Canadian Journal of Law and Technology


Digital music marketplaces, levies, copyright


This paper considers whether such initiatives are a desirable alternative to the current system of exclusive proprietary copyrights. My goal is not to evaluate the nuances of any particular levy scheme or proposal, but to consider the implications of the concept from a specifically Canadian perspective. Despite the generality of the analysis, many of the observations and conclusions about the viability of levy schemes relate to Canada’s actual experiences with its existing private copying levy.

The paper concludes that tariffs or levies on the products and services of third parties are not the best method to support the Canadian music industry in the digital environment. A new levy should not be imposed on iPods, digital memory cards, computer hard drives, other digital devices, nor should there be a levy applied to Internet access. Indeed, Canada’s existing private copying levy should be eliminated or substantially overhauled.