The Canadian government is considering an Internet tax to limit how much data people use.
Media corporations want us to pay a tax on any broadband use over 15GB because they say anything more suggests you are streaming music and video.1 But that's ludicrous—even Bell says that “low usage” households that “occasionally browse the Internet” typically use 20GB a month.2
We've spent months engaging thousands to participate in the copyright consultation to protect the Internet from proposals like this. And it's working: The parliamentary committee that is reviewing our copyright laws has invited OpenMedia to testify in Ottawa. Now we need to keep the pressure on.
As of 2016, the average Canadian household used nearly 130GB a month.3 A tax on Internet usage over 15GB is simply ridiculous.
The 15GB proposal comes from the Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC), a group representing musicians who work on television and movies. The SCGC argues that composers get much less in royalties from media streamed over the Internet than via traditional formats.4
But instead of addressing this inequity with the billion-dollar corporations—like Disney, which made $55 billion last year alone—SCGC says the money should come out of the pockets of everyday people.5
The 15GB tax assumes we spend the majority of our broadband use on streaming media. But like millions of Canadians, I work from home and use about 250GB a month. Video conference calls, website development, collaborating on documents—it all adds up. And almost none of that includes streaming my favourite television shows.
This is just another example of corporations trying to censor content and charge us for our day-to-day Internet use to increase their own profits. Website blocking, smartphone taxes, and now a tax on our broadband! They think they can get away with this because they pay for high-powered lobbyists, and there's no one to stand up for the people.6
But OpenMedia is standing for the people, and we're raising a huge public campaign to drive comments to the Copyright Act review and put an end to these punitive taxes. Now we're going straight to Ottawa to fight these terrible proposals. Will you donate to keep the campaign going?