France Considers Tech Tax to Fund Arts
The revenue generated from such a tax would be earmarked for the cultural exception, which supports French music, film and visual art. France currently spends north of US$130 million a year funding these endeavors, and the tax on Internet-capable devices is viewed as one potential way to protect the nation’s creative side “in the face of digital innovation.”
Such devices “contribute nothing to the financing of the works that circulate” on them, said Minister of Culture Aurelie Filipetti.
Take that for what it’s worth, but France is no doubt a tech-savvy country. The 65 million-person nation purchased 13.5 million smartphones, 4.5 million laptops and 3.6 million tablets last year.
The cultural exception principle, which is written into French law, requires a minimum 40 percent quota of French music on radio stations; state aid for all French films; reduced taxes on movie tickets; and mandatory subsidies from television channels to help fund French films.
In a seeming paradox, the committee tasked with devising new revenue for the cultural exception also proposed dropping penalties for pirating music and videos from about $2,000 to less than $100.