France Gets Taxpayers To Subsidize Music Downloads

from the i'm-sure-they-want-that dept

Nicolas Sarkozy had talked in the past about taxing Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to fund the recording industry. Apparently, in the meantime, he’s just going to tax citizens instead. The EU has apparently given approval to a plan that will have the French government paying half the cost of special music download cards, with the goal being to attract users to pay the half-price fee to get them using authorized music services. Of course, it seems worth pointing out that Sarkozy’s wife is a recording artist, so it does seem a bit unfair for him to have taxpayers forking over money which is going to end up with his wife. There are, of course, also anti-competitive concerns when the French government is subsidizing specific music services, but the EU apparently claimed that the “benefits” of the plan outweighed those issues. What benefits? If there are benefits to offering music for less then, um, shouldn’t the record labels just be lowering their prices?

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Comments on “France Gets Taxpayers To Subsidize Music Downloads”

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Ima Fish (profile) says:

In reality all government imposed monopolies such as copyrights are taxes. They’re artificially created rents the government makes us pay under force of law. The benefit to citizens was supposed to be large, vibrant, and free to use public domain. Which is obviously no longer a part of the bargain.

France’s new law only makes the connection between copyrights and taxes more obvious.

Anonymous Coward says:

A few questions that rise in my mind:

Can i get a discount on those fancy new streaming services as well?

Is this also going towards movies/tv-series downloads?

isn’t this going to muck about any progress made towards a single online market in the EU?

How will this help? like said: “if the problem is with the price of music, why not make music cheaper?”.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

I wonder how badly this is going to fail?

The record labels are at it again, marketing to a very young demographic.

“The scheme, which will benefit 12-to-25-year-olds”

Which is predictable, the demographic from 12-35 is where the greatest amount of infringement comes from. This is a total fail IMHO. With the cost of filling an mp3 player being over $10,000 USD do they really think that reducing the cost to $5,000 USD is going to stop infringement? What this is, is a government subsidy of the record labels.

The unintended consequences is along with the gift card more kids are going to get mp3 players for their birthdays and christmas. They will run through the card and then learn to infringe from their friends accelerating the rate at which their parents and grand parents infringe. This is a socialist nation of entitled individuals we are talking about here.

Fooled by Foolishness says:

So how does this work, exactly?

So how does this work, exactly?

Assuming Price each song = $1.00
Assuming Total # of Songs = 1000
Assuming Music Budget = $100.00

Before this plan I could get either a 100 songs for a 100 dollars, or 1000 songs for free illegally.

Now I can get 200 songs for a 100 dollars or 1000 songs for free illegally. Given that, while price of music & budget are stationary, the number of total songs is ever increasing.

I somehow don’t see Mr. Pirate giving up his ‘awful’ ways anytime soon.

A brilliant strategy, this is not.

Rikuo (profile) says:

I don't see how this can be legal

It’s government interference in the marketplace. I know, I know, copyright IS government interference.
What I’m getting at is, that the download cards will obviously only cover a specific section of songs i.e. Sarkozy’s wife will be there, but Movie X OST will not. Imagine if the government started subsidizing two for one coupons for Burger King, but not for McDonalds.

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