01.12.11

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Microsoft Enjoys Copyright Tax — Not Just Patent Tax — on Linux-powered Competitors

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Windows at 4:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Co-authored with G. Forbes

Paris atmosphere

Summary: Absurd lawmaking in France is further slammed by the press and by upset bloggers, who see Windows getting a free ride whilst its competition may be subjected to outrageous new taxes

AT THE END of last month we wrote about a disturbing development in France regarding a ‘copyright tax’. For this tax, the government decided to discriminate in favour of Microsoft, applying it to any platform other than Windows. There is noticeable debate about this ‘tax’ in many places, in French and other languages. Some of the better articles that we found are:

i. The French say: if it is not Windows, it must have been pirated

The French government intends to slap a tax of 12 euros on any tablet unless it runs with Windows. One might wonder why France wants to pander Microsoft, but the logic is apparently that anything that is not Windows must be pirated, and that includes Android, Linux and even MacOS. The most bizarre is that a French company, Archos, would be hurt to the benefit of an American company.

ii. Tax to be imposed on PC tablets barring Windows

This second one says that the “government of France has been contemplating about imposing a tax of 12 Euro on every tablet PCs with over 40GB of internal memory unless they operate on Windows. This way Microsoft can get the much required aid in the tablet market.”

Well, they must change this as it’s outrageous.

iii. France could tax tablet PCs — except those with Windows

To quote: “Why the special treatment of Microsoft? Because unlike those running Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating systems, Windows tablets are full-featured enough to count as computers rather than mobile devices.” It’s unbelievable that they would actually make such a conclusion. This news is also making an appearance in the corporate media. However, they neglect to take a logical approach and state that Microsoft is using outrageous legislation and extortion rather than competing (such corporate sites play it safe with advertisers).

In the coming days we will be showing a lot of articles about other taxes used in a similar vein against Android/Linux. These include patent-related taxes (in addition to Microsoft’s attempts to implement an Android/Linux tax). This overall unfair tax situation is being labelled “corruption” and “collusion” by some people. Nick Farrell has said that “France [is]to bring in non-Windows tablet tax”. He humourously elaborates:

The French government has come up with a wizard wheeze which seems to be entirely designed to back the software giant Microsoft.

In a Franco-American alliance, the likes of which has not been seen since the French backed a campaign by anti-democratic terrorists against its lawful government, the French are going to tax every tablet which does not come out with Windows software on-board.

The logic is that if you are running Android, Linux or the MacOS you must be a pirate as Windows is the tool of choice for all decent minded French citizens.

It will be interesting to see if this gets retracted as it rightfully should be. In Economics, a proper “Pigovian tax” is designed to eliminate the economic effect of a negative externality, for example pollution. This ‘tax’, which presumes guilt on the buyer’s behalf, is more a form of extortion of a vaguely-defined “externality” inaccurately defined as ‘piracy’ by the copyright cartel and media conglomerates. In this light, the tax is more-or-less a subsidy-by-any-other-name to these organisations. They want government to compensate them for something they falsely assume they deserve.

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