Magazine article Screen International

France Moves Closer to Launching Controversial 'YouTube Tax'

Magazine article Screen International

France Moves Closer to Launching Controversial 'YouTube Tax'

Article excerpt

The French National Assembly approved the introduction on Wednesday of a controversial new 2% levy on the advertising revenues of all online video platforms showing content accessible in France.

The measure was voted on by France's lower house of parliament as an amendment to the country's 2017 budget plan. It flies in the face, however, of the government's rejection of such a levy last month.

Under the proposal, the so-called "YouTube tax" will be applied to advertising on websites posting free and paid-for video content accessible in France, whether they be international players like iTunes and YouTube, or local VOD sites and video-sharing platforms like Dailymotion.

Film promotion platforms, featuring trailers and promotional material, or sites where "video content is secondary" to their main activity, will be exempt from the 2% levy. Sites where much of the content is generated by private users - such as YouTube - could also be eligible for a rebate of up to 66%.

Sites featuring pornographic or violent video content would be hit with a 10% levy.

The revenue generated would be channelled through France's National Cinema Centre (CNC) into the financing of more French and European audiovisual content. …

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