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back to article France weighing 'culture tax' on phones, slabs, PCs, TVs

The Socialist government of France is mulling a new "culture tax" to be levied on smartphones and other consumer electronics as one possible measure to help fund music, film, and the arts in a rapidly changing media landscape. Last fall, French president Francois Hollande created a special panel, chaired by former Canal+ CEO …

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Devil

What!

I haven't been hearing of Hollande and his merry band of taxators for so long that I thought the massive inward pull of rampant taxing, unrestrained spending (describes by lefties as 'austerity'), rampant regulation and sheer interdiction to do any decent work in France had collapsed it into an economic black hole from whence no Euro or Political Peep could ever escape again.

Not yet, then? Pity.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What!

Johnny Foreigner is getting pretty desperate these days, Spain, Greece, Ireland, Cyprus all signing over to German control.

Germany now owns and controls more of Europe than when old Adolf marched across borders. It must be painful for Frenchie to see his country moving closer and closer to the moment when Germany once again has control of France.

High unemployment, obstructive unions, borrowing at an all time high and an export decline, sounds like Britain under Labour in the 1970's? Well this is France now and they are running out of money.

To prevent this they raise taxes and fleece the population, but the inevitable will happen, Germany will once again rise but this time it will be the 4th Reich. France will once again be Germany's B*tch.

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Trollface

Re: What!

They would have happily signed control over the UK, but you did not want to stump the cash..

You snooze, you loose.

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Roo
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Windows

Re: What!

Sadly we didn't have any cash left to buy France because we gave it all to those jolly nice chaps that work in the banks. Not sure we could raise enough cash via tax either as we're now paying our pension companies to keep the property market inflated, and in return they are very kindly letting us rent the properties they now own at mortgage installment + 10% pcm. Hopefully they will give some of our money back when we retire, but I suspect we will die before that happens because the retirement age will need to be raised to 120 so we have enough time to earn back all the money we've given away.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What!

You might want to read up on Otto Von Bismarck's invention, the welfare state ..... and which other EU country has a good level of energy, defence and food security? Try looking further south from the UK- clue- it's the one that had a higher GNP than UK for most of the 70s and 80s right up to deregulation time in the 90s in the City of London. And we all know how soundly based that wealth was.

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The French might make more from their cultural products if they exported them. If they didn't have such reluctance to put English subtitles on their DVDs (even where "official" subtitles already exist) they might recoup more money than their domestic/Quebecois audience limits them to.

Having the slowest release schedules for music etc in Europe can't be helping them either.

Even one of France's own ministers of culture has pointed out how irrelevant French culture is becoming globally because it's so inward facing.

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Devil

Agreed on that

But they aren't the only overzealous laws concerning language. Spain also spends a lot ruining movies by dubbing them with wonky translations, and like the French they call computers "sorting machines" and (computer) files "index cards" among other weird things, just to avoid using any words resembling English. (Even the French think that the word "ordinateur" is wrong, but they refuse to use "computer".)

That said, the same guy is recommending a Hadopi shootdown. That's got to give him some good karma, as it would mean France would stick it to the MAFIAA.

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Re: Agreed on that

From what I see and hear in this part of France is that there is the official language and the ones the older and younger generations use. The older generation tend to add Catalan in with French, the younger add English. The number of times I've been asked if I could fix some problem with a computer or printer or monitor is increasing. I've even been asked if I can change the French only version of an operating system to an English one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Agreed on that

I remember a French colleague bouncing into the office gleefully declaring "J'ai fixé le bug". Even he couldn't tell us what language that was supposed to be!

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Anonymous Coward

ROFL

drop the insecure, discriminatory and just plain childish laws about language and their restraint of cross-border trade - in blatant defiance of the spirit of the EU - and then maybe, just maybe, things might change.

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Anonymous Coward

Le frogs have a culture ?

Culture ? That's the grey or green things in a petrie dish isn't it ?

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Paris Hilton

Lying sac of merde

"It's necessary to close fiscal loopholes to restore fairness."

Yah. Right. You could "restore fairness" by dropping the other taxes, of course, but for that option to be mentioned would be only slightly less likely than naming Cheddar the French National Cheese.

For the obtuse: It isn't about fairness. It is about money.

...Paris because, erm, we're talking about France and all...

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fail

France has land borders with 5 countries and s sea border with one.

They are a member of the EU and must accept a free flow of goods from other EU contries.

Looks like s big win for WWW.amazon.Lu

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Headmaster

Re: fail

France has land borders with 11 countries, of which 6 are EU members (including the France-Netherlands border on St Martin which isn't always counted).

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Re: fail

> Looks like s big win for WWW.amazon.Lu

Yep. Just one tablet sale moved abroad to save that 1% tax costs Hollande & co. almost 20% in lost VAT. If 5% of sales go abroad, it's a net loss.

You'd think he'd have learned the "look at the net picture" lesson from the way Depardieu & other big earners left to avoid the 75% "rich tax", yet despite the courts ruling the first implementation of that tax as unconsitutitional they're still trying to bring it in. The iShiny tax will have the same negative effect. No wonder the French schools in London are being overwhelmed by demand from expats.

Come on guys, you can't tax yourselves out of a recession! Where's la Madame Thatcher when you need one?

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Mushroom

In a shocking turn of events,

French government board recommends taxing products made by non-French companies - quelle surprise! Protectionism is alive and well in Socialist-paradise, where Asian and American companies subsidize the continued existence of French culture. A million young people voted for Hollande. Their punishment will be to pay more for what little luxuries they can afford with their lack of jobs.

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51st state

At least the French try to protect their own culture —unlike the Brits, who would smear themselves in dog-shit and drink tramp's piss, if someone told them it was the current trend in America.

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Thumb Down

Re: 51st state

They're not protecting anything by trying to tax themselves out of the hole they're in. They're just damaging it further. I can't name any French movies of the last decade other than Les Miserables but wait, that's a British movie... The last actual movie I remember of theirs was Amelie, and that was a French/German movie.

How about pop music? Nothing comes to mind recently.

They need to promote export, not internal taxation.

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WTF?

Re: 51st state

You are forgetting that the colonies copy us, and by inference we are just reinforcing our own culture by strengthening ties with the plucky chaps in the plantations, kind of a circular exchange of cultural ideals

The Frenches on the other hand all drive badly and drive very small cars to boot!! (you can link Boot to Wellington here as I feel it appropriate in a Xenophobic British sense)

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Yag
Joke

"The Frenches on the other hand all drive badly"

Yeah, come on! they don't even keep driving on the left side of the road!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 51st state

"you can link Boot to Wellington here"

What have the Perishers to do with this? :-)

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Facepalm

Re: 51st state

Yeah, Britain has completely submerged itself in American culture, whereas in the U.S. you never hear see any British cultural influence beyond Shakespeare, the Beatles, Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, The Office, James Bond, reality TV, musical theater, Gordon Ramsay, Brits working in Hollywood, the royal family, etc.......

About the only British cultural flops in America have been Morris dancing and soccer!

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Re: "The Frenches on the other hand all drive badly"

" they don't even keep driving on the left side of the road!"

You've obviously never driven in France after lunch.

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Thumb Down

Extra if

You don't WANT to watch it.

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IT Angle

help fund music, film, and the arts

Really? Or the distributors or the Frenchy exchequer.

I say 2 fingers to them!!

Anyway, wheres the IT angle on this? France is hardly an IT powerhouse, mainly a smelly cheese maker who had Kings that dressed like girls!!!

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Headmaster

Re: help fund music, film, and the arts

You left out that the French also have pet monkeys trained to wave white flags....

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Zut

I seriously doubt that the entire French Socialist movement has a single functioning brain cell.

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Yag

Re: Zut

This is actually a prerequisite for a political career in France...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Zut

Which doesn't reflect too well on the American Revolution, in that case.

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European Legality

If you impose a tax on smart phones in France aren't people just going to buy them online in germany?

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Re: European Legality

Anyone speak French, I have an idea for a business?

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Yag

Re: European Legality

Trop tard, je suis déjà sur le coup...

I'm already doing regular supply runs in Spain (mostly for booze, bath supplies and blank CDs), i'll just add phones and tablets to the shopping list.

As long as the custom only prey on smokers, i'll be fine.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: European Legality

Pretty much anyone over the age of 30, since it used to be compulsory.... you might find young primary kids are also pretty good these days. Of course they may not feel ready to be put into an accountancy or business advisor in Europe role :P

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Bronze badge

So, they're changing from taxing /content/ to taxing /media/? Why the change?

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Trollface

why?

Freetards can steal content, but they still have to buy the media?

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Pirate

"So, they're changing from taxing /content/ to taxing /media/? Why the change?"

As per the article, it's not really a change. It's more of an expansion/landgrab.

After all, even in France, the "Piracy tax" on blank Cassette tapes and video tapes has probably dropped significantly over recent years.

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Anonymous Coward

Cher M. Hollande...

...va t'faire foutre.

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Pirate

Oh well...

If I end up paying a tax on my smartphones, time to fire up the torrent client and get my money's worth!

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Yag

Re: Oh well...

Beware of Hadopi!

*laugh*

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