France Mulling Private Copying Levy on Non-Windows Tablets


Private copying levies can have a divisive impact on a room full of people with some sense of technology and law. It is arguably one of the most hotly debated areas of copyright law. In case you need  to brush up on your knowledge of copyright law, a private copying levy is generally imposed on the sale of storage media that can be used for copying copyrighted content. The proceeds are distributed among copyright owners as prevenient compensation for copying.

The debate is about to heat up as France is now ready to expand the purview of its private copying levy beyond recordable media and MP3 players. The government there is considering taxing all non-Windows tablets with more than 40GB of storage . Apparently, they feel there is a strong case for taxing tablets as they can be used for duplicating copyrighted content. Despite the majority view that tablets are part of the genus Computer, the French possess enough profundity to point to something that makes the two substantially dissimilar: Windows.

Let alone the fact that even computers running a desktop OS, and not just tablets, can be used for duplicating content, it is ludicrous how the new law exempts tablets running Windows as it treats them as full PCs.

According to French trade magazine Numerama , tablet vendor Archos isn’t too pleased by the lopsided nature of the proposed law and has threatened to join a lawsuit against the legislation. Contending that it lets users turn the company’s Android tablets into full PCs by letting them install Linux on them, the company wants its tablets to be exempt from the levy in much the same way as Windows-based slates.

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