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CPCC pushing for copyright tax on Memory Cards

Posted by on 14/05/2011

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The Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) is back at it again, this time trying to get a copyright tax added to memory cards, on the grounds that these memory cards are used for the purpose of copying and transporting music.

After failing twice of have taxes placed in iPods, they are now pushing for the tax on memory cards, which can essentially be used in smartphones, cameras, digital voice recorders, and as general data storage devices.

This is the excerpt from the proposal:

(b) 50¢ for each electronic memory card with 1 gigabyte of memory or less, $1.00 for each electronic memory card with more than one gigabyte of memory but less than 8 gigabytes of memory, and $3.00 for each electronic memory card with 8 gigabytes of memory or more.

While the tax may not be alot for those getting cards under 8GB, a 16GB SD drive for CDN $35.00 would now cost a user CDN $38.00. For those cards over 8GB that are relatively cheap, the tax could end up being as much as 20% of the final price, which is pretty ridiculous if it won’t be used for music storage purposes. Howard Knopf made a good point about SD drives being used for purposes other than storing music, saying that with portable hard drives and iPod players becoming much more popular, users are relying less on SD cards for that purpose but rather use them in mobile phones and cameras, which obviously serve other purposes.

It seems clear that the CPCC has a lot of financial power to get the policy set into effect via their upper hand on levies collection. Parties who are interested in blocking the policy from coming into effect would have to dish out quite a lot of dough and come up with enough scientific evidence to prove that SD cards are not a popular medium of music storage and transport.

At the moment there are taxes on Compact Discs, so technically it wouldn’t be too hard for the CPCC to get a tax imposed on memory cards. On the positive side, even though some users would not use their memory cards for music purposes, it would still go towards to development of the creative arts and activities in Canada.

What do you guys think?

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