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June 22, 2011

With Apple, Google and Amazon now offering consumers in the United States “cloud based” storage and retrieval of music files, much is being written in Canadian publications and blogs about the prospects of similar services being offered in this country and related potential issues.

Several articles and postings have speculated about what the CPCC’s view might be on these matters, and specifically whether we would view this type of music storage and retrieval as appropriate for a tariff under the private copying levy provision in the Copyright Act.

To clarify:

The CPCC collects levies on blank audio recording media used by individuals to make copies of music for their personal use. Providers of “cloud” music services offer remote storage of and access to music files.

Apple’s “iMatch” service in the U.S. (the only country where such a deal has been struck) was undertaken on the basis of license agreements with rights holders, specifically the major record labels.  The CPCC views these services, and specifically the “iMatch” offering, as a matter of licensing between the rights holders and the cloud service providers, and not one of private copying.

It is not our position that cloud-based music distribution systems should be subject to a private copying levy under the Copyright Act, and the CPCC will not seek to obtain levies for private copies of music made with cloud storage services.

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