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French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to create music with a tax on ISPs

Amar Toor, @amartoo
11.21.11
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Nicolas Sarkozy is worried about the future of his country's music industry, and he's turning to French ISPs for help. Speaking alongside other G8 and G20 delegates at the Forum d'Avignon this weekend, Sarko affirmed his commitment to setting up a "national music center" within France, in the hopes of spurring artistic creativity amid a rather dour industrial climate. Modeled on France's National Cinema Center, the system was first proposed back in September by Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand, and, if launched, would be funded by a tax on ISPs. According to Sarkozy, taxing service providers in the name of protecting French art is only fair game. "Globalization [has allowed] the giants of the Internet to make a lot of money on the French market," Sarkozy explained, echoing familiar Gallic attitudes toward online protectionism. "Good for them, but they do not pay a penny in tax to France." He went on to praise his country's Hadopi copyright law for reducing internet piracy by 35 percent, but stressed that the government must do more to protect what could be a dying French commodity: "The day when there is no more music, the day when there is no longer a cinema, the day when there are no writers, what will your generation search for on the internet?" Other things, probably.

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