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Consultations Government of Canada
As a music rights holder, the royalties I earn from the use of my music are very important to my livelihood. In order to be fairly compensated for the use of my music, there must be effective copyright legislation. This is vital for all of Canada's songwriters, performers, music publishers and record labels because copyright legislation sets the rules concerning the copying and use of music, and how those who create it are compensated for their work.
If those who create music are to continue to receive fair compensation in the digital age, amendments to the Copyright Act must address the technological changes affecting how individuals make private copies of music. Specifically, technologies such as the iPod and other MP3 players must be included under the Act as devices to which the private copying levy applies. Without this change, millions of unauthorized copies of music will be made every year, with rights holders receiving nothing for this use of their work.
Without a private copying levy that reflects how Canadians now use technology to copy and play music, most Canadian rights holders will not be able to afford to continue to create music.
It is an interesting situation; people want music around them all the time, and are willing to spend anywhere from $50 — $450 dollars for devices that allow them to play their music, and yet the actual music is viewed as somehow "free". In truth, the music is priceless. It motivates, inspires, gives solace, and gets people through their days. How much is that worth to the national GDP?
It generally costs thousands of dollars for an artist to create a professional quality CD, not to mention the cost of years and thousands of hours of practice and experience that result in the end product, and yet, somehow, once it is released, the music is considered "free" by the listening populace. This is not a reasonable position for the general public to assume, but it is unlikely to change, as we are creatures of convenience; we do what is easiest at the moment. Therefore it seems like a small thing to ask for a levy to be charged on the actual devices that copy and play music for people. They will never stop listening to music, they will never stop buying the tools to make that possible, and they will never want to pay for the actual music. So tax what they will buy. Anywhere from $1 to $5 per device would be reasonable, considering even cheap devices hold hundreds of recordings, with larger, more expensive models holding tens of thousands. If someone is willing to pay $450 for their iPhone, they aren't going to balk if it costs $455. So make a levy that increases with the capacity of the device.
Mr. William Prouten