Copyright Board of Canada Plans to Tax Legal Music Downloads

Oh, Canada. You already tax MP3 players and blank CDs. Now you want to tax downloads themselves? The Copyright Board of Canada has given the thumbs-up to a tax of at least 2.1 cents for individual tracks and 1.5 cents per track for whole album purchases from online stores. Even subscription services will have taxes tacked on—5.7 to 6.8 percent of the monthly fee. Better still, the tax would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 1996.

The rationale proffered by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada is that it'll help replenish artists' wallets raided by piracy and that "the right to copy a song from an online store demands the same sort of levy applied to copying a retail CD," according to Electronista. (Our eyes started bleeding halfway through the PDF.) Making legal downloads more expensive probably isn't going to boost sales—pissing people off with more taxes might even drive them right to The Pirate Bay, where artists will get zero compensation.

What would you guys do if your iTunes purchases started being taxed tomorrow? [Electronista]