OTTAWA, Dec 13 ( – Last year the federal government passed Bill C-32 which authorized a levy on all audio recording material to compensate the music industry for lost revenue caused by illegal copying. The Bill became law Jan. 1, 1999 but was not implemented then because of public protest received during the fall of 1998. 

Charitable, non-profit and church organizations, many businesses and others that heavily use blank audio cassettes and CDs for their own purposes, completely separate from the commercial music industry, strongly objected to the levies. The initial rates proposed would have greatly increased the cost of blank stock for reasons that did not apply to any of these groups. 

As of this date, the Copyright Board is refusing to release the levy rates that will be implemented in January. This information is supposed to become available on Dec. 20. As well, blank stock distributors and importers do not yet have any information on how they are expected to collect and remit the levies. Industry registered songwriters have been asked to complete a form that will qualify them for receiving payments from the program. 

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada is considering a constitutional challenge against the levy.


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