Consumers Won't Face Copyright Levy On Memory Cards

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The government will move to exempt memory cards from a copyright levy that now applies to blank tapes and CDs.

Industry Minister Christian Paradis said Tuesday that the government will introduce regulations in the fall to add the exemption to the memory cards, which are commonly found in smartphones like BlackBerrys and iPhones, as well as other devices.

Paradis said it was a perfect example of striking the balance.

"We want to preserve the creators' rights but we want also to preserve consumers' rights, and I think that if we put extra costs on microSD [cards], this will impact on the economy, this will impact the consumer, they will have extra costs to pay and I think it's more than unwarranted. This is not fair," he said in Ottawa.

"The removable card, it should not be taxed or be put with extra costs."

Under previous copyright laws in Canada, there was already a levy on blank tapes and CDs, intended to compensate artists for lost revenue due to copying. Some groups had campaigned to have that levy introduced on digital devices, which Conservative MPs referred to as an iPod tax.

Cabinet has the power to exempt any type of recording medium from the levy, a news release from Paradis's office said.

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