Add tax to MP3 players: union

Album art for The Fray is displayed on the screen of an iPod Nano at Apple's music-themed September...

Album art for The Fray is displayed on the screen of an iPod Nano at Apple's music-themed September media event in San Francisco, September 1, 2010. Canadian musicians are demanding consumers pay them an iPod tax they say will compensate them for income they're losing to illegal copying. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

JESSICA MURPHY, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 3:26 PM ET

OTTAWA – Canada's performing artists are demanding consumers pay them an iPod tax they say will compensate them for income they're losing to illegal copying.

ACTRA, Canada's largest performers union, told MPs Tuesday the so-called private copying levy system in place now is inadequate.

The new tax would apply to all MP3 players.

“A lot of money is being taken out of the pockets of creators,” said executive director Stephen Waddell told the special Commons committee scrutinizing Bill C-32 on Tuesday.

He estimated $126 million in revenue would be lost to artists each year under the new proposals contained in the proposed legislation.

“Everyone is getting hurt on this bill,” he said.

The private copying levy currently only applies to the purchase of blank cassettes and CDs.

Tory MP Dean Del Mastro came out swinging when he questioned union representatives about the levy extension.

“Canadians are just about fed up with being nickel and dimed,” he said.

The union highlighted six other aspects of the legislation it maintains is “deeply flawed.”

Among the other changes proposed were expanding fair dealing and a crackdown on serial copyright offenders.

ACTRA represents 21,000 English-language performers across Canada.


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