France to tax smartphones to protect culture
Culture is a dominant force in France. The food, the art, the film and the music are exceptional.
France is now planning a tax on smartphones and tablets in order to fund the production of French art, film and music.
The tax could charge up to four percent on the sale of each device and could start as soon as next year. The proposal was made in a government-commissioned report and was endorsed by President Francois Hollande’s administration.
The tax will also include items that allow access via the Internet to “cultural content” such as game consoles and e-readers. The report claims that it is lawful for the government to issue the tax because it “corrects excessive imbalances.”
“Companies that make these tablets must, in minor ways, be made to contribute part to the revenue from their sales to help creators,” said Aurelie Filipetti, culture minister.
Filipetti said the tax should be held at a low level so it doesn’t drive consumers into a black market. While the tax could be up to four percent it also might be as low as one percent, which would raise 86 million euros annually.
France has a history of taxing in order to fund cultural production. In the past, taxes on television companies and distributors funded French film.
According to CNN, France already raises more than 200 million euro a year from copyright levies on hardware storage, which aims to compensate artists for the loss of income through private copying.