Business coalition supports the federal government's opposition to a levy on digital devices: CATAAlliance advocacy
December 15, 2010

OTTAWA, Dec. 14 /CNW/ - The Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright (BCBC) strongly supports today's statement by Industry Minister Tony Clement and Heritage Minister James Moore confirming the government's opposition to a new levy on digital music players, smart phones and similar digital devices.

The members of the BCBC are concerned that such a levy would be unfair and unworkable.

First, such a levy would force all consumers and businesses to pay an arbitrary fee for music regardless of whether they use their devices for such a purpose.  Second, proponents of these kinds of levies fail to recognize that consumers who buy music from legitimate online music services, such as iTunes and Puretracks, already pay for the right to make copies of those songs on their digital devices. The levy would require these consumers to pay twice for the same right; an unfair result.  Third, devices that are only used for music are an endangered species. Increasingly, consumers want to combine music players, phones, cameras, internet access, gaming devices and video displays into a single device. Charging a levy for music on smart phones and other multi-use devices would be inappropriate and would drive up the cost to consumers of acquiring innovative new mobile technologies and services. for the same right; an unfair result.  Third, devices that are only used for music are an endangered species. Increasingly, consumers want to combine music players, phones, cameras, internet access, gaming devices and video displays into a single device. Charging a levy for music on smart phones and other multi-use devices would be inappropriate and would drive up the cost to consumers of acquiring innovative new mobile technologies and services.

The needs and rights of consumers, distributors and creators do not have to be in conflict. Everyone benefits from copyright legislation that preserves and promotes legitimate markets for creators and deters copyright infringement, while allowing consumers to access legitimately acquired content when they want, where they want, on the devices they choose.  A new levy on digital devices would impede the development of legitimate markets and would do nothing to address concerns about copyright infringement.  BCBC supports the efforts of the government to deliver to Canadians new copyright legislation that promotes a vibrant, innovative and strong digital sector today and in the future.

About The Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright

BCBC members strongly believe that by promoting the development of a vibrant digital economy, a balanced approach to copyright legislation can serve the interests of creators, distributors and consumers. BCBC includes: CATAAlliance,  Canadian Association of Internet Providers, a division of CATAlliance, Canadian Cable Systems Alliance, Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, Computer and Communications Industry Association, Retail Council of Canada, Bell Aliant, Bell Canada, Cogeco Cable, eBay Canada, Google, MTS Allstream, Rogers Communications, SaskTel, TELUS Communications Company, Third Brigade, Tucows, and Yahoo! , Google, MTS Allstream, Rogers Communications, SaskTel, TELUS Communications Company, Third Brigade, Tucows, and Yahoo! Canada