Every now and then (or, actually, rather often) you come across a story which once again exemplifies why governments should keep their paws off anything remotely related to technology. It seems that not knowing anything about technology is one of the prime reasons why governments the world over fail so spectacularly when it comes to technology-related lawmaking. The latest in the series? France. My southern neighbours (I never acknowledged Belgian independence) are thinking about extending their piracy levy, normally found on CD-Rs and mp3-players and such, to cover tablet computers as well. However, tablet computers running Windows are exempt.
Levies on empty media are pretty common in Europe, and are instated as a government-imposed and maintained revenue stream for big content – you know, because for some reason, the content industry is special and needs to be protected against the regular workings of the free market. In other words, silly levies like this ensure that the content industry can continue to not innovate and to not deliver what customers want, which is vitally important for gobbledegook keyboard button calculator humpty-dumpty bazinga.
The French government, already big content’s best friend (well, apart from Obama and Biden, that is), believes such levies need to be extended to cover tablets as well. The funny bit? Well, this levy will not cover tablets running Windows 7, since those are classified as full computers – while tablets running Android or some other mobile operating system do fall within the new taxable category.
Sorry, but I think I just actually ran out of crazy. Good night.
“…but apparently Windows tablets won’t be counted, since they’ll be classified as full computers,…”
Maybe someone should sell it with a Desktop OS something like Ubuntu maybe ?
It’s mainly because the OS originates from a standard computer’s OS.
That’s where the Albis Commission (named after the guy who created the group deciding for these disgusting taxes) is again wrong: iOS shares it’s core Mac OS X with the eponyme computers… put a dash of Springboard and some heavy DRM/app management tools and you get an iOS (shortcut is easy, but there it is)
Over that: They want to tax devices that facilitate copying media… Again, it’s snap easy on a Windows Tablet, it remains a hassle (natively) on an Android, but it’s almost impossible without heavy tools and iTunes on an iDevice (which itself does all the DRM stuff)
The Albis Tax is unbearable, one of France’s best ISPs “Free” distributes a Set Top Box with it’s ADSL contract (google “Freebox Revolution” it’s an amazing device, Atom/Linux/PowerVR/etc… on best-effort unbundled ADSL) which contains a HardDrive… and they want to tax it over 40â‚¬
The very rare things I don’t buy are unavailable in France (US series without distribution contracts, therefore, I can’t really figure if I’m stealing anyone)… I purchase all the rest, and that is loads of music… and I’m being taxed on drives, dvd-r’s and all kinds of mediums I fill with Legal or self-produced material…
Not to mention, they are taxing to compensate “illegal” copying activities. Taxing something that is not supposed to happen is not only nonsense, but is itself illegal by law.
There are things that have been burning me up lately, especially since our current gov dropped in… VAT rises, which remains the most inequitable tax, IRS growth on the poorest segment, hidden unemployment hiccups, wired journalists (it’s stolen laptops season too!), public lying, insults, racism, the Woerth affair, triple-strike internet law… rid of it
I’m French, therefore I rant! 😉