iPod tax overturned upon appeal

A proposed tax on digital recorders and storage devices, such as Apple Inc.’s iPod media player, is illegal, a Canadian court of appeal said, tossing out a tariff that would have increased unit prices as much as C$75 ($74). The decision, which tossed out a copyright board ruling, is a victory for Apple and Microsoft Corp., which offer devices capable of storing more than 30 gigabytes of memory, the target of the highest level of the tax. The tax would have raised the cost of an 80-gigabyte iPod by 29 percent to C$335, based on the online price today at Future Shop Ltd., a Canadian retailer.

The board “has no legal authority to certify a tariff on digital audio recorders or on the memory permanently embedded in digital audio recorders,” Judge Karen Sharlow wrote on behalf of the three-member appeal panel, in a decision made yesterday in Ottawa. She ordered the copyright board to reconsider the case. (link)


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