The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Proposed increases to the blank tape and other storage media levies will hurt Canadian new media and other IT firms unfairly, and is clearly bad policy-making. Nonetheless, the agency responsible for collecting and distributing the cash is now asking for fees which are, in some cases, nearly 10 times higher than those currently in place. The Copyright Board has given opponents of the fees no latitude to argue against their existence, and the best that the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and other opponents can accomplish in this fall’s hearings is to hold the line on further increases. The issue is yet another example of how the recording industry has been consistently missing the boat on a new paradigm of the music business. As MP3.com and Napster experience legal difficulties, other sites and programs such as Gnutella are rapidly gaining ground. We can be absolutely sure that even newer technologies are coming down the pipe to replace those when the music industry turns its heavy legal guns against them. The recording industry as we know it is obviously changing, and measures such as the blank media levy which hurt new media merely stifle growth without attacking the root of the problem. Record labels want to be paid for the work they publish – but slapping unnecessary taxes on media such as CD-Rs isn’t the way to do it. Nor is spending huge sums of money to shut down networks such as Napster, Internet Relay Chat or HotLine which reproduce themselves in new forms faster than fruit flies. So long as CDs are the main media on which music is published, it will continue to be copied illegally. The broad brush of a standard levy is ill-thought out, however, as it penalizes all for the small number of Canadians who copy Canadian music. Only when music is delivered entirely digitally will the problem be solved, and the recording industry should back away from measures which hurt companies financially, stifle growth and eliminate the incentive for innovation. The music business can help by accelerating that shift, not by clogging the courts and making cash grabs.