Let’s start with the fact that music downloading and sales of the levied products are not necessarily strongly correlated. Blank media levies can only account for songs that the user chooses to actually burn. With the rise of living room HTPCs and other methods of playing digital media files, burning CDs is downright antiquated for some people. Not to mention the poor folks who buy such CDs to create custom mixes of music they have already bought and paid for. Or lucky Canucks who have friends south of the border stock up for them. The other major class of devices- portable players- must have a tremendous amount of usage data in order for compensation to be even roughly calculated. Average number of songs used with each player, average life of the player, etc. must all be determined to even approach a statistically valid levy value. If such a study exists, I would love to see it just out of curiosity unrelated to this discussion. This relative haphazardness of this arrangement goes back to the issue of accurately and properly compensating each individual artist. Lets assume for the sake of argument, that the levy system collects the exact amount of lost revenue for the CRIA to distribute. Neither the essay nor anyone else has addressed the inability to accurately distribute that lump sum to individual copyright holders with any meaningful amount of accuracy. I’d like to hear how you all would address the hypothetical I posed earlier; is this the way in which you would like to be compensated for your work? En masse, with only an approximation of your relative successfulness or ineptitude in relation to your competitors? As flawed as it was, the Soviet Union tried its damndest to make a socialist economy work for over 40 years. I am quite frankly surprised to see people seduced by the vision of collectivization so soon after their failure. This is all somewhat ancilliary to what I believe is the crux of the issue- does the government have a right to determine how you use your private property? In the abstract, the answer is undoubtedly yes, as the concept of eminent domain has been upheld throught the Western world. However, the concept has always had to meet a standard of both being critical for the common good, and being the only reasonable method for obtaining that benefit. Seizing and compensating owners for privates homes in the way of highway overpasses is the common example. But is music critical to the common good? Will the nation of Canada collapse if we never hear another Celine Dion song? OK- bad example. Apply the same principle to other non-critical industries and see if you still agree: Dear independent software developer, You have developed a useful and popular program. It is unique enough that we have issued a copyright acknowledging your right to profit from the work you have put into developing your creation. But we are also allowing citizens to make copies of your program for their private use. We will do our best to determine the amount of lost revenue that your industry of software development suffers from our legislative program. We will also endeavor to figure out, to the best of our ability, what percentage of those funds deserve to go to you as an individual. We are sure you are happy with our best efforts, and if you are still dissatisfied, you can always go back to work and make another program to make money off of. After all, do you really care if you lose some money as long as we get it kind of right? Best Wishes, Canada P.S. The figures we estimate above will be provided by a government organization funded by your tax dollars. Have a nice day!