Retail Council of Canada applauds Government of Canada's refusal to extend
blank media levy to other electronic devices

- Levy would put Canadian merchants at a competitive disadvantage -

OTTAWA, March 17 /CNW/ - Retail Council of Canada (RCC) commends Heritage Canada Minister James Moore and Industry Canada Minister Tony Clement for rejecting an NDP proposal to extend the blank media levy to other electronic devices such as iPods and similar digital audio recorders.

"Canadian retailers are encouraged that the levy will not be extended and believe this anti-competitive tax should be repealed altogether," said Terrance Oakey, Vice President, Federal Government Relations, Retail Council of Canada. "To extend the levy would result in higher prices for Canadians, which would create a huge incentive for consumers to buy these devices online or in-person in the United States where no levy exists."

Retailers contend the levy system is obsolete in an age of rapid technological change and that it does nothing to support and protect Canadian artists.

Retail Council of Canada calls for changes to the Copyright Act to provide an explicit exception recognizing that private copying for archival or backup purposes and for format shifting purposes by individuals of legitimately acquired copies of works or sound recordings and movies is legal. This should include private copying for such purposes as platform shifting, backup purposes, or the avoidance of obsolescence.

"Canadians should not be sued for large statutory damage awards for private, non-commercial copying, or asked to pay a levy for simply backing up purchased media on a blank CD or digital storage device" added Mr. Oakey.

About Retail Council of Canada

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has been the Voice of Retail in Canada since 1963. We speak for an industry that touches the daily lives of Canadians in every corner of the country - by providing jobs, career opportunities, and by investing in the communities we serve. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association representing more than 40,000 store fronts of all retail formats across Canada, including department, specialty, discount, and independent stores, and online merchants. RCC is a strong advocate for retailing in Canada and works with all levels of government and other stakeholders to support employment growth and career opportunities in retail, to promote and sustain retail investments in communities from coast-to-coast, and to enhance consumer choice and industry competitiveness. RCC also provides its members with a full range of services and programs including education.

SOURCE Retail Council of Canada

For further information: For further information: Terrance Oakey, Vice President, Federal Government Relations, Retail Council of Canada at (613) 755-4442 or toakey@retailcouncil.org


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