• All Canadians are Criminals According to the NDP

    by  • 3/17/2010 • music • 0 Comments

    I sent the following email to federal opposition member Charlie Angus who recently tried to beat a dead horse on the floor of Parliament. These copyright “reforms” are just stupid – treat us all like criminals, and then use the funds generated from this tax to support artists who don’t need the support anyway. You think that the kind of crusty punk rock types that I listen to would see a cent from this? Not on your life.

    I don’t expect to hear anything back, but did include my phone number and contact info on my email.

    From 2005, Michael Geist talks about the defeat of the iPod levy at the Supreme Court of Canada, and from yesterday, he discusses the most recent attempt by politicians to bring this back from the dead.

    I have read about your private members bill, and watched the video on your site at http://www.charlieangus.net/houseitem.php?id=137

    Hasn’t the issue been fought and lost at the Supreme Court of Canada?

    In a world of downloading digital music as you say, I am doing my part to ensure a future for artists who need to monetize their work; I pay them for it, or I pay an agent that they have chosen such as iTunes, Emusic, CDBaby, Bandcamp, Kickstarter, or at shows, directly to an artist. What does your proposal do to ensure that people who are doing the right thing are not labeled as copyright criminals?

    In the same way that I can take a physical CD that I have purchased and listen to it on a portable CD player, or in the CD drive on my work PC, or in a CD player in my car, I can take a digital file and place it on my computer at work, my home PC, and on my iPod. It would be silly if I had to purchase and listen to one CD on my portable device while I was on the bus, another for my work machine, and another for my home PC; that is why private copying was allowed in the existing legislation.

    There is no lost revenue stream in my being allowed to enjoy the film, tv show, music, etc, in the most appropriate form, regardless of the specifics. What is not legal, and never has been, is the sharing of the products I have purchased with a third party. Penalizing those of us who DO do the right thing is offensive and wrong.

    I do not, as a music fan, “use an ipod to copy music and tv shows” as you seem to suggest, illegally. When I purchase a TV show, say my most recent purchase of the new Kids In The Hall CBC mini-series, the license that iTunes is granting me allows for portable player use in addition to (I believe) 5 PCs on the home and office network that I register with Apple.

    How does this levy you propose ensure that the artists that I am supporting are the ones receiving the benefits of this tax? Or are funds raised through your proposed tax going to be distributed solely to top 100 Canadian artists like Nickelback and Avril Lavigne? I’d rather choose who I support with my music purchases rather than rely on the Canadian Government to decide which artists are worthy of a tax based welfare system.

    Seriously, how can you make me agree with the Conservative Party? That’s the part that hurts the most.


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