France considers taxing Google and other Internet portals

The French government is mulling a so-called Google tax that it said would help level the playing field between Internet portals that offer free content and the music, film and publishing industries that lost revenue partly because of it.”The world of culture is not only turned upside-down but profoundly threatened by the development of the Internet, and we hope that our action doesn’t intervene too late,” music producer Patrick Zelnik told the French daily Liberation on Thursday.,0,2042038.storyAlso see:France to explore “Google tax” to pay creative work
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday that he wanted the authorities to explore whether online advertising revenues of major search engines could be taxed in France as well as their home countries.Speaking to leaders and representatives of the arts and entertainment sector, he also said he wanted the country’s antitrust body to rule on whether Google enjoys a dominant market position in online advertising. panel: Tax Google to fund the arts [AP]
How to help prop up the ailing music industry? Tax Google, suggests a new report commissioned by the French government.The report, handed to Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand on Wednesday, says Google 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.’s ‘New Year’s wish’: Investigate Google
It’s doubtful that they would admit it, but U.S. studio chiefs and music moguls must dream that their country will one day elect a president like Nicolas Sarkozy.Few of the world’s leaders are as aggressive in protecting copyright as the president of France, and he proved it again Thursday during a speech to members of the country’s creative community when he endorsed some controversial pro-copyright proposals.

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