Saturday, October 20, 2007

Canada planning on taxing legal mp3 downloads

The Copyright Board Of Canada is set a new measure in which they are looking to collect a small tax on legal music download sites. Requested by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), the tax would apply at least 2.1 cents to every individual song download and 1.5 cents per track for complete albums. Subscription download and streaming services would themselves be charged between 5.7 and 6.8 percent of a user's monthly fees. Minimum fees would also apply for every larger download or subscription.

The surcharge would help compensate artists for piracy, according to SOCAN's reasoning.

Currently Canada already charges a 21-cent fee to blank CD purchases.

The tax may have a significant impact for online stores such as iTunes and Canada-based Puretracks, which will have to factor the amount both into future and past sales. The new tax would be retroactive to January 1st, 1996 and would effectively cover all sales and subscriptions from such services since their beginnings, which typically followed shortly after those in the US. Free services are not currently subject to the added cost.

The decision has not set a fixed date for when stores would begin paying the fee, but said it would roll out any tariffs "gradually" to soften the immediate blow.

This decision follows a related move in July, in which the Copyright Board had tentatively approved a media player and memory levy that would add to the price of iPods and removable flash storage under the assumption that the devices were being used to carry copyrighted material.

Source [Electronista]

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