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France considering smartphone, tablet tax to fund cultural content


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#1 brianshapiro

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 20:46

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

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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, François 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, Aurélie 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 communiqué 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


#2 +Bryan R.

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 20:53

Literally laughed out loud.

#3 +Phouchg

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 21:15

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.

#4 Hum

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 22:22

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

#5 +FiB3R

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 23:41

How about **** off?

#6 +techbeck

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 23:52

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

#7 2xSilverKnight

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 23:57

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

#8 Growled

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:56

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

#9 MDboyz

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:03

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.

#10 SiCKX

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:36

It looks like a severe case of brainfarting.

#11 The Laughing Man

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:43

Oh what will the French think of next!

#12 +Vykranth

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 13:10

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.

#13 Growled

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 13:19

Oh what will the French think of next!


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

#14 Torolol

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 13:30

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.

#15 hamslammer

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 13:53

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


You have to consider where it is coming from.