France Wants To Tax YouTube And Facebook Videos

Tyler Durden's picture

In order to finance the "culture industries' digital transition," France's Culture Ministry believes Facebook and YouTube should be included in the so-called "Culture Tax" that movie theaters and broadcasters currently pay. The argument is that these sites have become "professional" content providers of video-on-demand serives. But, not content in taxing our leisure time, Bloomberg Businessweek reports the French are considering taxing individual use of smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices capable of accessing movies, music, or other media content. A "painless" 1% sales tax imposed on these items is expected to raise EUR 86 million annnually.


Via Bloomberg Businessweek,

In a report this week, the Superior Audiovisual Council (CSA) says that video-sharing websites should be subject to a tax that helps finance the production of French films and TV shows.


The so-called culture tax, totaling more than €1.3 billion ($1.8 billion) annually, is paid by movie theaters, broadcasters, and Internet service providers in France. The CSA contends that YouTube (GOOG), French video-sharing site DailyMotion, and their ilk are effectively providing video-on-demand services, which are already subject to the tax.


Although the CSA report says that videos posted online by private individuals should not be subject to taxation, it contends that video-sharing sites increasingly have become “professional” content providers.




Separately, France is considering a tax on smartphones, tablets, and other devices as another source of revenue for cultural subsidies. A government-commissioned report, released in May, said that a sales tax of 1 percent should be imposed on electronic devices capable of accessing movies, music, and other content. The proposed tax would raise an estimated €86 million annually that would be used to finance the “cultural industries’ digital transition,” France’s Culture Ministry said at the time.


Trade associations for French Internet and technology companies spoke out against the proposal, which the government has not yet acted on. Rejecting the government’s assertion that a 1 percent tax would be “painless,” the groups warned in a statement in July that the government should be encouraging growth of the digital economy, rather than taxing it.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
digitlman's picture

And how the fuck will they do this?



Pladizow's picture

Will 86mil solve france's problems?

Atlasshruggedme's picture

Google Chrome - Adblock Plus App. - Check it out - All your Youtube adds are gone! BAM! Winning for 1 year now. 

Pladizow's picture

If France wants to raise money, it should sell its guns - they've never been fired and only dropped once!

knukles's picture

Next up will be a mineshaft gap when the only people who have mineshafts are miners and nobody left to tax.

Unprepared's picture

They have been trying to do just that, but Rafales are just too damn expensive. The Swedish just pulled the rug from under their feet in a deal with Brazil... and most of the French deals are falling apart.

At this rate, Holland will be kicked out before election date.

Analyse2's picture


This kind of joke is a bit tired, isn't it?

Since France refused to go to Iraq, American warmongers and neo-cons made French army look like cowards.

And some zerohedgers are falling into the neo-con world's view.

The History has proved the French were right

... And for you just one advice: Read History books !

Harbanger's picture

Don't be so defensive.  History has proven them right, but they've been mostly wrong since Napoleon. Were the French right in electing the Socialist candidate Hollande, as President?  Don't be surprised that he's taxing the baguettes out of you.

Analyse2's picture


You are right on this point ...

NidStyles's picture

You should take your own advice. You might learn that joke actually refers to the French starting the Vietnam war and stiffing the US with that problem.



There are 2 jokes within one.   The first applies to WWII and the second to Vietnam

Q: How many French does it takes to defend Paris?

A: None, its never been tried

The second part refers to American personnells derision at Vietnamization. 

America was pouring millions into Vietnam to train the South Vietnameses to no avail. The joke was that you could get a good deal on a ARVN (Army Republic Vietnam) soldiers rifle

Never fired and only dropped once was the punchline.

Both had some grain of truth the way the Germans took Paris and the NVA took Saigon after the ARVN collapsed





Analyse2's picture


Considering the first Joke:

It is true that Paris had not been defended, as the war was obviously lost ...

But, don’t forget that France faced 100% of Hitler’s army in 1939-40, while, for the duration of the war, Anglo American allies never faced more than 15% of the Wehrmacht80% were in the East.

In 1939 and 1940 France was let alone (apart from only 8 British divisions, which succeeded to quickly re-embark at Dunkirk thanks to the sacrifice of the soldiers of the 1st French Army of the North ).

France was let alone facing a nazi-fanaticized country with a population of 80 million (vs. 40 million in France), a particularly well prepared war-industry, and an air superiority of 5 vs 1. 

At the same time the “US ally” refused to sell planes on credit to France !

The 1940 campaign was the most intense of all the battles that will take place later on the Western Front:

the Germans suffered heavy losses in just 6 weeks - approximately 60,000 killed 111 000 injured and above 1250 planes were destroyed which will be greatly missed by the Luftwaffe during the battle of Britain.

In a month and a half of fighting the French army counted 84,000 dead in its ranks – and this is 4 times more than the losses of the American army in three months of battles in Normandy (21000).
It is the air superiority (over 1,000 Stuka bombers knocked out the troops defending
Sedan) and the intelligent use of the German panzers that broke all the defenses.

Since WW2, air superiority is always the winning key of battles …


post turtle saver's picture

if France had listened to Reynaud and de Gaulle they wouldn't have spent all their money on the Maginot Line... and hence, no need to beg for planes and tanks on credit

why are the streets in Paris lined with trees? so the German army can march in the shade

Analyse2's picture


The French lost Dien Bien Phu because they were screwed by NATO (ie. the US).

After WW2, they had to specialize in jets while others in Europe had to specialize in bombers.

And when it came to fight Communism (the Viet Cong, massively helped by Soviet Union and China's troops) ... guess what... the US refused the NATO to get involved.

They had to fight the war without bombers, as in 1954 they had very few of these kind of planes.

Another nice lesson from a long list for French morons who believe America is a reliable ally, and even a friend of France. For those who should have any doubt, the reading of French-bashing in ZH is often instructive enough …

And guess what... who had to fight the Vietnam war after the US sabotaged French effort ?  Yes, a country that surrenders even when the war is not actually lost.

Besides that, in 1954, when the French were finally defeated in Vietnam, they had 50,000 troops and their biggest planes were Douglas A26 and C47’s, and Vought Corsairs.

When the US was defeated by the same enemy some twenty years later, they had 550,000 troops, B52’s, napalm, missiles, big helicopters, the works …

BigJim's picture

Yes, it's kind of amusing listening to Americans go on about French surrender. Viet Nam ring any bells, peeps? And we'll be bailing out of Afganistan soon enough too.

Skateboarder's picture

When rehypothecated a thousand times, yes... for a few hours.

Tom_333's picture

How the fuck they will do it?...Just will it into existence. Of course. That´s what socialists always do. And yes they will fuck it up for themselves but not before they have wreaked havoc on everyone else - you know...those strange people going to work everyday. The proletariat. Or maybe more aptly named the middle class.Plunder them and redistribute everything they have gained to the free- shit - brigade.

Socialism is making a big world-wide comeback , not the least thanks to the present administartion in the U.S. which is socialistic in everything except in name. Maybe it´s myopia due to living with it in everyday life...but I still I am flummoxed on a daily basis that the `Mericans haven´t wakened up to the fact that you now live in a state that is hell-bent on socialism.If you still live in a republic - that´s very debatable , let´s just call it a state. And the result will be very ugly. But it will take sometime since the U.S. is such a vast and resource-rich continent. It took 80 years in Russia before it burnt itself out. I give you at least 30 yrs in the U.S. before you sober up.

It´s really scary to observe how far gone you are already without really understanding what you have gotten yourself into. Based on race-baiting rethoric and with support from the financial sector and the 0.1%. Assisted by trumped up demagogery about war on terror and surveillance that would make J Edgar turn in his grave with envy.

This is the U.S of Ronald Reagan?? I follow the news on a daily basis with incredulity.

Harbanger's picture

You're spot on.  It's so obvious when you think about it.

Rafferty's picture

Living in Europe but as a frequent visitor to the USA (USSA?) I see the transformation over the last 15 years or so as absolutely staggering. This great nation is degenerating into a Third World police state before our eyes.  Demographic transformation (elect a new people), economic polarization as the middle class is destroyed.....I could go on and on.  But most of the Americans I know don't see it this way at all.........

Harbanger's picture

They don't see it that way because of normalcy bias.  We all have it, I travel to Europe and see the demographic transformation and police state in most of their Cities.   It's called multicuturalism, brought to you by progressive socialism.

Tom_333's picture

Yes - but you were supposed to be better. Given the last 5-6 years I relly doubt you´re in a better position. This is so sad.

At least quality of life in Europe is better. Quality of foodstuffs , cuisine , culture. And i doubt that our surveillance state really can compete with yours. DHS , TSA and the rest of the alfabet soup is a huge albatross around your necks.What has transpired in the ConUS is puny in relation to the measures that have been instituted. Let´s face it - losses in a war are inevitable. If you can´t bear the thought of it - don´t go to war.

Seasmoke's picture

1% of what ???????

Al Huxley's picture

Fuck, you really have to wonder - 'Culture tax'?   I was trying to write down some more coherent thought on this, but it's all so fucking self-evidently fucked up that there doesn't even seem to be a point.

knukles's picture

Et voila!

La culture de al France!

Apostate2's picture

I want to buy la Tour Eiffel.


TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Translation: France's Culture Ministry concedes that French culture is dying and requires life support.

I Am Not a Copper Top's picture

At the first signs of resistance they will give up on this plan

Dr. Engali's picture

Can we drag these fuckers through the streets yet?

Skateboarder's picture

Not until they tax breathing. I think humans will gladly submit though, as long as iPhoneN+1 is guaranteed.

JuliaS's picture

Carbon tax already covers half of it.

ChaosEquilibrium's picture

Fuck the French.....They are as corrupt Greeks, Italians and Spaniards is sum total??  I guess that was the reasoning behind the CAC40 up 1.4% and French Bonds yields falling!!


FRANCE IS THE ELEPHANT IN THE EUROPEAN ROOM......10yr should be NORTH of 6-7%.....and it will...eventually:):)

knukles's picture

May I point out that if you ask a Frenchman, they'll tell you that they're the only ones with their shit together.

humming mindless rendition of Le Marseilles while peeing, wondering who really thought up oral sex

             "Penis  It's what's for dinner!"

Yenbot's picture

Knucks hit the "nail" on the "head". YouTube & FB should tell them to go suck it and cut the streams to France if this is passed.

Harbanger's picture

Should? Why would they? I think they'll be more than happy to get a cut from the proceeds.  This also shows that internet traffic controls, like capital controls are just around the corner.

Nick Jihad's picture

There is a certain amount of truth to that. It's not easy to support a massive welfare state, without having your nation turn into a complete shithole with garbage piled in the streets. I give the French credit for carrying it off as well as they have. Past performance does not predict future returns, and all that.

Tom_333's picture

No fuck you first and foremost until you get your shit together. Shining city on a hill and beacon of liberty - my ass.You are pathetic.

knukles's picture

William, that is just so wrong....

malikai's picture

For fuck's sake.

I was trying to think of something to say about this incredible shit they're doing but couldn't.

Then I scrolled down, saw WBs pic and it all made sense.

chaartist's picture

when gov got desperate for taxes. end of the road here.

Joebloinvestor's picture

Breathing tax next.

The Beatles were right.

arkel's picture

Come on, just tax the air we breathe already. How about a tax for every step you take on the sidewalk? A tax for evey number 2 I take. 

Joebloinvestor's picture

They should tax mistresses.


All French politicians would be broke.