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1999-09: Cassette Levy

Whereas the concerns of Canadian copyright holders surrounding the illegal duplication of copyrighted materials are well-known and fully justified; and

Whereas Canadian holders of musical copyrights have approached the Canadian Copyright Board to introduce a levy on blank audio recording media to counteract the losses resulting from unauthorized duplication; and

Whereas the Copyright Board has recently ruled that this levy is justified, and so has instituted a levy on all blank audio recording media; and

Whereas the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC), which will administer proceeds from the levy on behalf of copyright holders, has decided to postpone collection of this levy; and

Whereas blind and vision impaired people as well as private producers of alternative forms of print material are disproportionate users of blank audio recording media (typically cassette tapes) for taping books, class and meeting notes, personal notes (itineraries, Etc.) and for many other day-to-day living purposes; and

Whereas the NFB:AE contends that blind and vision impaired people are no more likely to violate copyright restrictions than any other segment of the population; and

Whereas the Copyright Board has permitted an exemption for certain non-profit organizations which apply for it but not for individuals; and

Whereas most blind and vision impaired Canadians should be able to purchase cassettes from the location of their choice without incurring the levy;

Therefore, be it resolved that:

  • the NFB:AE calls upon the CPCC and the Canadian Copyright Board to recognize the unjust and disproportionate effect this proposed levy would have on blind people and give blind and vision impaired people as well as private producers of alternative forms of print material an exemption to this levy;
  • the membership of the NFB:AE calls on the Board to work with other consumer groups and take whatever other action is necessary to ensure that an exemption to the levy is granted to blind and vision-impaired individuals as well as private producers of alternative forms of print material in Canada.