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Permalink to this day Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Here is my formal objection to the proposed private copying tariff increases (note: you're only allowed to protest the tariff increases and not the concept of the tariff). You're free to copy it and change my name to yours. I also encourage you to sign an online petition.

Let me just remind you. They have yet to distribute any of the money collected so far to artists and they've been collecting these tariffs since December 19th, 1999.

And with that I'm going to bed thoroughly sick of digital music.
11:04:16 PM  Permalink to this item []

David comes out swinging with the hard question: Can you really preach 'Fairtunes' when you're not paying for your music?

Here are a variety of answers to this question (pick your favorite):

  • Actually I've bought 3 CDs this year. 2 of them just last week!
  • I bought a healthy number of CDs pre-Internet
  • Why buy CDs if so little of your purchase goes the artist? Approx $0.25-$1.25 of a typical CD purchase goes to *the artist*.
  • A lot of my music (probably 45%) is bootlegged material that can't be bought anywhere.
  • A lot of my music has been borrowed from friends and copied which is legal under the private copying act.
  • I've personally compensated most of my favorite artists through Fairtunes.
  • I personally spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours building a vehicle for people to directly compensate musicians and sort of believe that I've done my good deed for the music industry :).
  • I support musicians by going to their shows

But really. The answer is that if the music industry gave me what I wanted, which is the ability to download high quality MP3s off of a fast Internet connection at a reasonable cost with a healthy portion of which would go to the artist I would pay for my music. I would also consume much more music than I am now. For instance I just got the Men With Brooms soundtrack and a number of artists have caught my attention and if I could go online right now and pick up that artist's *entire collection of music* at something like $2-5 a CD I would. But I can't, so I don't, and I'm too busy to spend a day doing so on Morpheous/Gnutella/...

I of course refer you to my earlier writings on what I would pay for online.

Stats on my music collection:

  • 22 gigs (8 gigs of Tragically Hip Shows + 14.3 gigs of everything else)
  • ~3000 songs are in my Winamp playlist (this does not include my Hip Shows)
  • With the exception of my Hip collection the majority of music collection was built up by ripping my CD collection, John's CD collection, and now Natalie's.
  • My favorite download program which I usually use to get singles I'm embarrased to admit I find catchy is Morpheous
  • The best *free* MP3 tagging program out there is ID3 Tag Editor from Germany
  • Winamp is my preferred player
  • I love my iPod (it now works great with my PC thanks to XPlay Preview 5)

Since I find downloading stuff off the Net so frustrating I'm thinking of buying the CDs I want, ripping them, then re-selling them on eBay/...

Think I'm a hypocrite? It's open season in the comment section.
9:41:19 PM  Permalink to this item []

Since the tariff isn't collected at the retail point of sale you'll end up paying tax on it! So.. That $600CDN iPod which with the proposed tariffs will cost $705 will actually cost $810.75 once you add in the 15% GST+PST on the $705. Contrast that $810.75 with the $690 you'd pay today.
8:48:05 PM  Permalink to this item []

Those of you in Waterloo may have noticed that Gino's is now known as Campus Pizza. Of course some of you may not have noticed. I certainly didn't till Langeman pointed it out and today's Campus Pizza Letter certainly confirms the change.

In the letter they list three reasons for the switch:

  1. Customers are used to our local Gino's high quality pizza
  2. Gino's (head office) is switching their sauce
  3. Gino's (head office) is bullying our local Gino's

We of course got the real scoop behind the change. See it turns out that Gino's head office is experiencing financial difficulties and our local Gino's wants to distance themselves from the spectacular flameout which is bound to occur when they go under (think Enron). And of course the tinkering with the sauce is just a convenient reason to break their franchise contract. Now the big question is, will Campus Pizza continue to operate Panino? I always figured that they were required to as part of the franchising agreement not because it's actually a hot business (though they have a killer location in the Plaza).

More speculation welcome.
5:44:15 PM  Permalink to this item []

Another CDN site on the levy (includes an online petition). (link snagged from this discussion in French). On the first site a found a link to an excellent FAQ.

I'm skipping hockey this afternoon to write an article for the Imprint on this tariff situation.
3:02:41 PM  Permalink to this item []

Today I spoke with a representative from CPCC, the organization charged with distributed the funds from the media levies. Here's what I learned:
  • They haven't begun distributing funds b/c...
  • They haven't yet decided on a distribution process yet.
  • They will begin distributing funds as soon as possible. Beginning hopefully this calendar year.
  • They're running a lean operation to keep operational costs down and won't know till they begin distributing funds just how much that distribution will cost (ASCAP is, I believe, around 18%)
  • They couldn't confirm the $22 million figure quoted in the Globe today though it's probably pretty close.
  • They are working to protect rights holders who may not be represented by the typical entities involved (CMRRA, SOCAN,..)
  • If an artist wants to get involved in the process it would be best if they contacted their representatives at CMRRA, SOCAN,...

12:54:25 PM  Permalink to this item []

Got an email that got me thinking that my digital music thoughts should be more organized so I created a new category and here it is:

Digital Music.

It's in calendar format just like the rest of the blog. The majority of my thoughts are in February and once I get some time I'll go through the rest of my archives and mark them as 'digital music'.
12:28:55 PM  Permalink to this item []

Gary talks more about tariffs.

Just so we're all clear. I support the fair compensation of artists. I wouldn't have founded Fairtunes if I thought otherwise. So would I support tariffs on storage mediums? And the answer is yes, if they were fair. I do not consider the current tariff situation and the proposed one for 2003-2004 fair. It's not fair to musicians and it's not fair to consumers. My biggest concern with it is that it attempts to recoup money from the already legal act of private copying. My second concern is that it serves as a 'double tax' on music. If I could walk into HMV and pick CDs up off the shelf and walk out with paying then yes I would support a tariff on my iPod, but if I have to pay twice for my music then no way. My third large complaint is that *I* don't see the money getting to the musicians who need it.

Do I believe that there are alternatives to a tariff on storage mediums? And the answer is yes. My first suggestion would be to put a tariff on residential bandwidth.

[more to come].
9:47:04 AM  Permalink to this item []

The Globe and Mail: Plan could boost CD prices

The CPCC said that in 2001, more than 100 million blank CDs were sold in Canada. Of those, two-thirds were purchased by home users and nearly two-thirds of those were used to copy music.

"The amount we receive from the royalty is still too low," said Brian Chater, a special consultant to the CPCC.

The Copyright Board collects a tariff from manufacturers of storage media and then turns the money over to the CPCC. The collective in turn redistributes that money to those who hold copyrights on sound recordings in Canada. Last year, about $22-million was redistributed in this way to copyright holders.

So $22-million dollars eh.. A lot? A little? Contrast that with the fact that in 2001, 61 million units were sold in Canada ('a 3.4% decrease compared to the 63.3 million units sold in 2000').

Of course if we don't like the tariffs we could always fight back: Mexican street vendors riot during raid of black-market music stands. The street vendors put 8 policepeople in the hospital!
9:27:20 AM  Permalink to this item []

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Updated: 4/11/2005; 7:10:23 PM.