Feeds

French courts tighten iPod tax loophole

Un peu

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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). ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.