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France to Tax Google to Combat File-Sharing?

     
8:08 pm on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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AP Article [theglobeandmail.com]
How to help prop up the ailing music industry? Tax Google, suggests a new report commissioned by the French government. The report (...) says Google, Yahoo! and other Internet portals should be slapped with a new tax on their online ad revenues in France to fund the development of legal outlets for buying books, movies and especially music on the Internet.
9:28 pm on Jan 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This is a slippery slope.

Here's a similiar example; a tax on blank CD's designed to combat piracy:
[en.wikipedia.org...]

Scroll down to the section on Canada. It seems Canada has a levy on blank CD's, where that money gets paid back to the artists who are presumably getting ripped off. But here's the really interesting part:

In conjunction with the levy, the Copyright Act allows individuals to make copies of sound recordings for their own private, non-commercial use. They may not distribute the copy.

you can legally copy your friend's music CD for YOUR OWN use.

So here's the synopsis. Tax put on blank media. Result is Canadians can download music and copy CD's *for free and legally*.

Those Canadians sure have it good! Well, other than the part about having to live in Canada.

6:11 am on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 3 messages were spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/goog/4056689.htm [webmasterworld.com] by engine - 3:03 pm on Jan. 8, 2010 (utc 0)


Businessweek [businessweek.com]

Clicks from users in France would attract the tax. (BBC World report)

Funds raised from the levy could raise up to 20 million euros ($29 million) a year to help finance projects to boost online cultural content and to pay artists,

I'm sure many other finance ministers will be greedily watching this proposal.

Seems a bad thing for any site that either has significant online ad spend - or generates income from online ad placement - and a terrible thing for those that rely on both.

8:58 am on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Of course, I hope the French will win this one.

Then again, this can only be a start, because 20 million Euros will be not enough "to boost online cultural content and to pay artists". 20 million Euros is nothing.

1:56 pm on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Is the sales tax not charged by Google on your PPC costs already? I'm thinking the VAT in the UK and GST in Australia. Can anyone from those countries or any other country confirm this?
4:40 pm on Jan 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Is the sales tax not charged by Google on your PPC costs already?

Wow, you made me think I was going to get rich for a moment.

All receipts for payments say Google in California. No tax mentioned regardless of currency. CAD and US in my case.

1:01 pm on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@LucidSW no, the GST does not apply to Australian Adsense earnings as it isn't charged on foreign earnings.
We only pay income tax as per normal earnings on it.
(and no idea on what hoops our British cousins have to jump through)
9:12 pm on Jan 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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In my short flirtation with AdWords I saw no reference to VAT and I can't remember in which country the service was deemed to be supplied.

Adsense is a totally different matter, in the UK that seems to simply be income.

2:26 pm on Jan 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The music industry should try and back talented composers and musicians instead of the pop dreck that they are passing off for fleeting entertainment. Then maybe they could help themselves.