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News @en


Feb 2016

France – New copyright levies on cloud services

On 16, Feb 2016 | In News @en | By Alisa Maier

FranceThere have been long-lasting discussions to collect copyright levies on cloud storage. Now there is a draft amendment to the Copyright Act substantiating exactly this matter in France. For the first time not only physical products like smartphones, hard disks or blank CDs would be imposed with a levy, but also online services.

To date, the scope of the products as well as the amount of the levy is determined by storage capacity and the actual usage. In practice, the usage appears to be shifting towards storing files remotely and not on the local hard drive, not to mention the copying on blank CDs. The more cloud services are used and the more files are stored online, the more questions about the suitability of the existing levy system arise. In France the future of private copying, i. e. the adaptation of this system is in discussion since years. Already in 2013, Pierre Lescure wrote a comprehensive report, commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture, and recommended to extend the levy system in the direction of online services («Contribution aux politiques culturelles à l’ère numérique»).

According to the Lescure-Report the existing scope should be extended to devices providing access to the internet in a first step. The storage capacity is not foregrounded anymore. Game consoles, for instance, have been taken into consideration and are now dutiable in many countries. Pursuant to this, the extension to online services seems to be the logical consequence.  This arises in the current draft legislation which has been presented to the French senate.