Saturday, February 10, 2007
Music industry wants copy surcharge on MP3 players
You know, just this morning I woke and said to myself: Self, you've not written anything negative about the Recording Association in ages. Well, actually I didn't, but it's true, the RIAA and the Canadian equivalent the CRIA have been behaving rather well. Yes the lawsuits are probably still flying but at least their not going after grandparents who don't even own a computer. I think some of the court decisions have been going badly as of late.
Still they have been good, then I open up my paper to day and read the above article. It seems a group in Canada, the CPCC want to revisit a dead issue, they want to have a levy put on all MP3 players. Now to give you some background and you can read the article, but still let me tell you aabout it. Two years ago there was a major push by the Recording Industry to have a levy placed on mp3 players, such as the iPod. The contention of the group is that the devices are recordings, such as blank media of which there is already a levy. In other words, the mp3 player is the media and not a devise for playing media such as music or videos. If that is the case then they demand a levy be placed on these devises. They also, I believe, at the time tried to get a levy on hard drives, since people download music onto them, those nasty consumers.
At the time, a Court ruled that such players are not under the jurisdiction of the Copyright Board and they could not impose a levy. I suggest you read the article to gain an understanding into the issue. If you open it to your PDF reader, you will find the salient remarks on page 39 and 40. Needless to say, there are people who want it revisited.
All this begs the question, what has changed in two years? The answer, nothing. MP3 players are still players, they are not the media or medium they play what is recorded on them, much as a CD player plays what is recorded on the disc that is inserted. They are a device for listening to music, certainly you download or burn music from CD's that have been purchased, but they are not media.
We have to keep an eye on this.
I'll keep you informed.