Music Industry

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)

Sony Classical Opens Online Store

Ariama.com, Sony’s new classical online store, is now online.

This service offers most of the Sony Classical catalog in mp3 and lossless format. But physical shipments of CDs are limited to the United States for the moment.

People who love soundtracks, like yours truly, will enjoy this service. It features numerous recordings, including many by John Williams, Danny Elfman and Howard Shore.

Expansion at eMusic

eMusic is expanding it’s catalog, according to Reuters.

The music download site is in talks with Universal Music Group and EMI Music Group, trying to securing licensing for more recordings before their relaunch in November.

These deals would add an additional seven million recordings to their repertoire, on top of the 10 million they already have because of their deals with Sony Music, Warner Music Group and several indie labels.

Best Buy Reduces CDs & DVDs At Stores

It appears that Americans will not be able to buy many CDs and DVDs from their local Best Buys stores this Christmas, according to Investors.com.

This site reports that Best Buy are reducing the store space allocated to compact discs and DVDs to instead use this space for video game consoles and electronics like tablets PCs and netbooks this Christmas season.

Even Rolling Stone gets it !

Rolling Stone Magazine has openly criticized the record executives in the United States in a statement published in the magazine, according to Icanhasinternets.

In this statement, entitled “A Big Fat Thanks To Record Execs”, Rolling Stone Magazine states that because of their actions “millions of kids will stop wasting time listening to new music and seeking new bands”. And I tend to agree with them.

The internet has great potential as a promotional medium and heavy prosecution only hinders progress.

Yes, it isn’t perfect. But with a bit of work and investment it can become the new “radio” or “music television”.