Canadian music lovers face paying a levy to own an MP3 player in a move designed to "acknowledge the right of creators and artists to live from their work, like every other hard-working individual".

The Copyright Board of Canada (CPCC) has ruled that players equipped with a memory capacity of up to 1GB will be charged a levy of $2 per device. A recorder with a memory capacity up to 10GB will be levied at $15, and recorders with more than 10GB memory will carry a $25 levy.

The levies will be distributed to eligible authors, performers and producers of recorded musical works copied by individuals for personal use in Canada.

According to the Globe and Mail: "Under the music industry's original proposal, an MP3 player with a 20GB hard drive would have been subject to a levy that would have boosted the price by about $125. Manufacturers filed objections to the Copyright Board over that plan, arguing that the levies would price their products out of the market."

According to research by the CPCC, Canadians downloaded 1.1 billion tracks of recorded music between July 2001 and June 2002, of which three per cent was authorized.