Collecting society the Canadian Private Copying Collective says it may appeal against a court ruling which has blocked its efforts to obtain compensation for music creators through extending Canada's private-copying levy to cover "digital audio recorders."

The Canadian Court of Appeal has blocked an attempt by the music publishers' body to enact a controversial copyright levy that could have added up to $75 Canadian ($73) to the cost of digital music players.

The levy was being sought by the CPCC, which collects and distributes levies on blank media designed to compensate artists and other stakeholders for revenue lost due to individuals copying music from one medium to another.

While levies are already in place on blank disks, for example, the CPCC had hoped to extend the levy to include MP3 players and other devices such as Apple's iPod. The amount of the tariff would have depended on the memory of the device.

Regulator the Canadian Copyright Board agreed to the levy in July 2007, but the matter was subsequently raised at the Court of Appeal by several Canadian retailers (Billboard, Oct. 27 2007). The court ruled Jan. 11 that the Copyright Board had "erred in law when it concluded that it has the legal authority to certify the tariff."

In a statement, the CPCC said it could still take the matter to the Supreme Court of Canada. Labels body the Canadian Recording Industry Assn. was among the bodies opposed to the levy.

"The CPCC sought a levy on iPods and other MP3 players because they are used extensively for the purpose of copying recorded music," said CPCC spokesman David Basskin, "and because the vast majority of the copying is not authorized. In the absence of a levy, no one who is involved in the creation of the music receives any remuneration when their music is copied without their approval."

Basskin, who is also president of authors' collecting society the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency, added: "the CPCC is understandably disappointed with the Federal Court of Appeal's decision and will be considering its options."