Canadian Mint Apparently Desperate For Revenue

Dave Killion — September 16, 2012

I wonder how much this is going to cost me?

After running 2000 copies of his new album “No More Pennies”, Nova Scotian singer/songwriter Dave Gunning was informed by the Royal Canadian Mint that he owed them $1,200.00. Mr. Gunning used an image of the Canadian penny on the album cover, and the Mint is of the opinion that using said image entitles them to a fee

“Although the copyright fee for the album’s initial run of 2,000 albums was waived, the Mint has conditions tied to any future copies of the CD. Gunning has made the requested alterations to the original design and has resubmitted his application for permission to use the one-cent likenesses. The Mint will now decide on what amount, if any, it will charge the musician. “We’re not preventing Dave Gunning from commemorating the penny through his album,” says Christine Aquino, the Mint’s communications director. “The issue is the use of the image, and we’ll be working with him on that.”

Got that? They’re not preventing him from using the image, they’re just making it more difficult and expensive.

The issue of intellectual property is one on which many libertarians have shifted position in recent years. Increasingly, many of us have been persuaded that copyrights, trademarks, patents and the like are immoral, unnecessary, and even counter-productive. The subject is complex, but the Victoria Libertarian Book Club read “Against Intellectual Monopoly” some time ago, and it was a great help in clarifying the matter. If you’re out there pirating stuff and feeling guilty about it, you might want to check it out, if only to ease your conscience.

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