Music Industry

There’s a proposal to tax your bandwidth if you go above 15 GB a month

How much data do you consume every month? And I’m not just talking about your phone. I mean ALL data including the bandwidth used by your TV, your cable box, and your streaming subscriptions. You probably don’t even think about it, right?

Maybe you’re on a monthly plan that offers 100GB, 250GB or more. And we need it, what with binge-watching shows on Netflix and other sources. How much data does your music streaming service eat up each month? Video in data-hungry 4K is becoming more common. And let’s not even talk about downloading and playing online games. What did your last video game download weigh? Maybe around 50GB.

Well, prepare yourself.

The Screen Composers Guild of Canada spoke to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and proposed a new levy. They want all data consumption above 15GB (that’s 1-5 gigabytes) to be taxed. They want a levy that would be distributed to copyright holders.”

In their brief, they say that 15GB allows “ample room for email, commerce and downloading.” Everything above that would be subject to a levy.

The group says that music composers aren’t being fairly compensated because streaming and downloading has eroded the consumption of regular broadcasting. This levy would help with the shortfall. YouTube is singled out, along with Amazon and Netflix.

With regard to YouTube, which is owned by the advertising company Alphabet-Google, minuscule revenue distribution is being reported by our members. Royalties from the large streaming services, like Amazon and Netflix, are 50 to 95% lower when compared to those from terrestrial broadcasters.

Digital Music News goes deeper into the situation. Could it be that the SCGC is demanding more money because they’ve failed to adapt to the times?




Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38061 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

3 thoughts on “There’s a proposal to tax your bandwidth if you go above 15 GB a month

  • SOCAN: they just don’t get the internet. There are thousands of legit uses that would require more bandwidth than just downloading Cancon.
    They’ve outgrown their use.

  • My wife and I both run home based businesses, and we burn through 200GB a month regularly, so this would hurt us, but what’s the levy rate gonna be? If its 2-3¢ a GB? I’m good, as long as it goes to the right people.

  • Most people who can afford it will go with an unlimited internet plan especially families. Their would be much backlash to this proposal because people pretty much live on internet. I’m sorry these companies can’t keep up with changing times but they shouldn’t tax us for it.


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