France Wants To Extend Private Copying Levy To Tablets... But Not If They Run Microsoft Windows

from the say-what-now? dept

Kurata points us to the news that French politicians are debating extending the "you must be a criminal" private copying levy to tablet computers -- but, oddly, the new levy would not apply to tablets running Windows (Google translation from the original French). The tax would apply to any iPad or Android-based device, but apparently Windows tablets won't be counted, since they'll be classified as full computers, while the other tablets are in this new taxable category. Not surprisingly, this has some companies up in arms, with the French-based Archos particularly steamed, since it's producing Android-based tablets, and doesn't like the fact that its government seems to be giving preferential treatment to an American company.

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  • icon
    crade (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 10:22am

    Good for microsoft. Legislation is an easier way to get rid of pesky competition than work is.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2010 @ 10:37am

    The one thing you can count on to get the French riled up is appearing to give preference to an American company. This will probably go nowhere in this form.

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

    • icon
      crade (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 11:01am

      Re:

      appearing?

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

      • identicon
        Jesse, 28 Dec 2010 @ 1:09pm

        Re: Re:

        Grammar Nazi:

        Someone who has failed to grasp that forums are not in fact English essays. Language has always varied according to context, just as we use different types of words in a job interview compared to with our mates.

        /nice fail tho...

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

        • icon
          crade (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 1:50pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't care about grammar, my grammar is un-good :). I just thought "appearing" was being far too kind by leaving the possibility they might not actually *be* giving the preference.

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

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 29 Dec 2010 @ 7:46am

        Re: Re:

        Please note that actually giving preference to an American company will also result in appearing to do so.

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

    • icon
      el_segfaulto (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      I'd argue that they are giving preference to an OS rather than an American company. Windows 7 is a full-fledged operating system, although in honesty I don't know where you draw the line between what qualifies as a "tablet" operating system as opposed to a regular one. Personally I'd rather not see any tablets taxed but c'est la vie.

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

      • icon
        crade (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 12:06pm

        Re: Re:

        Since the OS is the product of the company and no one else can make it, giving preference to the OS and to the company is the same thing.

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

        • icon
          vivaelamor (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 12:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Since the OS is the product of the company and no one else can make it, giving preference to the OS and to the company is the same thing."

          I think the test would be whether they would apply the same exemption to a tablet shipped with Ubuntu or something similar that has the same capabilities as on a PC.

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

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 12:10pm

        Re: Re:

        Windows 7 is a full-fledged operating system, although in honesty I don't know where you draw the line between what qualifies as a "tablet" operating system as opposed to a regular one.
        But the tablets don't run Windows 7 - they run Windows CE.

        So Microsoft are actually getting an exemption because their operating system for tablets has a similar name to a PC operating system.

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

        • icon
          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 12:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, they ether run Windows 7 starter or Windows embedded which is Windows 7 slimmed way down but still fully functional (or just full blown Windows 7 depending on the tablet). Windows CE is mostly used now a days for dedicated hardware like ATMs.

          Ether way, Android is just a specialized front end for Linux. That's still a full blown installed operating system, so the exemption is silly.

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

    • identicon
      Joseph, 1 Jan 2011 @ 10:48pm

      Re:

      Would Americans be upset if their government gave tax or regulatory advantages to a foreign company? Yeah, I think they would be.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2010 @ 11:14am

    Of course they shouldn't tax Microsoft tablets! You can do anything on one of those tablets that you can do with any normal computer, unlike the silly Android and iPad toys. Only tax Microsoft tablets if they start taxing all PCs the same way.

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

    • icon
      crade (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 11:58am

      Re:

      "You can do anything on one of those tablets that you can do with any normal computer"
      Yeah the exact same thing you can do on android and iPad - run programs written for that OS and hardware.
      Whatever you think excludes Android or IPad from being a "real" computer could be written and released tomorrow if it isn't already, or I could write my own.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2010 @ 12:25pm

        Re: Re:

        Could be, but never will. They're just toys.

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

        • identicon
          Jesse, 28 Dec 2010 @ 1:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, that's why mine, along with hundreds of other companies, the entire pharma industry (which has more money than god) Are dev'ing for iPads.

          Oh wait, some anonymous zealot from the internet says it's a toy, never mind.

          Oh wait, he's just another retard who doesn't know anything about what he's commenting on, were all back on!

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

        • icon
          Marcus Carab (profile), 29 Dec 2010 @ 6:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Are you a troll or just a fool?

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

  • icon
    The eejit (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 11:16am

    Heh. So France is violating its own antitrust laws in order....to prevent a monopoly.

    Swing and a miss!

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

  • identicon
    PC, 28 Dec 2010 @ 11:22am

    Time to sing

    It's grrrrreaaaat... to be me. :)

    *start-up sound*

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

  • icon
    Kevin (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 11:28am

    Are we really all that shocked

    The only thing France has ever done consistently is say "nous nous rendons!" (Google Translation)

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

  • identicon
    abc gum, 28 Dec 2010 @ 11:48am

    The whole idea of remuneration simply because something might be used to infringe is stupid. If creators of content are to be subsidised, then so be it, but do not atempt to foist the responsibility upon those who have nothing to do with the infringement. That is simply bad policy.

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

    • icon
      vivaelamor (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 12:23pm

      Re:

      "The whole idea of remuneration simply because something might be used to infringe is stupid. If creators of content are to be subsidised, then so be it, but do not atempt to foist the responsibility upon those who have nothing to do with the infringement. That is simply bad policy."

      Kinda reminds me of the UK TV licence. They just don't like calling things a tax.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2010 @ 12:07pm

    Seriously, Im confused.

    I have the same question in regard to the Canadian blank media fee.

    If you pay these fees in advance, fees that say "I am paying a price for potentially being able to place pirated [whatever] on this media."
    Shouldn't that mean that you are legally allowed to place the pirated [whatever] on the media?

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

    • icon
      crade (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 12:16pm

      Re: Seriously, Im confused.

      The great lie with these fee's (in Canada at least)
      is that they don't allow the consumer to do anything.

      We are paying to allow us to copy things we already own such as copying our records to tape, making MP3s out of CDs we have already purchased or recording the game to watch after work.
      The giant lie is that no one in the country honestly believes creators deserve to get compensated again when we do these activities and the only thing people can contemplate they are paying for is the right to copy things they haven't already fully paid for the right to use. The only reason we have any levy is because politicians make sure people don't understand what it is for.

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

      • identicon
        abc gum, 28 Dec 2010 @ 1:07pm

        Re: Re: Seriously, Im confused.

        "We are paying to allow us to copy things we already own "

        Heh - you only bought a license.

        I do not recall any content which restricts, via EULA or otherwise, the medium upon which it can be transferred to.

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

        • icon
          crade (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 1:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: Seriously, Im confused.

          "Heh - you only bought a license."
          There is no license. What you buy is a copy of a sound recording. What you are allowed to do with it is restricted by the copyright act, not by a license agreement.

          The restrictions were in the copyright act because copying didn't used to be required for regular use of the copy as often as they are now. The restriction was the default (you can't make copies of anything for any reason ever period) and was taken out with the private copying exception (you can now make private copies for your own personal use, but not distribute them in any way) when they put the levy in.

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

        • identicon
          Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 28 Dec 2010 @ 1:40pm

          Re: You Only Bought A Licence

          Where does it say in the record shops and video shops that they are only selling licences?

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

    • icon
      Marcus Carab (profile), 28 Dec 2010 @ 12:25pm

      Re: Seriously, Im confused.

      Shouldn't that mean that you are legally allowed to place the pirated [whatever] on the media?

      In fact, yes. It has created a ridiculous legal vortex here where if you have material for personal uses on leveed media then it is not infringement - however it is on any other media.

      So if I download an album from an unauthorized, I am infringing - but then if I burn it to a CD (leveed) and remove it from my hard-drive (not leveed) I am no longer infringing. It's rather bizarre and to my knowledge there are a lot of questions about the details that have yet to be sorted out in court.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2010 @ 12:39pm

    What about a dual-boot tablet, with both Linux and Windows on it? Would it be exempt from the tax because it had Windows?

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

  • identicon
    Bernard, 28 Dec 2010 @ 1:21pm

    I think the French are counting on the Windows tablets not actually functioning properly, therefore you couldn't copy anything if you wanted to.

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

  • identicon
    joe, 28 Dec 2010 @ 5:42pm

    toys? yea, but not some GNU/Linux varients

    All tablets are toys. The limitations are just sick. However some of the GNU/Linux variants potentially are a bit more functional on the tablets than the OS on the iPad and MS Windows variants. Free software is undoing infringement not encouraging it. If anything a tax should be levied against Microsoft and Apple because those who purchase have shown a willingness to use non-free software. Something they will have to pay for and might infringe.

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

    • icon
      Marcus Carab (profile), 29 Dec 2010 @ 6:39am

      Re: toys? yea, but not some GNU/Linux varients

      What is your definition of "toy" exactly?

      Plenty of people are using tablets to enhance their productivity in all sorts of fields. A tablet is not the same kind of tool as a desktop or a laptop, but it is still a tool.

      Just because you can't see how one would be useful to you doesn't mean they are "all toys"

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

  • identicon
    SImon, 28 Dec 2010 @ 9:01pm

    Tax Microsoft....

    One should get a 30% discount for not using windows on any piece of computer hardware.
    Until one gets the same level of software support for non Microsoft OS's, from the hardware manufacturers, one shouldn't be expected to pay as high a price.

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

  • identicon
    Woadan, 29 Dec 2010 @ 10:17am

    It's an interestingly cynical logic at work here, but logic it is.

    Android tablets and the iPad use a smartphone OS, while the Windows tablets use Windows 7 (or, previously, Vista or XP), a computer OS. It's the exact same OS as otherwise, but with added functionality.

    In Windows XP, it was an actual add-on to the OS from MS. In Vista and 7, it's functionality that is turned off by default for workstations/desktops/notebooks. You just go to the Control Panel and turn it on.

    Even though I think it is cynical, the distinction is being drawn around the OS, so there is a logic to it involved.

    Wonder if MS was behind the distinction?

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

  • identicon
    hippie, 30 Dec 2010 @ 11:33am

    Micro$oft

    ... i know what to do ... i don't use Micro$oft products ... and yes it's possible to live that way ... cheers from Paris.

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

  • identicon
    prax, 3 Jan 2011 @ 6:48am

    To the Micro$oft fans who consider their normal computers..

    Have a look at top500.org

    I am writing this on a linux mint machine where win7 x64 was crashed almost every hour (for strange driver issues though)

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


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