Consumer Information

New Levy Proposed For Mp3 Players

A new levy for mp3 players and iPods has been proposed in Parliament.

Private Members Bill C-499 would extend the current private copying levy from blank audio cassettes, CD-R, CD-RW and DAT tapes to MP3 Players, including iPods, in order to compensate copyright holders for the distribution of copyrighted material to these devices.

Unfortunately the previous attempt to expand this levy to “digital audio recorders” called for rates up to $75 per device, which would have been passed onto consumers by the manufacturers, and would have resulted in the decimation of the Canadian sales of these devices because Canadian consumers would have imported them to avoid the additional fees.

As a consumer I oppose these levies because I believe I have already paid for the right to distribute recordings that I have purchased online to these devices. And I have also purchased the compact discs from which I make private copies, copies for personal use that are deemed legal since the passing of the Private Copying Act in 1997.

Remuneration is not required from me because I do not download music illegally off the net, yet this levy is based on the assumption that I download recordings off the net illegally simply because I own a device that can be used to store this material.

After all they had assumed that most of the previously levied items were used to make copies of copyrighted material. And this will of course result in further assumptions about film downloads, which will likely result in more levies in the future on DVD-R, DVD-RW and devices on which video can be stored or played back.

We need an equitable, logical remuneration scheme based on the realities of today’s recording industry.

Distribution is no longer limited to a physical medium like vinyl, cassette or compact disc and the consumer should not be paying for a recording every time they copy this recording to a medium when this copying is meant for personal, private use.

Please contact your local Member of Parliament and voice your opinion on this issue as soon as possible.

I will be updating this blog entry as the issue progresses.

Amazon Wants Canadian Distribution Center

Online retailer Amazon.com is considering a distribution center in Canada according to The Globe And Mail.

The online retailer currently operates Amazon.ca via a Canada Post subsidiary and hopes to pass on their savings in operating a “fulfillment center” in Canada.

iPad – My Opinion

Well, Apple has decided to release a new gadget that they call the iPad.

Crude jokes aside this device has garnered my attention, more than the Kindle DX, because of its colorful display and wi-fi capability.

It’s as sleek as an iTouch but larger. And hopefully Apple considered that some consumers would like to mount it to a wall and use it as a networking device, like yours truly.

I’d like to be able to access MP3 files from a hard drive on my network and possibly connect wireless speakers to it so I don’t have to have these unsightly wires all over the place.

But of course Microsoft will likely create a Windows Media Center compatible tablet so there should be some competition by next Christmas.

I would consider the later as well if it was more competitively priced and offered 3G access for less. But for now Canadian will need to be content with a wi-fi model, that will be on sale in Canada this month according to the Financial Post.