Bad news for our French viewers:
"...France is planning to slap levies on the sale of computers and digital recording devices to ensure musicians and film-makers are compensated for pirate copying, its Culture Minister said in an interview published on Monday. Among the products that look certain to be targeted are computers, hard disks, electronic game machines, DVD players, new-generation mobile phones, and CD burners that copy data onto blank compact discs.
Manufacturers, already up in arms about the introduction later this month of levies on recordable compact discs and DVDs, immediately denounced the leftist government's latest proposals. However, Culture Minister Catherine Tasca told Le Figaro newspaper in an interview that the planned charges would generate deserved royalty fees for music and film producers.
“It seems to me that the emergence of new technologies has undermined artists' earnings... there is no business model for culture unless artists are paid. Without them there is neither music nor video images. A tax on decoders, advanced video recorders and computers, in other words any device that allows such works to be recorded... should be looked into” the minister was quoted as saying.
The new taxes on recordable CDs, DVDs and mini-discs go into effect on Jan. 22 and are based on a sliding scale depending on the time or memory capacity of the various devices. For example, a 420-minute recordable DVD faces a $8.29 levy. Most of the money will go directly to artists and producers, while around a quarter will be used to encourage fresh talent..."