Innovative Web Design and Application Development News

February 26th, 2003
February 26th, 2003

Attention Canadian Consumers

As a business the uses over 100 blank CDR media every month to distribute original data and images to our customers PawPrint is dismayed to hear that the Canadian Government is, yet again, hindering business in this country.

As you may or may not be aware canadian consumers are already paying a hidden private copying levy on certain computer and electronic products. Now, that may increase, dramatically if a collective of recording companies, performers and publishers gets its way.

Currently, a typical 100-pack of blank CDs includes a levy of $21 bundled into the price paid by the consumer. If approved this levy could skyrocket by as much as 181 percent to $59 per pack! The proposed levy could even be extended in the future to substantially increase the price of personal computers, television set-top boxes, mobile phones, PDAs and other hand-held devices, and personal video recorders.

This warning comes from the Canadian Coalition for Fair Digital Access (CCFDA) a new coalition of many of Canada´s largest electronics retailers and computer hardware and software manufacturers.

"The music industry collective is asking for levy increases that will mean higher prices for products such as recordable CDs, minidiscs and audio cassettes, and to apply new levies to a broader range of products, including MP3 players, DVDs and flash memory cards,"
said Brian Levy, president and chief executive officer of InterTAN/Radio Shack.

"Many of our customers are not even aware that these levies exist, let alone how unfair and indiscriminate they are. Most consumers and businesses do not use these storage media to record or copy music, yet they are forced to pay the levies as compensation to music copyright holders," said Levy.

"We are asking the federal government to repeal the private copying law that created the levy because this system is flawed,"
said Paul Tsaparis, president and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co.

"Higher levies on affected products may prevent many Canadians from having access to important new technologies – directly opposing many efforts that have been made to close the digital divide within regions and various economic strata within Canada. Another negative effect is Canadians may decide to shop in the United States where these products are generally levy-free,"
said Tsaparis.

"The Coalition believes that copyrighted works should be protected and copyright holders should be fairly compensated for their work. However, technologies are now available to help accomplish both these objectives,"
said Doug Cooper, general manager of Intel of Canada.

The Minister of Industry recently asked Parliament to review the private copying provisions of the Copyright Act. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is scheduled to conduct this review in 2003.

A comsumer information campaign was launched in Toronto by presidents and CEOs from major electronic retailers and hardware/software makers consisting of several elements, including in-store signage, website messages, and information in newsletters and other materials sent to customers and suppliers.

Representatives from several of the companies comprising the Canadian Coalition for Fair Digital Access (CCFDA):

  • Kevin Layden, President and COO, Best Buy Canada/Future Shop
  • Louise Wendling, Country Manager, Costco Wholesale, Canada
  • Paul Tsaparis, President and CEO, Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co.
  • Doug Cooper, General Manager, Intel of Canada
  • Frank Maw, President, Motorola Canada
  • Brian Levy, President and Chief Executive Officer, InterTAN/Radio Shack
  • Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada
  • Steve Matyas, President, STAPLES Business Depot

About the Canadian Coalition for Fair Digital Access

The Canadian Coalition for Fair Digital Access (CCFDA) is a broad-based organization of manufacturers, retailers and distributors working together to repeal Canada’s private copy levy system and replace it with a more equitable solution for all Canadians.

Members are:

AMD, Apple Canada, Best Buy Canada/Future Shop, Costco Wholesale, Creative Labs, Dell Canada, Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co., InterTAN/RadioShack, Intel of Canada, London Drugs, Micron, Motorola Canada, Retail Council of Canada, Sony Canada, STAPLES Business Depot, and Wal-Mart Canada.

For more information, please visit or contact:
Allan Reynolds or Brendan Howe

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