Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and my thanks to the witnesses for appearing today.
This is an interesting discussion. It seems to me that the role of copyright is to establish a market. It's to establish a system by which people who create things can be paid for their creations. It recognizes that when a work is created, it should be bought and not stolen.
I want to go back to some of the comments of my colleagues across the way, because it seems they're missing the purpose of the bill. I don't want people to copy your music for nothing; I don't. I want them to pay for it. When I was a kid...it's not that long ago; I guess I'm a few years younger than anybody on the opposition side. I had to buy 45s, I had to buy cassette tapes, and I had to buy CDs. In fact, I bought hundreds of CDs.
It seems we have a defeatist attitude on the other side now and some in the lobby, who say, “You'll never shut down isoHunt, and you'll never shut down these organizations.” It doesn't matter. Mr. Isaac says, close up the loopholes. I want to close the loopholes up. I want to shut them down, and I want you to get paid for every song you sell.
What I don't want to do is put in a system.... I need to understand this better. You said you'd only tax music devices. This phone is a music device. It's a phone, it's a computer, and, by the way, as technology improves, it's going to be even more seamless. The same device you use to open your garage door will be the device you use to change channels on your television--and it might well be your television. All these things are converging. Technology is converging. There will be no such thing--there is virtually no such thing today, as we sit here...if you go to the store shelves, unless you're buying very, very cheap devices, there is no such thing as strictly a music device for sale. The good devices are all converging. They do multiple things.
I have no idea how you would ever create a tax for this, and it is a tax. I also want to deal with this question of whether it's a tax or a levy. A government is only a conduit. In fact, right now government is a really good conduit, because it's paying out more money than it's taking in, some of which we're giving to artists, and I'm proud of that. But there is no difference to the consumer where the money winds up. None of the money ultimately goes to something called “government”; it all goes back to Canadians in different ways. So it is very much a tax.
I would like to understand how you would place it only on a device that only copies music. First of all, there is no such device. Secondly, I don't know how you could set it at $2, $10, or $15 and make up for the fact that what Bill C-32 seeks to do is shut down the BitTorrent sites. You must support this. Is that not the most important thing for artists, that people can't just steal their music?