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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  1.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 11:04am

    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.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 11:13am

    Of course if no one takes up the offer, it will end up costing nothing. Though that will necessarily lower taxes or anything…

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 11:16am

    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?".

     

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  4.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 11:18am

    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.

     

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  5.  
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    Viva La Revolution, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Re: French

    They're french... enough said.

     

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  6.  
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    Del Boy, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 12:16pm

    Sarkozy at it agian then. No Surprise.
    Sarkozy à nouveau, puis il. Pas de surprise.

     

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  7.  
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    Del Boy, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    I see I am murdering the French & English language again... lol

    Je vois que je suis le meurtre de la langue française et anglaise à nouveau ... lol

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

    It's Charitable Donation Matching

    Love it. A government offers a 50% subsidy to an industry with zero marginal costs. Yeah, that should correct some imperfections in the market :-(

    Why don't they just call it like it is: donation matching. If you donate 10 euros for recording artists, we'll match it.

     

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  9.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re:

    Tu vois qu'une service numérique de traduction est une chose très dangereuse.

    You see that an electronic translation service is a cheese soufflé.

     

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    Fooled by Foolishness, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 12:57pm

    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.

     

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  11.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 3:47pm

    Re: So how does this work, exactly?

    Maybe if they lowered their prices by a factor of 10 - so you get 1000 songs for your $100 they would stand a chance - and their are paid download sites out there that charge that kind of price - and allow unlimited free streaming access - eg Rumvi

     

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  12.  
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    btrussell (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 4:28pm

    "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."

    The benefits are that they can then point out that the 3 strikes plan is working.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 12:28am

    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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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 8:30am

    From what I have read this seems to be about "preserving french culture". Does this mean the cards will only allow you to download music created by french artists? ... What a crock of crap. Yet another bail out of an industry that refuses to adapt or has become obsolete.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2010 @ 2:39pm

    I can't wait until all of these industry bail-outs come back to bite us in the ass. For all I know about $40000 of mine went to General Motors last year. Where the fuck is my vehicle?

    Does the government involvment with private industry scare you guys as much as it does me?

     

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  16.  
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    Daniel, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 9:13am

    Why Not Just Give Some Music Away?

    Finally, all my most recent music is published and available online! A variety of bluesy, classic rock, acoustic, vocal & rocking instrumental music. Gotta love guitar music, right? For a limited time it's all available for free mp3 downloads at danielminteer.9f.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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