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29 November, 2004

Odd idea©

Cory at BoingBoing reports that Canada Heritage (a government agency?) wants to impose a blanket fee on internet usage, on the basis that everything is copyrighted by someone, and copyright holders should be paid for their material.  As Cory says, this might make some sense if it gave fee payers licence to substantially use copyrighted material in some way, but it doesn't. 
For more on the subject, see Cory's summary and discussion - he's far more knowledgable about such matters.

There was one point which occurred to me, and which Cory didn't address. If Canada Heritage plans to levy a usage tax on behalf of copyright holders, what mechanism will exist to distribute the money to authors?
If I was Canadian, an owner of copyrighted material and a web user, would I receive royalty cheques, or would royalties be ofset against the tax payable?
I'm British, writing this in the UK, but I'm sure Canadians will see it in Canada, and may even quote it elsewhere. How will I be paid?
Or will Canada Heritage just collect and keep the money?


I'm a big believer in property rights and copy right protection. However, it isn't unreasonable for someone to realize that information they release may get used. In fact, I think most (like me) are hoping for it so it will generate exposure and sales.
The motivation for this sounds like revenue generation and not copyright protection.

Those Canadians - they sure know how to create a business friendly enviroment.

Posted by Howard McEwen at November 29, 2004 07:27 PM
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