Wow, Canadians Get Screwed Again

Last modified on December 14th, 2008

Just read this article which talks about how Canada has just increased the CD levy on blank media to 29 cents per disk instead of the 21 cents of the past. This increase, according to Secretary General of the Copyright Board of Canada, Claude Majeau, is due to the following:

Two main factors led the Board to raise the CD levy rate to 29ยข. First, the mechanical royalties that record labels pay to record a song onto a prerecorded CD have increased. Second, because consumers now use compression technology when they record music, the average number of music tracks copied onto a CD went from 15 to more than 18.

With regards to the second point, I call complete bullshit. Obviously because they are talking about 15 songs on a CD, they are actually talking about CD digital audio, and not MP3 CDs (which would put it at hundreds per CD). According to the Red Book audio standard, audio must be encoded on a digital CD at 44.1 kHz in 16-bit, stereo audio. At that quality, you can fit 74 minutes worth of audio on a CD. Why the board somehow thinks that compression is involved is beyond me, since it has absolutely nothing to do with Red Book audio standards.

They might have used the argument that the average track duration is decreasing, making it more likely more songs will be on a disk. At least that is somewhat plausible. But their current argument just doesn’t hold any merit in my opinion.

What’s also interesting is that I’ve never heard of any Canadian musician who has ever seen any of the money that this levy is supposedly meant to help. Which is surprising, considering that their webpage says they’ve paid out $150 million dollars to artists already.