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France May Prop Up Movie Production With New Smartphone Tax

A tax proposed to President Francois Hollande could foster creative productions

The French may soon have to cough up a few more euros for that iPhone — though the money won't be lining Apple's pockets.

A report published Monday by a panel of nine French experts recommends imposing "culture" taxes on smartphones and tablets, with the revenue helping fund creative ventures such as film production, according to Reuters.

President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement that he wanted lawmakers to review legislation based on the report's recommendations by the summer. He will then decide by late July.

Also read: France’s New Anti-Piracy Policy 'Out of Step,' Says Critic

The proposed tax would mirror fees already paid by television users, TV and radio broadcasters and internet service providers to fund art, cinema and music in France, but which Google, Apple and Amazon are now exempt from paying. The one percent tax would yield 86 million euros annually.

However, the panel, headed by journalist and businessman Pierre Lescure, did reject a proposal for Google to be charged for linking to media content. That proposal was based on newspaper assumptions that Google makes significant advertising revenue from referencing other news outlets' pieces. This report found that opinion to be "doubtful."

The panel also called for the removal of the Hadopi agency, which was created to monitor and enforce internet copyright laws. Its report suggested instead that the Higher Council for Audiovisual media, or CSA — which regulates electronic media in France — oversee the matter.

The panel also suggested significantly lowering fines for piracy and a removal of suspending internet access for offenders.