Oh I’m cranky today! I happened to read an article detailing the Canadian Private Copying Collective’s plans to petition the government to allow a levy on portable music players and flash memory cards. Their proposed fees would raise the cost of an 80 GB iPod by $75 or 24%. Even more ridiculous is the fee they want to tack on to flash memory cards. The huge majority of these are used for digital cameras, yet the music industry wants a piece of this action as well.
I couldn’t help myself. I wrote my Member of Parliament before I knew what happened:
Date: Sun, 11 Feb 2007 23:52:03 ‑0500
From: Rick Pali <email@example.com>
To: David McGuinty <McGuinty.D@parl.gc.ca>
Subject: The CPCC’s latest plans…
I’m reaching the end of my rope. Words fail me when I try to express how sick and tired I am at being pre-punished for crimes. Is this really how the law is supposed to work?
The straw responsible for my writing you today is this article: Copyright collective wants iPod levy.
The music industry is not satisfied at taking a share of the money for the blank CDs I buy. No, this is not lucrative enough so not it’s time to add an extra 24% to the cost of an iPod because a buyer can put downloaded music on it.
Currently, police do not pre-charge people at the LCBO for drunk driving, so why are we being charged for stealing music? There are legitimate non-infringing uses for blank CDs and portable music players. So here I am, left feeling like a chump for having purchased hundreds of CDs when I certainly could have just let the CD levy take care of it. Why am I being punished for doing the right thing?
The worst part of this is it’s the industry’s own fault. They’ve made copying legal. So now many people copy. Revenues are down. How is this any surprise? It’s come to the point where I’m about to say “no more.” The music industry needs us more than we need them. I’ve got a lot of CDs and could easily swear off accumulating any new music. But of course it’s not over, because I must pay the levies if I want blank media. It’s quite a racket they’ve got going…
Has the rule of law fallen to the special interest lobbyists to define? It sure seems so, and not only does it upset me, but it embarrasses me as a Canadian to see what is happening to my country.