The Canadian Copyright Board has announced it will raise the tax on blank compact discs to 29¢ (US$0.23), a 38% increase. Previously the tariff on blank recordable CDs was 21¢ (US$0.1679).

The tariff is collected on behalf of the Canadian Private Copying Collective, an organization formed in 1999 and created to collect money that compensates musicians and stakeholders for having their music copied by individuals. The decision leaves the rate for audio cassettes at 24¢

The board says there were two reasons for the increase.

"First, increased mechanical licence royalties, coupled with the elimination of container deductions and free goods allowances in the calculation of the performers' and makers' remuneration, greatly add to our estimation of the total remuneration per prerecorded CD," the board said in a report. "Second, the use of compression technology raises from 15 to 18.4 the average number of tracks copied on a blank CD used to copy music."

Using the new royalty rate, blank CD sales would have generated $29 million (US$23 million) in revenue in 2008, the board said, adding that despite the rate increase, the total amount collected would remain consistent with past years due to falling blank CD sales.

"Should this forecast not materialize, the estimated amount of royalties would be adjusted accordingly," the board said.