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Canada Nixes Audio Levy on Flash Memory Cards

The Government of Canada announced that it plans to exempt microSD flash memory cards from the country’s flawed and misguided private audio copying levy scheme.

This move comes in reaction to the latest effort by the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) to expand the existing levy, which captures blank CD-R, CD-RW, CD-R Audio and CD-RW Audio discs, to include all microSD memory cards.

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Unedited press release follows:

Harper Government Says No to Fees on Memory Cards

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(July 3, 2012) – The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, today announced that the Harper Government will put in place regulations exempting microSD memory cards from copyright levies.

“Our government is committed to building a strong and vibrant Canadian digital economy, the cornerstone of which must be the widespread adoption of cutting-edge digital technologies,” said Minister Paradis. “Placing a new fee on devices with removable memory cards, such as BlackBerrys and smart phones, would increase costs for Canadian families and impact the adoption of the latest technologies.”

MicroSD memory cards are removable memory devices commonly used in smart phones. The Minister of Industry will request that the Governor-in-Council introduce regulations this fall. The Governor-in-Council has the regulatory power to exclude any type of recording medium from the application of a levy under the private copying regime.

“Our government worked hard to strike the right balance in the Copyright Modernization Act, which ensures world-leading consumer and user rights while giving creators the tools to protect their work and grow their businesses,” added Minister Paradis. “An additional fee on removable memory cards is not only unwarranted but unfair to Canadian consumers.”