A recent report of Superior Audiovisual Council of France has opened the possibility of taxes on big video sites like YouTube and even for other big web services like Facebook.
The report focuses on the current culture tax in France which is imposed on broadcasters, theaters and ISPs. The current revenue from this culture tax is 1.3 billion euros. This revenue is used to fund French TV and film production.
The argument given in the report says that since users were skipping cinema and heading towards YouTube, it is logical to include web video in the culture tax too. The report also says that if Facebook is considered as a content provider, it can also be subjected to culture tax.
There has been a conscious move at the French government to tax technology products in a better way. Earlier this summer, a proposal was also submitted to President for imposing a one percent tax on tablets and smartphones with the proceeds of the tax going to the same culture fund.
Google is a special target for the French government, especially when it earns $2 billion and pays almost no domestic tax in France. President Hollande has termed this situation “unacceptable.”
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek