music

Canadian Music Downloads – 69 Cents Each

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CPCC Seeks No Levy for Cloud Services

The Canadian Private Copying Collective will not be seeking levies for cloud services according to a press release issued on July 21st, 2011.

“The CPCC views these services, and specifically the iMatch offering, as a matter of licensing between the right holders and the cloud service providers, not one of private copying”

The current government has yet to introduce their copyright reform bill and Parliament is scheduled to adjurn for summer today, until the fall session begins on September 19th, 2011.

Best Buy Music Cloud Online

Best Buy‘s Musiccloud service is now online in the states. The cloud service is provided by Catch Media‘s Play Anywhere system, which is compatible with Apple, Blackberry and Android devices.

I have yet to find information related to a Canadian service but the terms and conditions of this service don’t include limitations in regards to use by American residents. I will change this information if I recieve confirmation that Canadians are ineligible for the service.

More Clouds In Forecast

Another online music retailer has decided to create a Cloud service.

American subscription service eMusic are hoping to launch their own Cloud service in the fall or winter.

This company had just recently secured the rights to EMI‘s older catalog, enabling members access to EMI recordings that are over 12 months old.

Apple Cloud Service To Be Unveiled In June

According to an official press release, Apple will be unveiling their new iCloud service on June 6th, at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Durring the key note address Apple CEO Steve Jobs and several executives will discuss this new sevice as well as the new Mac operating system, Lion, and a new mobile operating system for the company’s devices, iOS 5.

I believe this key note address is scheduled for 10am, PST. Details in regards to the cloud service accessibility in Canada will probably be discussed at that time.

Levy On Memory Cards Proposed, Again.

The Canadian Private Copying Collective had applied for a levy on memory cards at the Copyright Board.

On March 31st, the CPCC has asked the Copyright Board to extend the definition of Blank Audio Recording Media to include memory cards so they can obtain up to $3 in levies per card from manufacturers and importers of this media.

Published in the supplement of the Canada Gazette on May 14th, the rates are as follows :

$0.50 on each memory card that is less than 1 GB
$1.00 on each memory card that is above 1GB but under 8GB
$3.00 on each memory card that is 8GB and more

Unfortunately for the CPCC the definition of what can be and cannot be levied is clearly defined in Section 79 of our Copyright Act :

“audio recording medium” means a recording medium, regardless of its material form, onto which a sound recording may be reproduced and that is of a kind ordinarily used by individual consumers for that purpose, excluding any prescribed kind of recording medium

In respect to this definition the Copyright Board had ruled in December 2003 that the evidence presented to them had not clearly demonstrated “that these recording media are ordinarily used by individuals for the purpose of copying music.”

To store and play back music all one requires is a class 2, 2GB per second memory card. A higher class card is not necessary as it does not improve the sound quality of the recording nor the performance of the device in which this memory card is placed.

Class 4, 4GB per second memory cards were introduced to facilitate the storage of photographs whilst Class 6 (6GB/s) and Class 10 (10GB/s) memory cards were created to record and store high definition video.

The only Secure Digital card created explicitly for music is the SD-Audio format, so a blanket levy on all memory cards is inappropriate or justified.

That said, one then has to wonder why the proposed rates are quite low in comparison to their previous request.

In 2002 they had requested $8 per gig on memory cards according to the March 9th, 2002 edition of the Canada Gazette. But the Canadian labels the CPCC represent still claim that more and more people are copying music “illegally” to devices with memory cards.

It appears their proposals are inconsistant and somewhat arbitrary.

Perhaps they’re attempting to make the levy more palatable. But it makes no sense to reduce the levy whilst claiming there is more harm to the copyright holders since 2002, unless the proposed rate in 2002 was exagerated.

I believe in proposing this levy the CPCC are actually attempting to solicit a definition that enables them to levy the memory cards embedded in mp3 players.

After all, the term they used in the proposal was “electronic memory card“, which doesn’t distinguish embedded from non embedded memory cards. And they could attempt to argue that though most memory cards are not ordinarily used for music that memory cards that are embedded inside mp3 players are.

Technically such a levy would not be a mp3 player levy but a levy on the memory card inside the mp3 player, that they could repackage as a “compromise” during the upcoming copyright reform process.

But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now we can object to the levying of memory cards that we primarily use for our own photographs and videos.

The Copyright Board will be accepting objections to the “Statement of Proposed Levies to Be Collected by CPCC on the Sale, in Canada, of Blank Audio Recording Media for the Years 2012 and 2013“, as published in the May 14th, 2011 supplement of the Canada Gazette, until July 13th, 2011 at the following address :

GILLES MCDOUGALL
Secretary General
56 Sparks Street, Suite 800
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C9

613-952-8630 (fax)

Please note that these objections may become part of public record so it is preferable to address the issue politely.