Back in the days when we were ripping our own CDs for the car or the DiscMan, we’d buy spindles and spindles of blank CDs. I must have gone through HUNDREDS of them. I’d also cast an envious eye towards where these blank discs were always so much cheaper–often by up to 95% cheaper. Why?
That’s because back in the 90s, the Canadian Copyright Board slapped a
tax levy on all recordable media (CD-R, CD-RW, CD-R audio and CD-RW along with blank cassettes) as a bulwark against piracy. The idea was to collect a few cents on each disc and tape for distribution to artists who were losing money due to unauthorized and illegal copying of their music. The imposition of this tax levy caused a big stink at the time but we learned to live with it.
Now, though, sales of blank recordable media have dropped precipitously. I haven’t bought a spindle of blank CDs in years–and I wouldn’t even think of buying a blank cassette. The amount of money collected and disbursed to artists must be insanely low and must cost a stupid amount to administrate. However, one a
tax levy is in place, it’s pretty much impossible to remove it. So it should come as no surprise that the Copyright Board maintains the tax tariffs on all this media at the current rate of 29 cents each. It’ll stay that way until at least the end of next year.