Apple faces French claim for unpaid royalties levy on iPod

“A French association representing recorded music rights holders threatened Wednesday to take Apple Computer Inc. to court in a dispute over lost music royalties,” The Associated Press reports. “The argument centers on a fee levied in France on sales of blank CDs, tapes, hard disks and other hardware that can be used to copy music. The proceeds go to musicians and other rights holders who lose money to piracy.”

The Associated Press reports, “The Society of Music Creators, Composers and Publishers, or Sacem, accuses Apple of consistently refusing to pay the levy on sales of its iPod music player, which contains a hard disk drive. In a statement, Sacem said that unless Apple settles its growing account, the agency that collects the payments ‘will have no other option than to go immediately to court to make sure that the rights of artists, composers and producers are respected.’ Efforts to get comment from Apple’s French subsidiary or its California headquarters were not immediately successful.”

Full article here.


  1. This tax is stupid. as well as for the other countries that does it.
    Whats next special taxes on VCRs, DVRs, DVDRs, etc etc. Maybe a special tax on printers cause you could print out pictures of the mona lisa.

    Instead of putting taxes on the items that can be used to play an music, movies etc. How about delivering it to people in the format that they want and at a reasonable price. This just gives more justification to the end user to conduct more piracy, because you are laready being taxed, weather you actually commit “piracy” or not. You are in effect presumed guilty.


  2. In Canada, because of a similar tax, it is legal to download MP3’s for free. It is only illegal to make MP3’s on your computer available for upload. Downloaders will not be charged here.

  3. Typical liberal tax. A mistake. The lower the taxes, the more business gets done and, ultimately, the more tax revenue the government will receive. On this, Bush is right. Greenspan agrees.

  4. Oh my Goz, Thoz freunch Zey Zink that a little tax”eu” will prevent iPod from being popular in France.

    Read this with a french from France accent….

    It is not because you are, it is because I am!

  5. Gary, right on. Perhaps all of Europe, except France, will get the iTMS. Now that would be funny. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  6. These kinds of laws are silly (at best). Are they going to tax paper and pencils and pens because I might jot down some lyrics?

    If I am already paying these taxes on some items, then do I have the paid right to steal (some amount of) music since I have already paid for it?

  7. All they need to do (both in France and in Canada) is do what other vendors are doing… put 1 song on the damn thing and it no longer qualifies for the tax as it is not blank media anymore!

    Just a thought.

  8. Greenday’s cover of “I Fought The Law”? ;^)

    I agree with Jeff. Don’t sell the iPod in France. Francs can go to another country and buy one. Zip across the Chunnel, buy an iPod, zip back out — it’s like going to Wisconsin!

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