Apple ordered to pay €12m for 'fair use' iPad tax in France

Apple ordered to pay €12m for 'fair use' iPad tax in France

Summary: A Paris court has ruled that Apple must hand over millions of euros in compensation to rights holders.

TOPICS: Hardware, Apple, iPad, EU

A French court has ruled that Apple must hand over €12m to compensate rights-holders in the country.

Apple's devices, like all hardware that can be used to store and copy "cultural works", are subject to a fair use tax in France, known as copie privée. The levy is charged on each device sold, and is used to compensate rights holders for private copies of their music, films and so on, that are made on the devices. The amount of tax is charged depending on the storage capacity of the hardware.

According to PC Inpact, last week Paris' Tribunal de Grand Instance ruled that Apple owes €12m in fair use tax for the period covering March to December last year.

 Apple may, however, owe up to €30m in total, PC Inpact said.

The company has filed a case disputing the size of the levy on tablets, hoping to get France's Council of State to cancel the tax altogether. The size of the levy was meant to be set temporarily — from January to December 2011 — while rights holders group Copie France conducted a study into tablet use ahead of determining new rates for the tax.

The Council of State's ruling on the matter — at what rates, if at all, the tax should be set — is still pending.

The €12m will be placed in escrow and handed over to rights holders if the rates are approved by the Council of State.

Apple has already opposed the tax once this year, challenging the amount it was supposed to pay for each iPad sold in France ahead of the new tax levels being set. There, too, the court found against the company, ruling it should pay €5m to Copie France for iPad sales during 2011.

ZDNet has asked Copie France and Apple for comment on the ruling and will update the story if any is received.

Further reading

Topics: Hardware, Apple, iPad, EU

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  • European Socialism

    Another European Socialist government sucking the lifeblood out of a company that produces actual value. Anybody read Atlas Shrugged?
    • what?

      If they win, I'll charge a tax of my own. It'll be the I have a 64gb device tax and pay up!
    • Look in your own backyard first, FDanconia

      So... how's that Capitalism working for you anyway, America? Still teetering on bankruptcy, I see? Unemployment still an issue?

      Even with that tax, Apple apparently makes enough money in France that they'd rather pay to fight the tax or pay the tax itself rather than just pack up and leave (which they are welcome to do).

      Of course, Americans (and Canadians for that matter) are plenty used to having their "lifeblood" sucked out by large corporations that supposedly produce "actual value" (like a cell phone that can play 1000 different fart apps and re-runs of Friends is somehow considered "value").
      • America is less capitalist today than

        It was ten years ago, so quit blaming capitalism for the problems that occur when you abandon it.
        • ridiculous

          it is neither less, nor more, capitalist than it was ten years ago.

          The US has practised a highly regulated form of market economy since the Great Depression - the idea being that balance was necessary: the easy flow of capital was important, and that the regulated flow of capital helped cushion the shock of economic cycles.

          The repeal of Glass Steagall in the Clinton years made the US slightly more "capitalist" than it had been before. That pattern has largely held since, despite the Great Recession.

          A true move away from a market economy would be an enormous political shift of the kind the United States has never seen. Despite American hyper partisanship that convinces most of you the sky is falling whenever a politician not of the party you favour is in office, neither Republicans nor Democrats have ever moved the needle for very far.
          • Oh, please. EPA regs on coal

            Obamacare, Effective nationalization of the housing market. The amount of government control of business in America has increased dramatically in the last ten years.
          • Sorry, those are slight refinements, not even necessarily

            less capitalist ones.

            Regulations on energy production? You guys have only had that for, oh, a hundred years ago, since people realized atmospheric lead pollution was a thing.

            Your "Obamacare" is a conservative promoted (the Heritage Foundation and Romney) until conservatives decided they didn't like it. it isn't the socialized system we all have: private business provides it. If anything, that is MORE capitalist, than your previous reliance on medicaid/emergency rooms for the poor.
      • Excellent point

        Yes, daftkey, and every problem in the US can be attributed to the rise of Socialism in the US and the waning of Capitalism. Only Socialism is capable of producing bankruptcy, because under Capitalism, there are no social programs and income redistribution programs for the government to go broke funding.

        But we haven't reached the low point where we charge device makers a tax because device users ignore copyrights.
        • Might want to re-think that....

          Your neighbours to the north are far more socialist than you are, and have been for many decades. Yet they don't have the rampant unemployment or economic issues that the US has right now. Perhaps some of that can be attributed to oil revenues, but last I heard you guys had some of that as well.

          Might be a good idea to think a bit harder why you're in the predicament that you're in now - simple answers to that question will lead to simple solutions - and generally the wrong ones.
          • Our neighbors to the north

            Are moving toward capitalism.
          • We would have to move a long way to come even close to the US

            ..the programs that you consider the reddest of Socialist programs (such as Obamacare) are still far less progressive than what we have had in Canada for decades.. If you implemented all of the social programs Obama and co. want and then a few more, you would still be far less socialist than most "capitalist" Canadians would consider acceptable.
          • Our capitalism works just fine

            by deciding that certain things are national programs (like health care), we get a significant competitive advantage over the US when overseas manufacturers are looking to set up shop.

            They can take a slightly higher tax burden in Canada, but have no health insurance to provider for labourers, labourers who are usually less stressed by their health care induced bankruptcies they don't have to deal with.... or take a slightly reduced tax rate, but the incredibly onerous headache of administering a health care plan.

            We win a lot of those battles, with automotive plants location here instead of Tennessee or Michigan, due to the trouble and cost we're saving them.
          • Connection between health insurance and employment

            The connection in the US between health insurance and employment was artificially introduced by the NLRB when it made health insurance deductible for corporations but not individuals, as a favor to unions. This was inappropriate government intervention. Throw in the Wagner Act, and you've got the UAW bankrupting GM with health insurance. Under Capitalism, there is a Separation of Health Care and State. That is the only approach that protects the (properly understood) rights of all citizens. Sorry, I know a lot of people (mostly folks who aren't seriously ill) like the Canadian health care system, but it does in fact violate the rights of all Canadians by forcing them, at gunpoint, to participate.
          • Violating rights?

            "Sorry, I know a lot of people (mostly folks who aren't seriously ill) like the Canadian health care system, but it does in fact violate the rights of all Canadians by forcing them, at gunpoint, to participate."

            Which rights would those be specifically? Can you point to a section of the Canadian constitution or the Bill of Rights being violated? What about a biblical passage or perhaps a paragraph in the Geneva convention.

            You mean like they force us to participate in having basic civil services like police and firefighters? Paving the roads, treating water before we drink it? Yeah, I feel hugely violated knowing that if my kid breaks his arm or gets seriously ill I don't have to worry about whether he will get treated or how long I'll have to battle the insurance company over the bill. I just have to take him to the emergency room and let the professionals take it from there.
        • Re: Only Socialism is capable of producing bankruptcy

          This is utter nonsense.

          But, if it makes you feel better, why not. People believe in even more absurd things.

          Hint: there is no concept of bankruptcy in Socialism.
      • hah?

        last time I checked the unemployment rate in US was lower than France, some 7.8% in US and 10.9% in France.
        BTW, why would anyone want to pay this stupid tax? Artists compensated?! Bwahahaha... Who are you kidding?
        • Real unemployment in the US

          Is actually about 12%. The administration has changed how unemployment is calculated by using people looking for work versus amount of work available. According to the White House formula, it actually becomes possible to have negative unemployment if the number of jobs available is less than the people looking for jobs.
    • That's because you're a stupid American

      The history of Eurpoe is rife with leaders who used labor as slaves and horded all the wealth for themselves (something that America is moving towards). In countries like France, the people were so desperate that they rose up, dragged their elites out intot he streets and literally killed them for their greed (something else that might happen in America if they are not careful). So they are very leery of any group taking too much control of any sector without a tax to even out the distribution of wealth and power in their country.
      A Gray
      • Looking at Europe

        It doesn't look like much has changed, except that the slaves are lulled into complacency with bribes. But the leaders are still hoarding all the wealth.
      • Slaves were always an inconvenience anyway....

        ..I mean, why bring them to your own country where people have to see them toiling away for a pittance of a living, when you can just have slave owners in another country (like, I dunno, China) do the dirty work for you?