Situation: Canada offered to introduce a streaming stream - we are discussing what the problem is

    The Canada Composers Guild of Canada ( SCGC ) has offered to introduce an additional fee for watching movies and listening to music online.

    He has already been dubbed "streaming tax". It will be paid by everyone who spends more than 15 GB of Internet traffic per month. Let us tell you what the community thinks about the initiative.

    Photo PxHere / PD

    What is the essence of tax

    In the 90s, people often wrote music in "blanks". Therefore, many countries ( including Russia , Japan, Germany, etc.) have begun to charge an additional fee from the cost of blank CDs and sound recording and sound reproducing gadgets (phones, radio, computers).

    In Canada, this practice does not apply . And now the authors of music in the country began to declare that they are losing large sums because of this. To remedy the situation, representatives of the SCGS offered to take money elsewhere - to impose a streaming tax. But its implementation is rather unusual.

    Here it is necessary to clarify that SCGС represents the interests of people who write music for TV shows and television shows. And in the Guild calculatedthat royalties paid by streaming services like YouTube, Netflix or Amazon are 50–95% less than the amount paid on TV and radio.

    They want to compensate for this financial gap by imposing a tax on each Internet user in the country spending more than 15 GB of traffic per month. SCGC believes that this amount of traffic is enough for regular surfing, checking email and making purchases online. In their opinion, if this threshold is exceeded, then the user either watches the video online, or listens to music.

    It is assumed that the money collected in this way will help offset the lost profits to the authors of the soundtracks. At the end of September, SCGC representatives launched their initiative in the Canadian House of Commons. The further fate of the project depends on the decision of the parliamentarians. On its basis, the Canadian Department of Heritage will deliver the final verdict.

    Criticism of the initiative

    In general, the Guild initiative in the community was met negatively. The proposal was criticized by representatives of the nonprofit organization OpenMedia , as well as independent lawyer and editor of copyright books Michael Geist (Michael Geist). They point out the following disadvantages:

    The initiative is too “one-sided”. The fact is that the threshold of 15 GB was chosen based on the personal experience of one of the SCGC members. He stated that his family does not spend more than this norm, if it does not watch movies and does not listen to music. However, a problem arises here - for example, gamers will fall under the “distribution”.

    According to September data, Canadian gamers spend monthly52 hours per game over the network - traffic is much higher than 15 GB. A similar picture will happen with single player games. For example, it expected that the coming Fallout 76 takes 50 gigabytes of storage space - downloading such data volume is three times the threshold set SCGC. It turns out that gamers of Canada will pay tax just like that.

    Subscribers of streaming services will pay twice. Users of Netflix, Spotify and other streaming services already pay for their monthly subscription. If a tax is imposed, they will pay to content sites and authors from SCGC. PxHere / PD

    Photos OpenMedia

    Executive Director Laura Tribe agreesthat composers do not get enough money for their work because of the streaming giants. But she is convinced that this problem should be solved differently. In OpenMedia, they proposed to shift user taxes to streaming services or introduce additional state funding for composers.

    Similar cases

    Digital copyright laws are not limited to Canada. A month ago, the European Union approved the reform, which was dubbed the “ killer of memes ”. Now platforms like YouTube and Facebook are required to implement special content filters and monitor copyright compliance on the site.

    And in early October, the President of the United States approved a bill on musical copyright - Music Modernization Act. In America, a new regulatory body will be created. His task is to ensure that copyright holders receive fair amounts of streaming their songs on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon. Previously, the content sites themselves were responsible for this.

    With the help of the new law, the USA hopes to protect the rights of composers and performers and create a market with healthy competition and fair pay. We will tell more about this law in one of the following materials in our blog.

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