Canadian MP3 Levy, refund!

A buddy of mine sent me this link… Sounds like some of us may be eligable for a refund of up to $25CAD for the MP3 levy paid on some MP3 devices.

“The MP3 player levy was set at $2 for each recorder with a capacity of 1 gigabyte, $15 for each device over 1GB but below 10GB and $25 for each recorder with more than 10GB of storage space. The money was intended to compensate artists whose works were pirated onto the devices. The CPCC collected more than $4-million from iPod and other MP3 player sales.” … Technology


Good news and bad news.

The good news is that the courts found that the blank media levy was unlawful.

The bad news is now there’s no real “I’ve already paid my piracy tax” justification for piracy.

Of course, piracy and private copying are two different things.

Oh, so before this decision by the courts, were we able to kind of hide behind that ‘piracy tax’?

Personal copying is perfectly legal in Canada. That means I lend you my CD, you can copy it. You can download a song as well, even if you don’t own it. It’s a private thing.

The illegal part would be me making a copy of my CD and giving you the copy. Or me putting mp3s online for people to download. Then it’s distribution, not personal copying.

The levy was the Canadian equivalent of the RIAA, the CRIA – it imposed the levy as it felt that these devices (and blank CDs) were being used for piracy, so this was a way to make up for it.

Apple, Sony and HP disagreed, and took them to court. The CRIA lost.