Feeds

French courts tighten iPod tax loophole

Un peu

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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). ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.