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France wants to tax iPads and iPhones to fund the arts

A report commissioned by the French government has suggested that a four per cent tax could be imposed on the sale of smartphones and tablets to fund artistic and creative ventures.

Image: Matt Grayson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A REPORT ENDORSED by the French government has recommended imposing a tax on smartphones and tablets in a bid to fund artistic and creative ventures.

A nine-member panel produced a government commissioned report yesterday which also rejected the idea of Google being charged for linking to media content, according to News 24.

The report called for a 4 per cent tax on the sale of all smartphones, tablet and digital devices that allow access to the internet and “cultural content”.

The Financial Times says the report is broadly backed by Francois Hollande’s government.

“Companies that make these tablets must, in a minor way, be made to contribute part of the revenue from their sales to help creators,” culture minister Aurelie Filipetti is quoted as saying in the  FT.

The panel, headed by journalist and businessman Pierre Lescure, said that demands from newspapers and other media organisations for compensation for linking to their content – which they argue Google is making revenue off – are legally doubtful.

Among 75 proposals, the tax on smartphones and tablets is the most striking but other recommendations included scaling back punishments for piracy which currently include internet connections being suspended and heavy fines.

The report said that piracy could be reduced if satellite and cable providers offered newly-released films on demand shortly after their release, RFI reports.

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Hugh O'Connell

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