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[d@DCC] Re: How the Grinch stole copyright
From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_ flora.ca>
A reply to: http://www.itbusiness.ca/index.asp?theaction=61&sid=54271 You suggest that ISP's may find themselves on the receiving end of an unexpected tax. The problem is that if this was a tax it wouldn't be as bad as what SOCAN and its ilk are asking for, and have thus far received -- one medium at a time. A tax is often seen as a collection of money from one group of people related to paying for services that these people may-or-may-not partake of personally. This is different than a user fee where the users and the payment come from the same group. In this respect the levy is like a tax given there is no connection between the people these levies are collected from and people who may be recording music onto an "audio recording medium" for personal use without the permission of the copyright holder. Taxes are collected by governments, and in our country a democratically elected government. With pressure these can be fiscally accountable governments. In this respect this levy is nothing like a tax in that the levy is collected by unaccountable and non-transparent private organizations. As citizens who may have to pay this levy we have no way to influence how the levy is collected and who the beneficiaries are. We have no way to verify that the right beneficiaries are in fact receiving what we as citizens may believe is right. Once the Internet is declared an "audio recording medium" it also means that downloading music from the Internet becomes entirely legal (uploading without permission of the copyright holder is still not legal). The private copying regime isn't a one-way handout to the intermediaries, and storing music on an "audio recording medium" for private use does not infringe copyright. Who becomes the largest losers in the long run if the Internet becomes considered an "audio recording medium"? The musicians since their audiences would no longer have a legal incentive to pay for music, only a moral obligation to the creator. The creators rights are being being infringed upon by the intermediaries. This is already the case for blank CD's where copying music from another source (paid for or not) onto that CD for private use is perfectly legal. This truly is a case of taxation without representation. This is coupled with the fact that while this money is claimed to be collected for the benefit of artists this is yet another case where the interests of the intermediaries are counter to those of the artists. Russell McOrmond, host of http://www.digital-copyright.ca/ ---cut--- For details see: C-42: The Canadian Copyright Act , PART VIII PRIVATE COPYING http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/C-42/38215.html#rid-38338 To see how extending this regime from music to software could decimate the industry, see: "Content industries on slippery slope with demand for blank media levy" http://www.flora.ca/cnm20030207.shtml --- Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/> Governance software that controls ICT, automates government policy, or electronically counts votes, shouldn't be bought any more than politicians should be bought. -- http://www.flora.ca/russell/ -- For (un)subscription information, posting guidelines and links to other related sites please see http://www.digital-copyright.ca
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