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CPCC Blows Gasket Over microSD Memory Card Levy

The Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) accused the Government of Canada of usurping the authority of the Copyright Board by scuttling the special interest group’s campaign to extend the country’s private audio copying levy to include microSD flash memory cards.

I agree. To my mind, as long as the Copyright Board has authority to determine the amount of the levy and to which media it applies, politicians have no business monkeying with details. However, rather than maintain such a fundamentally misguided and flawed scheme, which dates back to 1999, the current government should scrap the audio levy entirely.

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Unedited press release follows:


July 4, 2012 – (Toronto) – Yesterday’s announcement by Industry Minister Christian Paradis that the federal government will block a proposed new private copying levy on microSD memory cards before it is heard by the Copyright Board of Canada is premature and represents inappropriate interference, the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) said today.

“The federal government has usurped the authority of the Copyright Board and the long-established, fair and independent process it oversees with respect to how songwriters, music publishers and other rights holders are compensated for the private copying of their music,” said CPCC Chair Lyette Bouchard.

“By unilaterally quashing the request for a private copying tariff on what has become a widely-used medium for copying music, this government is once again denying Canadian music creators the ability to earn a living from their work,” Bouchard said, noting that the government refused calls to extend the private copying levy to MP3 players as part of new changes to the Copyright Act.

The CPCC is a non-profit organization which administers and collects the private copying levy from sales of blank media used to copy music, such as CD-Rs, and distributes the money to songwriters, music publishers and other rights holders as compensation for this use of their work. The CPCC had filed a request to the Copyright Board to have the levy applied to microSD memory cards, as research has shown that the cards are widely used by Canadians to copy music for playback on smartphones and other devices.

“Technology keeps changing and providing Canadians with more ways to enjoy music, yet this government seems determined to prevent artists and rights holders from keeping pace with those changes and being able to earn a living from the music they create,” said Bouchard.

Established in 1999, the CPCC is an umbrella organization whose member collectives represent songwriters, composers, music publishers, recording artists, musicians and record companies.