Canadian Copyright Board looks at gouging customers for the RIAA

According to an BusinessWeek, the Canadian Copyright Board is looking into compensating labels for the theoretical loss of revenues that they propose are attributable to piracy.

According to the article, it is looking at raising the current $.21 CD levy to $.59 (that's nearly 200%) and adding a new levy to consumer portable players like the iPod, raising the prices on those items by 33%.

According to the RIAA, the 7.2% loss in sales in the first six months of 2002 is directly attributable to the "piracy problem".

However, George Ziemann, a musician and owner of MacWizards Music (a Tuscon, AZ music production company) takes issue with this theory. Mr. Ziemann had posted an article on his web site in December entitled "RIAA Statistics Don't Add Up to Piracy", in which he asserts that the reduction in sales is because the record companies have been releasing fewer new albums (he says 27,500 in 2002 down from 38,900 in 1999). The record industry disputes these statistics and hasn't published their own since 1999, but Neilsen puts the number at closer to 31,000. Either way, it's down and prices per CD are up.

The article has extensive data, and it's worth a read.