Politics 24 September 2012 The £2 broadband tax echoes Canada's 30¢ tax to save music "Boy, hurting that new industry to save this dying one; that definitely won't backfire!" - Nobody, ever. Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML Remember when Canada introduced a compulsory levy on blank CDs to save the recorded music market, and how that totally made everything OK? Oh, you don't? Canada is one of a few countries which enacted what's known as a "private copying levy". Any "blank audio recording media", such as cassettes, CD-Rs, or MiniDiscs, is subject to a tax – of $0.29 per unit for CD-Rs, and $0.24 per unit for cassettes. In a way, it's very similar to David Leigh's proposal to save journalism. Charge a levy on the new technology which is eating the old, and save the "valuable" incumbent at the expense of the upstart new entrant. In fact, it's better than Leigh's proposal; most audio recording media does have music on it, whereas very little internet bandwidth is used for news (if we were being fair about where the money goes, most of that £2 would subsidise porn – which is also suffering under the yoke of the internet). So how did the levy do? It saved the Canadian recording industry, right? Not so much: Source The money taken from downloads is actually on the up in Canada, as with everywhere else; and eventually, the industry will recalibrate around this new funding source. But to pretend that state funding – particularly state funding based on a tax of an unrelated resource – can save the industry is sadly wishful thinking. › Watch: HMRC gatecrash - "We'll set the dogs on you" Newspapers pile up on the street floor. Photograph: Getty Images Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter. Subscribe from just £1 per issue More Related articles Living the Meme: What happened to the "Bacon is good for me" boy? How the internet has democratised pornography Pepe Le Pen: Can the alt-right really "meme" Marine Le Pen to victory?