Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Levies, levies everywhere.

For those of you who follow the RIAA quest to eliminate p2p file swapping you may know that in Canada we have this wonderful thing called a levy which is added to all blank media that could be used to make copies of copyrighted material. That means that if I purchase blank tapes, cds, dvd, and the like I pay a certain amount per item that goes to the various organizations like the CRIA (Canadian version of the RIAA.) This is bad enough as I work in a church where we record our services on tapes, CDs and on video for local television broadcast which mean we pay the levy on in house productions and backups of our computers. Just recently our wonderful government added this levy to mp3 players. Putting aside the idea that this assumes that the only reason anyone would want blank storage media would be to copy copyrighted material rather than assuming innocence and having to prove guilt, even this extortion of our money is not enough for the CRIA. Now they are intending to start a legal campain against those who are swapping material, although they are already getting money not only from those evil file swappers, but also from hundreds of thousand law abiding citizens who are using their video tapes to tape family gatherings, who are using their cds to back up their computer data and the like. Needless to say this is starting to annoy me. They CRIA either has to be happy with the levies, or tell the government to remove them and pursue people through the courts. They cannot have their levy and eat people up in the court system too.


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