Consumer Information

Limewire Plans Scrapped

Limewire is no more.

The company has confirmed that they will cease their operations on December 31st, scrapping their plans to offer legal music services.

Their agreements with several independent labels and distributors will be dissolved.

Discounted Music Downloads

Canadian Mastercard users can save 25% off purchased of 10 Tracks or more from Choose Your Songs, a site that contains the most popular Universal Music tracks off Puretracks.

I don’t know when it expires but the promo code for this offer is MASTERCARD25OFF.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday in Canada ?

Several Canadian online stores have decided to have Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday sales.

Like their American counterpart Amazon.ca has decided to have both a Black Friday sale and Cyber Monday sale. Amazon.com had already begun their sales, including a DVD sale I might be taking advantage off because of our strong dollar. But the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales at Amazon.ca will only begin at Midnight, Pacific Time, on November 26th, 2010.

Computer and electronics retailer Tigerdirect has also decided to follow their American site’s lead and have Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales of their own. And I’m assuming Best Buy’s Canadian operations will offer their version as well shortly.

I guess I’ll be busy looking at sales this weekend. 🙂

Update: Sears Canada has also decided to have a Black Friday Sale: Electronics Extravaganza!. I’m browsing the site as I’m posting this message. And no, their specials are not limited to electronics.

Once You Know, You Newegg

Cineplex Now Offering Online Movie Rentals

Film rentals and purchases are now available to Canadians via the Cineplex store site, some of them discounted, or even free, with Scene point redemption.

But to view this content you will need to install the Cineplex Media Manager, which is not available yet for Mac and Linux machines, and have Windows Media Player 11 installed.

The content downloaded from this web site is therefore limited to Windows machines (Windows XP SP2/newer, Vista or 7), Plays for Sure devices that can sync a 1500K video and the Xbox 360.

The site states they will be expanding their compatibility shortly.

ACTRA Wants Hard Drives/Mp3 Players Levied

The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists has asked the government to not only extend the private copying levy to Mp3 players but want hard drives levied and the fair dealing exemptions for educational institutions provisions dropped.

In a press release issued on November 16th, the organization claims that Bill C-32 “rips millions of dollars from creators’ pockets”. And in a November 5th press release they also state “Institutions pay the full cost of desks, computers and teacher salaries, why would they not pay for the content deemed valuable enough to use in their classrooms?

Well, according to the Private Copying amendments the items currently being levied are primarily used as recording media. Mp3 players failed to be levied because they were not technically recording media and hard drives and flash drives failed to be levied because they were not primarily used to copy audio recordings.

Has the situation changed since the last rulings ? No.

ACTRA may claim that Bill C-32 “isn’t good for consumers” but if the Copyright Act were altered to enable the levying of devices like Mp3 players and hard drives, the consumer would be paying significantly more via the manufacturers and importers of these devices.

One only has to review the exorbitant rates the Canadian Private Copying Collective had applied for on the levied media in the past to know that the Canadian consumer is secondary.

Does $21 per gig on mp3 players sound consumer friendly ? How about $2.27 per recordable/rewritable DVD ? Those were the requested rates for 2003/2004, as published in the March 9th, 2002 Supplement of the Canada Gazette (Supplement, Vol. 136, No. 10).

These proposed levies are in no way good for the consumer because it opens the door for additional levies on other products.

ACTRA not only represents radio artists but performers in film and television. And their November 16th statement they claim the film, television, video game and book industries would also face losses because of Bill C-32 :

If Canadian cultural industries are to keep producing films, TV programs, video games, music and books, we can’t afford a bill like C-32 that rips millions of dollars from creators’ pockets“.

The devices on which films, TV programs, video games and ebooks are recorded, downloaded and/or displayed are not currently levied and Bill C-32 calls for an ability by Canadian consumers to perform backups of some of this material.

What will be levied next ?

Limewire Closing

An injunction to cease P2P operations has been issued to Limewire on the 26th of October, 2010.

The company has stopped offering downloads of their software via their web site.

(UPDATE : The original site on which the injunction was hosted is gone but thanks to Simon Grant you’ll find a replacement source for the injunction by clicking on the above link. And for good measure, here is another source, also in PDF format)