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French court orders Apple to pay 12M euros for outstanding iPad copyright taxes

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

According to a French court filing, Apple owes 12 million euros in iPad-related copyright fees for the 2012 calendar year, which is part of an unpaid tax fee totaling a reported 30 million euros.

 

iPad France


The order from Vice-Presiding Judge Marie-Christine Courboulay of the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris, or Paris Civil Court, filed last week sided with the society of authors, composers, and music publishers' (SACEM) request for payment on iPad sales, reports French language publication PC INpact.

While the total amount purportedly owed by Apple is some 30 million euros, the recent court order is concerned only with taxes from March 2012 to December 2012.

As reported in June, the so-called copie privee tax applies to any device capable of presenting copyrighted material. SACEM collects the money and distributes it to content creators, actors and others.

At the time, the organization alleged that Apple charged consumers for the copie privee tax, but did not to remit those funds to SACEM. Apple has not paid the French tax since 2011, when it owed 5 million euros related to iPad sales.

At issue is French copyright law, which provides the copie privee tax to protect content makers from ill-gotten content. With "private copies" now considered legitimate in the eyes of the law, taxes can be levied on a scaled basis depending on device type.

For its part, Apple argues French law does not offer rates that adequately reflect a mix of legal and illegal copies due to a disparity with calculating the compression ratios of each. Further, Apple maintains that the original tablet tax scale is invalid because user studies were not conducted prior to the copyright law's passage.

The Conseil d'État, or France's Council of State, is currently reviewing the tablet rate scales. If the body upholds the tax as it stands, Apple will be forced to pay out the 12 million euros in question, though it is unclear what will happen to the remaining unpaid taxes.

post #2 of 26
 
tax applies to any device capable of presenting copyrighted material.

 

Hilarious. I wonder how inclusive the word ‘any’ is.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #3 of 26
VERY inclusive
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Hilarious. I wonder how inclusive the word ‘any’ is.
Any as in "any", from blank media, USB keys, memory cards to hard drive and obviously devices containing them. Initially it was "fair" as you were legally allowed to make "private copies" of copyrighted content, meaning you had the right to buy one k7/cd/dvd and duplicate its content for say your little brother, car or your second home, but nowadays with only digitized media accessible from any device the need to actually duplicate is irrelevant so that outdated tax is considered a ransom made for copyright owners, or at best some iniquitous damage compensation for the rampant piracy.
post #5 of 26
"any" includes paper and pencils, mirrors, cameras, the human eye/ear/memory. Basically, this is just a government support for 'artists' and 'writers' and other wannabes.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jegathain View Post

I keep wondering why do I keep thinking France is one giant $hit hole...
Actually many people in France are (finally) starting to wonder about their government. It is the simultaneous example of unions out of control and rampant socialist government.
post #7 of 26

This is why I always bought my blank dvds, cds and hard drives in Belgium... no "we assume you are a pirate" tax.

post #8 of 26

Actually, the French government is not behind the copyright tax, the record companies are... (yep this is called lobbying)

post #9 of 26
Whether you agree with the law or not, Apple should pay the tax it owes in a timely manner in countries it decides to do business in. If they disagree with the law then they should tackle that separately. I can't imagine the tax man would be happy if I decided to not pay my taxes for a few years whilst I quibbled about the law of the land. It should not take a court ruling to make Apple pay what it owes in tax.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by reroll View Post

Actually, the French government is not behind the copyright tax, the record companies are... (yep this is called lobbying)
The French government didn't have to be venal that it agreed to that lobbying though. Contrary to popular opinion, not all politicians are stupid idiots who believe anything some lobbyist tells them.

No, follow the money. How much of this tax actually makes it to the record companies, let alone the artists. Euroweenies are the worst tax eaters on the planet.
It's the heat death of the universe, my friends.
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It's the heat death of the universe, my friends.
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post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by aderutter View Post

Whether you agree with the law or not, Apple should pay the tax it owes in a timely manner in countries it decides to do business in. If they disagree with the law then they should tackle that separately. I can't imagine the tax man would be happy if I decided to not pay my taxes for a few years whilst I quibbled about the law of the land. It should not take a court ruling to make Apple pay what it owes in tax.

I am sure Apple has the tax money set aside. This is the way you challenge laws like this. Through the court system.
It's the heat death of the universe, my friends.
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It's the heat death of the universe, my friends.
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post #12 of 26
@reroll : sadly, correct.

@tallest skil :extremely inclusive. Part of the problem comes from the way the SACEM (copy-paste with French twist of that ugly American idea, RIAA) works, which is mainly via an overpaid board that after paying itself, serves the majors, and then gives the crumbs to the indies. If SACEM was, as it should, a government body, things would works better. I expect that as an American, you can't understand the benefits of government over private entities though. (If you can, my apologies for being blind/stupid 1wink.gif )

Note that the biggest legal issue here is that everyone pays that tax, when it is meant to compensate the copyright holders from piracy and "personal copies". Basically, it means that users are guilty until proven innocent (which should be anticonstitutional), for the "piracy" part, and that people pay for having a different copy of something they own, which raises interesting questions on what you buy whn you buy a record: the right to listen to it, or the right to own a piece of hardware (and in the case of a MP3, this problem becomes even more acute).

Basically, on this issue, my position is simple: I agree 100% with Apple that the law is bad, BUT:
- if, as law demands, they collected the money, put it on a frozen account until the courts decide on the law validity, and went to court over it, then the court should just say if YES or NO, the law should be upholded.
- if they just plain refused to follow the law as this article (I hope, wrongly) pretends, they should be heavily fined. No corporation, even if it has the moral high ground, should be able to defy the Law. The Law is the only thing that differentiates Society from just a band of guys where some guys have pointiers sticks than others.Besides, as Ulysses S. Grant said in his First Inaugural Address: I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post
 

This is why I always bought my blank dvds, cds and hard drives in Belgium... no "we assume you are a pirate" tax.


Which is totally legal, Schengen space allowing. Note that the best country is Luxembourg, for that; Look at the price of an iDevice and you'll get my meaning.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Actually many people in France are (finally) starting to wonder about their government. It is the simultaneous example of unions out of control and rampant socialist government.


Actually, it's the simultaneous example of ultra-liberal governments like the previous ones, and bought-out unions. While I don't massively agree with the way the current government is behaving, it would be extremely stupid to blame it for the ills of the previous ones.

 

Did I mention that the Commission that set up that particular law was headed by the wife of the President of the FNAC, one of the biggest retailers of music in France? Let's not forget that the wife of the previous President, an "artist" signed in at one of the biggest labels in the world, is also one of the biggest fortunes in France and Italy.

Many people in France, sadly, do not know or realize the impact of these connections.

 

I blame the current government for not doing what they said they would, which includes taxing the big companies and preventing high finance from ruining the economy, and after shying from this, putting the (necessary) weight of tax on the middle class. Someone has to pay, and if you're not going to tax the ones with lots of money, you'll need to tax the ones with less money. Sadly so, it seems to have become a method for both the ultraliberals and the socialists. Could it be related to the fact that any time the left wing starts studying any remotely damaging idea to the profits of big corps, the newspapers start talking of the fiscal advantages that said left-wing enjoys? Could it be that, in France as in the USA, the people making our laws and the people in command are far from being separated from the people working now, later, or earlier, in big corps? Many would answer "obviously".

 

I'll stop there: those who want to see know that it's less a problem of capitalism or socialism than it is a problem of shared interest in the elites, and that those elites are transnational rather than purely French or purely American. As for France being the $hithole of the world... there is Texas, too, I've been told. I expect though that anywhere in the world, you can find corrupt people,and however good you make a law, someone's bound to hate it because they get hurt by it, and someone's bound to sincerely think it's a bad law.

 

Such is the way of men.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply
post #15 of 26
Our government tries to scrabble money from wherever it can. Since the deficit is abysmal, our politicians explore every trail to recover a semblance of economic balance. That particular tax is just preposterous, but everything that even remotely hits 'culture' is taken very seriously, even the glibbest hooey. Now, the State even plans to raise a further tax on computers and tablets, because, since one can watch about any TV program on Internet replay channels, they are considered a way to shirk the annual TV tax, to which you are only liable if you possess a TV appliance.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Entropys View Post


The French government didn't have to be venal that it agreed to that lobbying though. Contrary to popular opinion, not all politicians are stupid idiots who believe anything some lobbyist tells them.

No, follow the money. How much of this tax actually makes it to the record companies, let alone the artists. Euroweenies are the worst tax eaters on the planet.

 

Well @lightknight posts are pretty good replies to your "French government didn't have to be venal" statement. Regarding the money comment, the reality is even worse than you might think: some money makes it to the record companies, almost none to the artists, none at all to the government, and quite a lot to intermediate companies whose role is distribute the money...

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jegathain View Post

I am keep wondering why do I keep thinking France is one giant $hit hole...
Because you are an ignorant and bigoted ignoramus? So pathetic..
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Actually many people in France are (finally) starting to wonder about their government. It is the simultaneous example of unions out of control and rampant socialist government.
FYI there are less unionized people in percentage in France than there is in the USA and taxes aren't voted by the government but by the parliament, someday you will learn a few facts before repeating nonsensical clichés.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/lab_tra_uni_mem-labor-trade-union-membership
Edited by Sensi - 10/29/13 at 6:08am
post #19 of 26
Originally Posted by reroll View Post
Actually, the French government is not behind the copyright tax, the record companies are... (yep this is called lobbying)

 

 

I’m sorry… do the record companies make the laws? Do they do the calling to order and the voting and all that? No. They don’t. The government does. And the government passed this law. So the government is responsible for it.

 

He gave me a cigarette! It’s not my fault I have cancer now!”

 

Same thing, equally idiotic to say. Ever heard “The buck stops here”? I suppose it’s “Le mâle s’arrête ici” in French, but do you guys even have deer anymore?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


I’m sorry… do the record companies make the laws? Do they do the calling to order and the voting and all that? No. They don’t. The government does. And the government passed this law. So the government is responsible for it.
No the government -as in the prime minister and ministers- doesn't vote law, the elected members of parliament do. They also vote the budget and taxes, like the House MP in the US. Read about the executive and legislative branches and the separation of powers...
post #21 of 26
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post
No the government doesn't vote law, the elected members of parliament do.

 

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #22 of 26
I misspoke but you see my point, the law was voted by a right-leaning parliament back then not any "socialist" executive government.
post #23 of 26
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post
I misspoke but you see my point, the law was voted by a right-leaning parliament back then not any "socialist" executive government.

 

I never mentioned anything about socialism.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post

I misspoke but you see my point, the law was voted by a right-leaning parliament back then not any "socialist" executive government.

This hasn’t much to do with the color of the government. It is just a dent in the right we have to make private copies to duplicate precious content. I simply cannot figure out why I have to pay a tax – how small it may be – on a writable-DVD I use to backup the flicks I legally bought. Just what I wrote before: plain hooey.

post #25 of 26

In other news France mugs apple for the change in its pocket.

post #26 of 26
That’s not French specific. Everybody flacks Apple for that.
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