Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: Ideas under glass (Feb. 2)

I concur, the place is more an experiential event for younger people. Although not large, it is quite well done, and the exhibits do present their technologies


The day I was there in November 2003, it was fairly busy with parents and their kids. Being a museum hound I got caught up in it, and did experience one of their hands-on features, in this case, riding a Segway.

I was first in line. What a hoot! In a matter of minutes, I was doing figure eights.

In any case, thank you for the trip down memory lane, and your very informative articles.

Allan C. Bennett
Account Executive
Apple Canada Inc.

Re: Da Rajeev B Show (Jan 31)

I read your piece online. I am a bit disappointed that you choose to pick a section of lyrics to suggest lack of depth. If you had taken the time to read or listen to all lyrics on my Web site, you might have noticed that they contain a lot more technical content and are accurate in definitions. This is not meant to be a short course on engineering.

Besides that, I am glad you agree that engineering image needs a change. Of course, we disagree on how to go about it.

Rajeev Bajaj
RLPK Records
Music for the Mind

Re: Canada’s copyright levy may be flawed: CCFDA (Jan. 26)

May we complement you on a clear article on a complex subject!

Ray Pearmain
LEGISCAN Legislative Monitoring & Research Services

Re: Canada’s copyright levy may be flawed: CCFDA (Jan. 26)

Your excellent article deserves one more follow-up piece.

According to its own Web site, the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) took in almost $30 million in 2003. That year, however, it’s administrative costs shot up from 5 per cent annually in the previous three years to almost 15 per cent. That means it costs nearly $4.5 million to run this ridiculous boondoggle, not to mention the accounting nightmare it costs manufacturers and retailers.

It’s clearly time to dismantle this old-fashioned analogue tax grab before any more dollars are sucked out of the economy by bureaucrats bent on creating another self-serving empire that simply costs Canadians more money without really helping the intended musicians, song-writers and performers.

Frank Klassen
Maple Ridge, B.C.

Re: Canada’s copyright levy may be flawed: CCFDA (Jan. 26)

How much of the $87 million has been distributed to artists by the CPCC? I believe that as of one year ago, none of the money had actually reached artists.

Don Jess

Re: Canada’s copyright levy may be flawed: CCFDA (Jan. 26) readers deserve the facts on these important issues, not the self-serving, false allegations of the Canadian Coalition for Fair Digital Access (CCFDA). The CCFDA would have us believe that the Federal Court of Appeal’s December 14th decision supports their own agenda of “eliminating this levy regime.” However, the Court simply ruled that the Copyright Board of Canada didn’t have the jurisdiction to impose a private copying levy on the internal memory in digital audio recorders, such as iPods. In fact, the Appeal Court agreed that such a levy was desirable since these recorders allow for such extensive unauthorized private copying. They noted that without this levy, the potential harm to rights holders is unprecedented. For the record, the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) disagrees with the ruling and is seeking leave to appeal it to the Supreme Court of Canada.

CCFDA Co-Chair Kevin Evans also falsely alleges that if Canada ratifies the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties, private copying levies on blank media “would have to be doubled” to pay foreign artists. The CPCC rejects this view and made that point abundantly clear in a submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage as early as November 2003, citing one of the world’s foremost authorities on the treaties, Dr. Silke von Lewinski. The members of the Committee unanimously adopted CPCC’s position in their report back to the House of Commons.

Evans claims that levies lead to “double-dipping,” with consumers paying twice to copy music — once for a download and a second time through the levy. The truth is that the levies set by the Copyright Board are discounted to reflect the current level of authorized copying. At present, only a tiny fraction of what is copied from the Internet is paid for. Legal download services are still in their infancy and Canadians are certainly not using them to fill their iPods.

Further, the private copying levies are not “forced to play catch-up to technology.” The legislation was designed to be technology-neutral. The Copyright Board can approve levies only on those media — regardless of their material form — that are currently ordinarily used by Canadians for private copying of music, and only after they conduct a fair and open public hearing process.

Finally, CCFDA asserts that there are better ways than the levy for the creators of recorded music to get paid and refers specifically to DRM and TPM. In fact, the music industry agrees. However, these measures are in the very early stages of implementation, with all but a handful of music copying still beyond the control of rights holders. Without the levy they will receive nothing. For DRM and TPM measures to become more effective requires prompt implementation of the WIPO treaties, as the Standing Committee has urged.

David Basskin
Canadian Private Copying Collective

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