Canadian music industry wants a handout

The Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) wants Canadian ISPs to tax their customer an additional $5/month to save the failing music industry. The SAC wants to make it legal to share music on peer-to-peer file sharing networks so long as they can tax us. The estimated $500 - $900 million they would collect every year would go to Canadian songwriters, music publishers, record labels and artists.

Does anyone think this proposal is ridiculous?

The SAC argues that:

  • CD sales are down 35 per cent in Canada
  • Torrents represent about $1.6 billion in lost revenue
  • Only 2% of downloads are actually purchased via iTunes or other online services

I don’t doubt any of this information but is taxing Canadians $5 per month going to solve anything? The SAC is dreaming and needs and needs a dose of reality.

The iPod Tax

Canadians already pay an additional tax on rewritable CDs and cassettes. Just last month, the Canadian Copyright Board tried to push through an iPod tax that was rejected by the Federal Court of Appeal. Opponents to the proposed tax argued that it assumed all Canadian consumers were guilty of breaking copyright laws if they were purchasing an iPod or removable storage. reported on the ruling back in January:

The proposed levies included a $2 tax on 1 GB removable electronic memory cards, $5 tax on digital audio players no more than 1 GB and an extra $75 on digital audio players more than 30 GBs.

What about the people that still pay for their music? Not to sound self-righteous but I actually purchase all of my music from iTunes unless they don’t sell the song I’m looking for. Is it fair to penalize a senior citizen like my father that pays for Internet service and doesn’t download music?

Movies and software

What about illegal movie downloads? I wonder if the SAC thinks the Canadian film industry should get a $5/month from every Canadian home. Should the Canadian software industry be allowed to collect $5/month off my ISP bill? What about American songwriters

The SAC are a bunch of morons to think their proposal would ever be taken seriously. There are too many groups that would be looking for a $5 handout if the SAC received one. Thankfully, our government isn’t dumb enough to fall for this scam.

Instead of begging for money and feeling sorry for itself, the music industry should work on a new revenue model. For years they ignored the online distribution model when they should have embraced it. Now they’re paying the price.

Posted in Music at 3:14 PM