Feeds

French courts tighten iPod tax loophole

Un peu

Boost IT visibility and business value

A French court has ruled that foreign retailers must warn consumers to pay the country's so-called "iPod tax" copyright levy on MP3 players ordered online.

The levy, designed to compensate rights holders for digital copying, means that an iPod bought from a French seller is about €40 more expensive than from an websites based in, say, Luxembourg.

By law, consumers are required to pay the levy when they import their MP3 player, USB storage or blank media. In reality many dodge the extra cost or are unaware of their obligation.

Now the court of cassation has ruled in favour of domestic retailer RueDuCommerce.com that a foreign competitor acted unfairly by not telling its customers about the rules.

French law professor Cédric Manara said: "If one follows the direction shown by the French Court of cassation, it can mean that if a foreign website wants to sell in France, it has to play by the local rules... which also means that we are far from an even playing field for e-commerce in Europe!"

The victory for RueDuCommerce.com is minor, however. Telling French consumers they ought to pay the levy once their order arrives is no guarantee they will.

The European Commission has repeatedly signalled in the last few years that it wants to see more online shopping across borders. Apple itself drew ire from Brussels over its higher UK iTunes prices, and was forced to bring them into line with elsewhere in Europe.

Earlier this year the UK record industry lobbied the government for a copyright levy on MP3 players here. The idea seems to have slipped down the agenda since. As French retailers have seen, in the absence of pan-EU rules, such a move would be likely to drive UK customers abroad in search of an unlevied iPod.

The court of cassation decision is here (PDF, in French). ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.