not mean that you are going to use it to facilitate the pirating of music! You may as well tax the purchase of blank recordable media!

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Oh, wait. The CPCC does that, too. Yep, really.

Following the defeat by the Canadian high court, the CPCC must return to MP3 player importers and manufacturers, including Apple and Dell, the funds they collected through the pirate tax, $4million all told between December 2003 and December 2004.

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7 thoughts on “Canada: No Pirate Tax on iPods, MP3 Players (They’re Players, Not ‘Enablers’…Hello!)
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  1. CPCC distributed about 25% of the total revenues it collected. Where is the balance? Also, it targets registered members to collect the $ 0.21 cents levy on each CD sold while one can get the same for $ 0.18 in the market. Assuming that 10C is the cost of a CD, how come Office Depot, walmart Costco etc managed to sell them for 25C each? Can anyone tell me the arithmetic in it>?>????

  2. I own an ipod and every song on it is legit. PAID FOR. It is criminal for the CPCC to assume I’m a pirate and fine me for it. That’s what this tax would be, a fine. A punishment for a crime you MIGHT commit. Perhaps everyone should spend a month in jail, just in case.

  3. Canada already levies a fee on blank cassettes, dvd’s etc. This was an additional revenue stream.

    This is why most Canadians will file sharre. The government and music industry have alreday decided that I am going to pirate music and are charging me a tax so why not get my money’s worth.

    They are now talking about new copywright legislation a la US, but I hope they remember to remove the tax as well.

    Wait a minute – who am I kidding. No government will ever remove a tax unless trhey can replace it with another.

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