In March 2010, France proposed a scheme whereby Internet users between the ages of 12 and 25 would be able to purchase a €50 gift card (worth about $70) for €25 (about $35), which could be used to purchase legal music downloads. The French government would pick up the tab for the difference.So basically it means that France is taxing some people (hard worker) to give free money to people who don't pay taxes and do not work (youngster between 12 and 25 years) so that they can buy music for half the price.
The program would last for two years and every Internet user could purchase one card per year. France estimated that it would sell about 1 million cards per year. As part of the deal, Web sites that accept these cards must contribute to the cost by offering reduced prices on their music downloads, an extension on music subscription services, or a contribution towards the cost of advertising the program.
In addition, the program also caps the amount each Web site can earn from the initiative at €5 million ($7 million) so that smaller and niche operators can take advantage of it. "As a result, the scheme will contribute to preserving pluralism and cultural diversity in the online music industry," the commission said.
The European Commission approved the plan on Tuesday, saying it was well-designed to achieve its objective. EU rules allow a country's government to provide financial aid if the project does not unduly distort competition.
At the same time, they decide where that money can be spent, and hence create an unfair market for the web sites which sell online music.
So as usual with government intervention, we could wonder:
- Why the 12-25 year olds?
- Where does the number come from?
- Why not online movies as well?
- Why not online sausages? or any other products?
Sad sad sad...