Crap laws that benefit only a few
@AC How much tax to what artists would be a very good question indeed. Going by usual French govt practices probably enough tax to finance lots of cushy public sector jobs and give some dough to a privileged set of big name French artists.
Whether artists who actually get downloaded (likely, non-French) or who could actually benefit (small French bands without the wherewithal to invest in the likely substantial costs to subscribe their snouts to the public trough) is another as well.
We have the same thing happening in Canada and, basically, an unelected "society of artists" manages to push through taxes without public consultation. Small artists see diddly, because they can't afford the fees to get in. And copying mp3s is still illegal, though you theoretically pay for them. Bet our girl Celine is good by it though.
It could be worse. AFAIK Germany levies such taxes on any hard disk media, regardless of whether you are going to be storing the latest musical wonders of Ashley Simpson. Or running SAP on them.