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Thread: CD-R Levy

  1. #1
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    Default CD-R Levy

    All good Canadians in the know should know what I'm talking about. In '99 a levy was put in place on CD-R and audio cassettes with the intention that the levy would be used to reimburse the music artists for piracy. I didn't actually find out about the levy until after it had already gone into place, so that was my bad. Now they're proposing an increase. I sent in my objection and signed the petition against it, although I doubt it'll do any good. My rant, though, is not with the levy, but what it's being included on. Namely DVD-R. What the <dangerous explicitive> is up with that?
    If any of the monies were going to support movie piracy, then maybe I could understand. I'd still be opposed, but at least I'd get where they were coming from. But it's not, it's all being distributed to the music industry. Actually, to the best of my knowledge, not a penny has been distributed from the levy since it was put in place. The CPCC's just been collecting it all.
    Back to the DVD-R. Does it make ANY sense to use a $20 disc where 7 $1.50 discs will do, especially when the $20 disc is only good for home use? How many portable music DVD players have you seen? "I'm going to spend an extra $10 just so I don't have to get off my lazy ass to change CDs every 10 hours"

    But wait, I've got another rant. Minidiscs. You know what I use minidiscs for? I created a 5 minute video clip which I converted to VCD and send to companies as a kind of digital resume. Now, I don't go through a lot, and apparently no one else does either, because my supplier just stopped carrying them. A quick look on the internet to see if I could find another nearby supplier revealed that minidiscs were being included as audio CDs. All this time I thought I was paying $0.21 levy on them when I was actually paying $0.77. No wonder they were so much more then a regular CD. How many people out there still use minidiscs for audio? If you are, move into the 21st century and get an MP3 disc player, and stop raising the price of my minidiscs.

    Actually, here's another bugger for you. When a CD Costs $0.30, and there's a $0.21 levy on it, that means without the levy, it only costs $0.09. 70% of the cost is the levy, which, by the way, is also taxable. I don't buy audio CDs (other then minidiscs, @#$%) so I couldn't tell you how ripped off you're getting. At least, if the new levy goes through (and may God have mercy on us all if it does) it's only $2.27 for a DVD-R, just over 10% of the cost.

    And one more, so long as I'm fuming. They say of the final $20 pricetag, $1.50 from each music disc goes to the artists (songwriter, singer, producer) so that's what they intend to get back from the levy ($1.50 per 'disc' of copied music) which I can understand. But watch this. One GB of micro hard drive = 1100 minutes of MP3 audio (bit rate depending) or enough for 15 CDs. That's $22.50 @ $1.50 per disc. That assumes that every micro hard drive is used for MP3. They aren't, not by a long shot. (They're actually only asking $21 on the levy but whatever) How many DV camcorders out there use mHD? What about those personal VCR things (I've seen satelite systems with them), that let you pause live TV? Some boast they can record up to 30 hours video. I have no idea what size of hard drive that must be, but you can bet it'd be fairly large, at least 15 gigs. Suddenly something which costs $299 now costs $614, and that is just going to KILL sales.

    One more thing, the exemptions they're allowing are stupid! They're only giving exemptions on audio CD-Rs. Mostly those that seek exemption want them for data, not audio. And the fact that you need to buy from participating importers? Isn't that kind of monopolizing on the industry? Sure, maybe I could get my $1.50 discs for only $1.00, but if the levy weren't in place, I could get then $0.73, right?

    Ok, I'm done now and feeling moderately better.

  2. #2
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    Default Getting ripped off

    Ostaf,

    I'm just as pissed as you about it, even though I live in the states. By the way, as I write this, the price here for DVD-R blanks is as low as $1.10 each in 100 pc. spindles. Even allowing for devaluation of $1 Canadian, $20 each is still a ripoff. Heck, your levy would be higher than the damn DVD-R! I think it sucks too. The governments are so afraid of the entertainment industry that they stick it to Joe Lunchpail.

    It'll be just a matter of time before our government, or DVD hardware industry, buckles to Hollywood's wishes and slaps a huge surcharge on all blank media that COULD be used for piracy. Whatever happened to the concept of "innocent until proven guilty?" Next will be hard drives like you mentioned, then PCs themselves because they COULD be used to duplicate CDs, DVDs and copyrighted songs.

    I think that if we're going to get the "criminal" label, we ought to all get broadband web access, sign on to Morpheus, and download each and every copyrighted song we can get our hands on. We're already paying the penalty for the crime, let's start reaping the benefits of the crime.
    Cheers!
    Kevin

  3. #3
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    What ever happened to CD-R Audio discs? Standalone CD audio recorders only supported this format, and there was a 300% levy on it or something (at least here in Australia) and all the money go to the RIAA (not sure if the levy Australians buy will also go to the "American" record industry association, or to our own). The levy was to pay for the copyrights that they assumed we were going to break.

    Isn't it nice of them to assume that all of us are guilty - perhaps they should give out prison sentences everytime you purchase a CD-R ... just in case : "that'll be $10 and 10 years, thanks - would you like a bag with that?"

    I remember some time ago when brand name CD-Rs were selling here for about $2.50 each (that's about $1.30 US dollars) and Audio CD-Rs were around $7 ($3.5 USD) each. They are much cheaper now, about half of the price back then.

    DVD-Rs are expensive and hard to find here, and all this nonsense with DVD-RW and DVD+RW is making things a lot worse. But I suspect prices are being kept high deliberately to pay "copyright levies", or otherwise known as "licensing fees". If this is the case, then I am sure several Australian anti-competition laws are being broken, and the anti-competition commission here may do something about this (they have already said that DVD region control is anti-competitive).

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    Default Fees for Aussies

    Admin,

    I didn't know RIAA's reach was worldwide. Too bad they have that kind of power, isn't it?

    Too bad you guys have that much trouble finding a good price on DVD blanks. They're getting fairly common here in the states. DVD-R blanks can be had for $1.10USD now. They're plummeting just like CD-Rs did a few years back. Have you checked to see if the resellers here will ship to you? I don't know how expensive that might be for you.

    Almost forgot ...maybe if you get Steve and Terry Irwin to sign a petition ...
    Last edited by kevin abq; 12 Jul 2002 at 10:00 PM
    Cheers!
    Kevin

  5. #5
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    As a Canadian I am outraged. The RIAA is acting unjustly and unfairly. CD-R's like any technology can be used for both "legal" and "illegal" purposes. Many people just want to back up their data---why should we pay the RIAA?

  6. #6
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    Just checked with a computer supplier and their Pioneer DVD-R blanks are $15 and DVD-RW are $30 (in Australian dollars, so that's about $8 and $16 US dollars respectively).

    The Pioneer DVD-RW A04 drive is retailing for $800 (~ $400 US dollars).

    If you need any comparisons, then brandname CD-Rs are about $1 each ($0.50 US). CD Writer hardware is about US $75 (eg. for a Ricoh 40/32/10).

    In related news, the MPAA has been doing the rounds here and trying to convince our government to introduce DMCA like laws here, which would make copying copy-protected data (even if it is for home/private use) illegal.

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    Actually it's the CPCC (Canadian Private Copying Collective) that's collecting the money. The way they figure it, only about 40% of the CDs bought are used for audio copying (I think that's a crock, but they refuse to tell me how they came about their numbers so I can't really argue it)
    I'll admit, I don't consider it unreasonable to request a levy. This, however, is not a reasonable request. I've been sending multiple questions to the CPCC, but not a single letter has been replied to. Their website is a big joke. They could probably reduce public anxiety if they just released some information. On the other hand, they might end up with a riot if people actually knew what was going on.

    The whole issue started because it was made legal for private copying. The copywrite board realized the law was unenforceable, so they changed it and said that it was OK to make copies of CDs for personal use.

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