French panel moots taxes on smartphones, tablets

May 13, 2013
A woman uses her smartphone in Bordeaux on May 3, 2013. A report by a French expert panel published on Monday recommended imposing taxes on smartphones and tablets but rejected a call for search engine Google to be charged for linking to media content.

A report by a French expert panel published on Monday recommended imposing taxes on smartphones and tablets but rejected a call for search engine Google to be charged for linking to media content.

The nine-member panel, headed by respected journalist and businessman Pierre Lescure, said in the keenly awaited report that the revenue gained from the proposed new taxes could help fund artistic and creative ventures.

But the report said that demands for compensation from by content providers such as newspapers—which say the search giant makes significant advertising revenue from referencing their material—were legally "doubtful".

France and Germany are considering imposing compensation schemes on Google as the company has refused to reach any deal with media outlets.

The report made 75 proposals in all and called for the scrapping of the Hadopi agency created to monitor and enforce Internet copyright laws.

It said the task of fighting should instead be handled by the CSA agency, or the Higher Council for Audiovisual media, which regulates electronic media in France.

It also called for a massive scaleback in controversial punishments for piracy, saying Internet connections should no longer be suspended and fines should be slashed from a maximum of 1,500 euros ($1,950) to 60 euros, which could be then raised for repeat offenders.

The report said piracy could also be contained if satellite and offered new films on demand shortly after their release.

Explore further: Microsoft to launch first flagship store outside US in Sydney

Related Stories

Orange 'forces Google' to pay for mobile traffic

Jan 16, 2013

The head of French telecoms operator Orange said on Wednesday it had been able to impose a deal on Google to compensate it for the vast amounts of traffic sent across its networks.

Google loses appeal against French tax searches

Nov 02, 2012

A Paris appeals court has rejected a request by Internet search giant Google to invalidate the search and seizure of documents by French tax authorities, according to a copy of the decision obtained by AFP ...

Google threatens to drop links to French media

Oct 18, 2012

Google has threatened to exclude French media sites from its search results if France implements a proposed law forcing search engines to pay for content, according to a letter obtained by AFP.

Google chief to meet French president amid pay row

Oct 27, 2012

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt will meet with French President Francois Hollande on Monday as the Internet giant wrangles with Paris over a bill that would force search engines to pay for content, ...

Recommended for you

IBM earnings dip as sales fall again

10 hours ago

Technology heavyweight IBM reported Monday lower profits in the first quarter following another drop in revenues, this time partly due to the strong dollar.

Global, Chinese automakers debut new car models

22 hours ago

Ford showed off its new Taurus and Nissan unveiled a midsize sedan designed for China on Monday at a Shanghai Auto Show that highlighted the commercial resurgence of lower-priced Chinese auto brands.

Germany still has some way to go to 'smart factories'

Apr 19, 2015

Collaborative robots and intelligent machinery may have wowed the crowds at this year's Hannover Messe, but experts see German industry as having some way to go towards incorporating them on factory floors ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Szkeptik
not rated yet May 13, 2013
Raising a tax in one thing, but taxing something that was never taxed before requires serious thought. People don't like having to suddenly pay for something they already paid a siginficant amount of money to buy in the first place. Would this be some kind of luxury tax or what?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.