International News Desk – At Home: Conservatives reject proposed MP3 tax bill – In Foreign News: More UK students graduating university under financial strain

International News Desk – At Home: Conservatives reject proposed MP3 tax bill – In Foreign News: More UK students graduating university under financial strain

At Home: Conservatives reject proposed MP3 tax bill

Since 1997, Canadians have paid a small levy on blank media, such as DVDs and CDs, that can reproduce media. Now, Conservatives are opposing a bill that would extend the tax to MP3 players and computers.

According to the CBC, NDP copyright critic Charlie Angus has introduced a bill to ?add a small tax to all blank media . . . and to devices that can reproduce media, including MP3 players and computers.? The tax would extend rights of users to copy digital content, but Conservatives have spoken out against the bill.

The legislation would also see the use of Canada’s ?fair dealing? principle expanded when it comes to non-commercial copying done by educators, researchers, and innovators. The existing levy is used to compensate creators, publishers, and record labels for revenue lost by copying.

Heritage Minister James Moore declared in the House that the government plans to ?fight this new tax every single step of the way.? The rationale is that the Conservatives have already done enough to provide funding for artists, and an additional levy is ?out of the question.?

Although the bill has the full backing of the Bloc Québécois, it doesn’t have enough support to pass. Discussion on the issue is expected to continue.

In Foreign News: More UK students graduating university under financial strain

As The Telegraph reports, as many as a quarter of UK students say they’ll be leaving university ?under significant financial strain??a significant jump from only two per cent in 2004. According to a recent study, a record number of students ?are expected to graduate with debts of more than £20,000.?

The study, undertaken by Sodexo, found that the high cost of university has created a substantial shift in the typical students? lifestyle. Rather than living on campus many students now choose to live at home while they study. And contrary to the stereotype of campus socializing, as many as 25 per cent of ?students at former polytechnics never socialise on campus at all.?

Almost 2,000 students took part in the current poll, which was first carried out in 2004.

Higher tuition fees were introduced in 2006, and some 28 per cent of students surveyed expect to graduate with more than £20,000 in debt. That figure is a ?14-fold increase in just six years.? Of those surveyed, nearly a third reported that they’d ?considered dropping out of university at some point,? with nearly half pointing to financial strain as the reason.

The principal lecturer in English at De Montfort University, Dr. Gary Day, told researchers that the combination of financial pressure and a competitive economy has made students ?put socialising on the back burner, balance a job alongside their study,? and become more focused on ?pursuing a degree that will lead to employment.?

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