The Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC), an industry trade group that represents the interests of Canadian songwriters, recording artists, music publishers and record companies has asked the Copyright Board of Canada to charge a tax of 50 cents to $3 on flash memory cards sold in Canada.
The lobby group says the flash tax will be used to compensate musicians and other rights holders for music piracy.
So why tax flash memory devices which are found in digital cameras and digital camcorders and can't even be used with an Apple iPod, iPhone or iPad? In a press release today, the CPCC says its because, rather than being used for photos and videos it believes that "electronic memory cards are ordinarily used by Canadians to copy music."
This despite the fact that ,in its own backgrounder, the CPCC admits that its "research does not just identify the degree to which music is copied onto electronic memory cards or any other medium."
This is not the latest attempt to tax consumers of Flash memory cards. The group first called for a tax on flash memory cards in 2003. In 2007, it stepped up its demands and asked for a tax of between $2 and $10 for each flash memory card sold and up to $75 for each Apple iPod or digital music player sold.
This week the CPCC has proposed a tax of 50¢ on cards of 1 GB or less, $1 on cards greater than 1 GB but less than 8 GB and $3 on cards of 8 GB and greater.
The 2007 proposal, dubbed the iPod tax, was fought by the Retail Council of Canada all the way up to the Federal Court of Appeal. The court ruled in January 2008 that the Copyright Board had no legal authority implement such a tax.
Its unclear why the CPCC has once again asked the Copyright Board to implement a tax that was thrown out by the courts three years ago but the CPCC did say it would continue in its efforts to tax Digital Camera, Digital Camera and iPod owners.
Discuss the Flash tax in Digital Home's AM/FM Radio and Canadian Music Industry forum .