Apple products such as iPhone and iPad might become the subject of a future “culture tax” in France. Canal Plus CEO Pierre Lescure proposed the new project tax in order to support other French cultural projects in the face of the economic issue.
The tax is not meant only for Apple products. The iPhone and the iPad will not be the only devices, which will be the target of the cultural tax. All smartphones and tablets are at the center of the new proposal.
Lescure’s argument was that consumers are spending too much money on the hardware part rather than on the content. In this way, they will charge a one percent tax on the sale of internet-compatible devices. The cultural tax will provide the country with more than 86 million euros per year.
The revenue will go to support cultural industries that design and create French music, images, or videos. In this respect, television users, TV and radio broadcaster and internet service providers already pay a similar tax. France invests a lot in protecting its culture and the officials try to help the exemption of its cultural products from free trade rules.
According to the Culture Minister Aurelie Filipetti, the “Companies that make these tablets must, in a minor way, be made to contribute part of the revenue from their sales to help the creators”.
The tax proposal is supposed to reach the parliament in the fall, but so far, it is received a lot of harsh criticism. Some people consider this measure as a contribution to the perception of France as being an anti-business nation. In the economic downturn, France has repeatedly tried to make the pocketbooks of the wealthy ones in order to fund its government and protect social and cultural institutions.
While some people are in favor of the future French “Cultural tax”, others believe that the tax proposal oversteps the limits of the state’s role with regard to the private sector of the individuals. The French government already encountered some problems when Yahoo tried to buy a majority stake in the country’s video clip site Dailymotion. In 2010, France clashed with Google after the proposal of one percent tax for all online advertising expenses.
Since all tax proposals are only tax proposals, it will take a while until it will become a law if it will become a law. However, the “culture tax” will definitely create some tensions between France and technology giants.