Canada has second stab at MP3 tax

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Canada has second stab at MP3 tax

Players should be taxed 'in the same way as recordable media'.

Canada is making a second attempt to tax anyone buying an MP3 player under laws designed to protect recording artists, music publishers and record companies.

The Canada Private Copyright Collective (CPCC), an umbrella organisation which represents the music industry, is once again trying to add a fee to music players in the same way that the country taxes blank media. 

The non-profit agency first tried the move in 2003 but was overruled in a 2004 decision by the Federal Court of Appeal.

At that time, Justice Marc Noël ruled in favour of retailers, and stated that the law governing blank media did not include the memory in digital music players and hard drives.

However, the CPCC once again hopes to add MP3 players to the list of taxable items by claiming that the players themselves count as recording media.

If successful, this would lead to a charge in Canadian dollars based on a player's size. The CPCC has suggested US$5 for 1GB players, US$25 for 10GB players, US$50 for between 10GB and 30GB and US$75 for any device holding more than 30GB.

The CPCC also wants to add memory cards to the Copyright Act and charge US$2 to US$10 in tax, although this move has previously been refused by the Copyright Board of Canada. 

The current rules governing recordable media are due to expire on New Year's Eve 2007, with tariffs for the 2008-2009 period being set later this year.

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