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http://www.cbc.ca/ne...tax-france.html

France considering smartphone, tablet tax to fund cultural content

CBC News | Posted: May 13, 2013 3:39 PM ET | Last Updated: May 13, 2013 4:16 PM ET

hi-tabletsrtr37zxz-8col.jpg

France is considering imposing a new culture tax on any device that connects to the internet. Most people use these devices to access a variety of cultural products, most of which they consume for free, so it's not unreasonable to ask that a portion of the profits from the sale of these devices goes toward supporting creators of those products, concludes the report that proposed the new tax. (Vincent Kessler/Reuters)

France is considering imposing a tax on smartphones, tablets and other devices used to access the internet and using the revenue to fund the creation of French cultural content.

The proposal for the tax was made in a report submitted to the country's president, Fran?ois Hollande, Monday. Hollande had tasked Pierre Lescure, the former head of private television channel Canal Plus, to come up with suggestions on how to adapt France's policy of promoting French culture to the digital age.

Lescure made a total of 75 recommendations, including the new tax, which would apply to any device that connects to the internet, including tablets, computers, digital TVs and game consoles.

The report suggests that the tax could be initially set at one per cent of the sale price and eventually be raised to three or four per cent. Lescure estimates a one-per-cent tax would raise 86 million euros (about $113 million) per year.

France's minister of culture and communications, Aur?lie Filippetti, endorsed the tax, saying the "contribution" device manufacturers would be making is "extremely small."

Revenue would go into cultural support fund

The money raised from the tax would go into a fund to support creative industries, including music, film, video games and photography, Filippetti said, stressing that these industries are significant job creators.

Camille Bedin, the secretary general of the opposition UMP party, denounced the tax, which he said was out of step with the harsh financial realities of the day, in which, for example, purchasing power had decreased by 0.4 per cent last year. Bedin accused Hollande's socialist government of being "high on taxes" and seizing any opportunity to impose more taxes on the population.

Adapting 'cultural exception' policy to digital age

Distributors of French cultural content like cinemas and radio and TV stations have had to divert a portion of their profits to the creation of French content since the 1980s as part of France's "cultural exception" policy ? which aims to defend French culture against the globalizing influences of entertainment industry giants like Hollywood. But newer distributors of cultural content in the digital sphere like Amazon, Google and Netflix have not been subject to the same rules.

Lescure's proposed tax is an attempt to make those internet giants, which make many of the devices that would be subject to the new tax, pay their share.

Given that the consumption of cultural content accounts for a hefty share of the overall use of internet-connected devices, it's not unreasonable to ask those who make and distribute these devices to help fund the creation of that content, Lescure wrote in the report.

"The success of these connected terminals and the high price that consumers are willing to pay to acquire them are in part due to the possibility that these devices offer to access a quasi infinite amount of rich and diverse cultural content, for which, conversely, the users are less and less willing to pay," Lescure wrote.

The report also proposed the abolishment ofthe government agency in charge of policing illegal downloading of copyrighted material and the law that allows the agency to sever the internet connection of those who don't secure their internet connection against illegal file sharing.

Hollande said in a communiqu? that he hoped the necessary legislative measures to make the proposed changes would be adopted by the summer.

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...tax-france.html

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Literally laughed out loud.

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Mandatory registered bidirectional packet counters will (have to) be installed in every internets capable device. At the end of tax year imported packets will be counted and for complete transmissions not originating from EU economic zone VAT of 19.6% will be applied according to their declared value (disabled persons qualify for reduced rate; presenting valid proof of disability is required). If total value of a single transmission exceeds ?150, import customs duty will additionally be applied (rates may vary). Customs agency reserves the right to hold and inspect any shipment causing suspicion of declared and actual value mismatch. Please note that packets and transmissions do not qualify as a gift. Garbage disposal tax will be applied to worthless information. Packet headers do not qualify as packaging.

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How about have the people actually work, and tax their paychecks .... ?

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How about **** off?

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Yea, tax people/business more...after all, they can all afford to pay more...

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How about have the people actually work, and tax their paychecks .... ?

Personally I would lower the taxes on paychecks, and increase sales tax instead. People that don't consume too much shouldn't get penalized.

Of course, things like milk, bread etc .. would stay at 0% tax

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I think this is one of the dumbest ideas that I've ever heard.

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What? not sure how in France, but in US, we already pay out taxes for the internet service. Why should we pay another tax for using it? Anyway the French is out of their mind.

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It looks like a severe case of brainfarting.

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Oh what will the French think of next!

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Tax them more! If it could get rid of pre-chewed cultural "icons" like Justin Bieber, Nickelback or Nicky Minaj and help people who makes good music, I am all for it.

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Oh what will the French think of next!

I tell you, it's a tax on the air we breath next. ;)

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The money raised from the tax would go into a fund to support creative industries, including music, film, video games and photography, Filippetti said, stressing that these industries are significant job creators

i bet Hollywood mafia would loves this too.

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I think this is one of the dumbest ideas that I've ever heard.

You have to consider where it is coming from.

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Not surprised, when something can't compete on an open market the French seem to see it as the utmost importance to crush it out - whether it is content, the use of English words as part of every day speaking in France etc. Basically it is an on going 'screw you' to the anglophone world done under the rubric of 'cultural preservation'. It has all the cringe worthiness of entertainment quotas that exist in Australia - because god knows if it weren't for the quotas a good portion of the prime time content in Australia would never get on the television in the first place (heck, even the ABC and SBS would reject such crap).

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I tell you, it's a tax on the air we breath next. ;)

This is why sites need to adopt a "dislike" button lol

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What? not sure how in France, but in US, we already pay out taxes for the internet service. Why should we pay another tax for using it? Anyway the French is out of their mind.

where do we pay taxes for internet services? last I heard they never repealed the law that prohibited taxing internet services...

I've had the internet since 1996 and have never once paid tax on it, even my last months bill does not have a sales tax on the internet service

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This is why sites need to adopt a "dislike" button lol

Oh well, can't please everyone. :D

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France's minister of culture and communications, Aur?lie Filippetti, endorsed the tax, saying the "contribution" device manufacturers would be making is "extremely small."

Had to laugh at this as it shows this person doesn't live in the real world.

The manufacturers won't be making any "contributions", they'll pass the increase onto the consumer.

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There is one thing you guys do not factor in: the price of services. I'm a Frenchman living in the USA since 2007 (love it), so I know both worlds. I was amazed at how expensive services are in the US. The French will spend more with the initial device purchase, but usually less with the services that go with it.

In comparison, ISPs charge a lot less than here: http://adsl.sfr.fr/tarifs-conditions-neufbox/forfaits-et-options/

From my own experience, stuff is usually cheaper here. Electronics, clothes... Services are cheaper in France. For example, I paid ?37 tuition for one year...

Now about the sales tax, it's already 19.6% (mainland France)...

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I'm all for it if by cultural content they mean independent content generators.

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I'm all for it if by cultural content they mean independent content generators.

by cultural content France means putting laws that you have to say all Burgundy comes from Burgundy France because we said so period! now pay us money so we can protect this culture!

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In a lot of European countries, really large cash stipends are given to artists selected by the state,

In Denmark, for instance, 275 artists are granted an annual stipend of ?between 15,000 and 149,000 Danish krone (?1,750 to ?17,000) every year for the rest of their lives. In France, public funds are awarded through regional bodies not unlike our arts councils, ?except that the range of awards is much greater: artists in the Ile-de-France ?region, which includes Paris, can, for instance, claim up to ?7,500 (?6,545) specifically to equip their studios.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/jan/24/artists-day-jobs

The same thing was true in Sweden as it was in Denmark, but they recently ended the practice in favor of giving the money to municipalities, which then distribute it to whomever they think should get the money.

The Swedish government plans to end the practice of giving a select group of Swedish artists a lifetime income guarantee ... The income guarantee is administered by The Swedish Arts Grants Committee (Konstn?rsn?mnden) and amounted to 17 million kronor in 2009, which will now be re-allocated as five and ten year scholarships. Recipients currently enjoy a guaranteed 18,000 kronor ($2,500) per month.
http://www.thelocal.se/25048/20100217/

Personally, I don't support this system, which is a type of welfare system for artists. I do, however, support funding local museums, public funding to universities which have galleries, and having state commissioned art for public buildings and murals and monuments. There are public means to help the arts that I think are reasonable, and others that aren't.

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This is an insult. We already pay more than we should. Wouldn't it be better to take the tax from the existing price of items instead of adding, yet another stupid tax? This only effects the little guy, as the big guy won't see any difference. They need to tax the rich and give the little guy a big break to even things out.

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