A proposed law that would have levied a tax against ad-supported videos appears to have been defeated, at least for now. The French Parliament has ruled against the so-called “YouTube tax,” which would have required online video platforms to pay 2% of their ad revenue within France to the country’s National Film Board.
When I first wrote about the YouTube tax a week ago, I noted its support in the lower house of the French Parliament, where a trio of socialist politicians pushed for its adoption. At that time, the bill still had to go through the French Senate as well as the European Commission, but if my understanding of French politics is correct (full disclosure: it may not be), the YouTube tax didn’t even get that far. Instead, right-wing deputies within the National Assembly voted against it.
Proponents of the tax believe it is in line with the French ideal that distributors should help fund the content they share, but the rationale behind the opposing decision is logical; the right-wingers noted that many of the companies that would have been affected by the tax, including Google and Facebook, are headquartered elsewhere. If the tax were to be effective, opponents argued, it would need to cover the entire continent.
While the YouTube tax has been opposed for now, it may not have been struck down completely. A representative for the French Society of Authors, Composers, and Directors told Variety that the bill will be re-examined during the fourth quarter of 2016, when it will come under the scrutiny of the French Senate.