Monday, January 11, 2010

France wants to tax online

This world gets crazier & crazier the more you read ("so read less" I hear you say), but those daft Frenchies have taken things to a whole new level by commissioning a report that proposes a tax on online business. Aready being called the "Google tax", this report suggests that each time an ad is clicked, online firms should be charged a between one to two percent of the revenue generated, thereby raising between €10m and €20m a year.

Said Olivier Esper, senior policy manager for Google France "
We don't think introducing an additional tax on internet advertising is the right way forward as it could slow down innovation"

So what worthy cause will benefit from this taxation? A college, a hospital or some other public-spirited initiative that will improve the quality of life in France?

Errr... no! .The report suggests that this money would be used to compensate media and content owners such as recorded music or print media. So... those mainstream media companies who have not fully found a way to benefit from the Internet are to be compensated by those that have?

And which level-headed and informed individuals did they find to author this report? Why none other than Guillaume Cerruti (president of Sotheby's auction house in France), Jacques Toubon (former French Minister of Culture) and Patrick Zelnik (owner of the Naive record label, which could end up being the very beneficiary of this tax revenue).

Now far be it from me to criticize a government of bias, but I can't help but wonder if Carla Bruni-Sarkozy being signed to the Naive record creates some conflict of interest here.....?
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