Following up on our post from July 2012, the government implemented on November 7, 2012 regulations to the Copyright Act (Canada) which exempt certain types of memory cards from the sceop of the "private copying levy", as follows:

Memory cards in microSD form factor, including microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC cards, are excluded from the definition “audio recording medium” in section 79 of the Copyright Act.

The Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement which accompanies the Regulations (and it is worth noting that these regulations are the first ever to be enacted in respect of the private copying regime) is worth a read:

Issues and objectives

A proposal has been filed with the Copyright Board of Canada seeking a levy on microSD cards. Such a levy would increase the costs to manufacturers and importers of these cards, resulting in these costs indirectly being passed on to retailers and consumers.

As a result, the cost of all technologies that use or require microSD cards, such as smartphones, is likely to be affected, thereby negatively impacting e-commerce businesses and Canada’s participation in the digital economy.

The objectives of these Regulations are to

  • support the Government of Canada’s commitment to promoting a digital economy that encourages the development and early adoption of new technologies; and
  • avoid an additional cost on the manufacture or importation of microSD cards, which are commonly used in smartphones and other technologies that drive the digital economy.