Canada has increased its Private Copying Tariff on writable CDs from 21 cents to 29 cents. Supposedly, the purpose of the tariff is to pay artists back for unauthorized copying. In total, the levy generates about $30 million per year. 66% of the revenues go to eligible authors and publishers, 18.9% to eligible performers, and 15.1% to record companies. That being said, the tariff does not give consumers a clear right to make copies of their music. It certainly will not do so if the new copyright bill tabled by the Conservative Party becomes law.
It is clearly unfair to assume that all writable CDs will be used to copy commercial music. It is also clearly odd to levy the tax on CDs but not DVDs, and to not make clear what rights are conveyed by the existence of the tariff.
Hopefully, we will see this system rendered more rational through future government policies and court decisions. Whatever your feelings on the ethics of copyright, the current arrangement is an ugly muddle.