Apple to return 'piracy tax' to iPod buyers

Canadians get to see cents...

Canadians get to see cents...

Apple has announced it will refund the 'piracy tax' the Canadian government put on every iPod sold in the country.

Although the Canadian Supreme Court ruled last month that the tax - a levy put on all recordable blank media, such as tapes and CDs, to compensate the music industry for piracy - was unlawful, the levy had affected new iPod buyers for more than a year.

Apple said it will be refunding the levy, which was first introduced in 2003, to its Canadian customers shortly.

The company said in a statement: "Apple is pleased that the Supreme Court of Canada let stand a lower court ruling that blank media levies on iPods are invalid and will shortly announce a claims process so customers can request a refund for the levies they paid."

The Canadian government taxed the iPod buyers $2 for storage up to 1GB, $15 for 10GB or less, and $25 for more than 10GB - leaving mini iPod owners with $15 less in their pockets, while full-size iPods saw $25 added to their price tags.

The rights-holders organisation which receives the royalties from sales of blank media, the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC), made $4m from the levies placed on iPods and other MP3 players.

The monies generated by sales of the iPod will now be returned to Apple.