Several days ago, it was reported that France is going to try to fight piracy by subsidizing digital music. Under the new scheme, French citizens between the ages of 12 and 25 will be able to purchase prepaid cards called ‘carte musique’ that can be used on all French music download and streaming websites. The cards will cost €25, but be worth €50.
The purpose of the scheme is to encourage the idea of paying for digital downloads among the younger generation in France and, more importantly, preserve the French culture by stimulating growth in the French music industry. The duration of the program will be two years and the French government expects to pay roughly €50 million into the scheme. In turn, the French music industry will participate by reducing the price of music on digital sites and assist in advertising the ‘carte musique’ plan.
At first glance it might seem like a good idea to use French money to try a new French digital music scheme. But France is not using their own money. A quick look into the funding of the project reveals that a direct grant from the EU was given to France to pay for this project. Further details have yet to be revealed, but essentially the UK taxpayer and the rest of the EU is subsidizing the French music industry.
This scheme is yet another example of the gross misuse of funds and taxes that the EU receives from its member states. Why should the UK subsidize the French music industry or the music industry at all? The problem with the music industry in general is that they have decided to litigate and not innovate in response to gigantic technical and cultural changes in their industry. The best thing for the French music industry to do in this case would be to fund the ‘carte musique’ scheme themselves. That way they would either reap the benefits or suffer the losses on their own and the UK taxpayer would not be involved. Until that happens, the younger generations in France get cut priced music - if they legally download music at all - thanks to the EU member states.
Vive la France!