An iPod Tax… Really?

Julian Wolfe
April 16th, 2011

Apple iPod Touch, bottom, iPod Nano, centre, and iPod Shuffle, top, are displayed during an Apple event, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010, in San Francisco. (AP / Paul Sakuma)

The Conservative Party has done a good job manipulating people with their ads. If it isn’t for the classic “he didn’t come back for you” and the dreaded ‘coalition,’ the Conservatives have went on a high extent in their mission to destroy their opposition. One of their latest attack ads puts square aim on the Liberals and the so called coalition about their wish to impose such an attack. While the ad may be effective at grabbing attention, is it effective at displaying the facts of the manner?

The Conservatives are trying to paint the Liberals as ‘tax and spend’ and are doing a good job at it as poll numbers haven’t been budging and the attacks are  consistent. However, not many people are going to make the necessary fact check on the ad to see if the truth is being portrayed.

Conservative attack ad concerning a so called iPod Tax

This ad was derived from a House of Commons Heritage Committee Report which recommended expanding the definition of “audio recording medium” to include devices with memory to the “levy on copying music [that] will [now] apply to digital music recorders as well.”

The new legislation made the levy on items such as blank CDs and tapes to help artists get money back from illegal pirates and copiers also applicable to iPods and MP3 players/

Last April, the bill passed 155-137 with only Conservative MPs opposing it.

Charlie Angus, former musician and New Democrat MP, introduced his own private members bill which suggested that a $250 iPod only cost $5 more so that no one would notice. 

“By updating [current copyright levy], we will ensure that artists are getting paid for their work, and that consumers aren’t criminalized for moving their legally obtained music from one format to another,” Angus said.

Copyright expert and University of Ottawa Law professor Michael Geist said that the Conservative attack ad borders on fantasy. Figures saying that the Liberals wanted a $75 increase were referenced from a failed 2007 plan from the Copyright Board of Canada and has no connection with the Liberal Party.

While the Bloc and NDP push for the extra levy, the Liberals oppose a new levy.

Geist noted an irony stating that Industry minister Tony Clement’s Bill C-32 would have doubled the current levy.

Upon the dissolution of parliament, the bill died with many others.

So the bottom line is: The iPod tax adds to the list of Conservative rhetoric based on lies and deception. How many people bought the ad? – That is worrisome.

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   Categories: Attack Ads, BQ, Conservative, Harper, Ignatieff, Layton, Liberal, NDP

On Monday, the longest campaign in modern history will come to a close and if current polls are any indication, Canada may be seeing a change in government after 9 years of Conservative rule under the leadership of Stephen Harper. Accountability was his calling card in 2006 and today, accountability may very well be one of the defining reasons for his departure.

In its length, in its cost and in its debate schedule, this election is unusual. The first and possibly only real debate of the campaign ended and here are the highlights of what happened.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper left Rideau Hall this morning with Governor General David Johnston’s approval to drop the writ and Canadians are now officially headed to the polls on October 19. For the first time since fixed election date legislation was brought in by the Conservative government, a fixed election date has been followed.

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