France Ponders “Google Tax” on Online Advertising

Nicolas Sarkozy (thumb)

In France, a government-commissioned report has put forward the idea of placing a tax on online advertising revenue, and applying the funds to publishers and content creators whose businesses have been adversely impacted by digital media. The levy would apply to any online advertising network operating in France (regardless of whether the company was located there or not) and is generally being referred to as a “Google tax,” in reference to Google’s dominance of the online advertising industry, although it would apply equally to Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, and a myriad of other companies engaged in online advertising.

The goal of the tax would be to provide revenue to creators and publishers whose businesses have been hurt by the digital revolution and work against advertisers profiting from advertisements running alongside materials—including illegally distributed media—while the authors and publishers receive nothing. The move ties into French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s stated intents to defend France’s cultural heritage in the face of homogenization brought on by digital media; Sarkozy has also called for projects akin to Google Books aimed to preserve and extol French culture.

The survey also suggested taxing ISPs to raise money for developing businesses and other creative sectors that work to preserve and extend France’s unique culture.

Major Internet companies—such as Google—have faced criticism in recent years for profiting off “free” content from overseas publishers by not only copying and redistributing the material, but by running advertisements and other commercial operations alongside it from which the content owners never profit. Google Books, in particular, has drawn legal fire over offering digital versions of French works, and several European newspapers have taken issue with Google News redistributing their content.

It’s not clear how a tax on online advertising would actually benefit creators in France; industry watchers have pointed out that many “content creators” in the digital age have no relationships with media conglomerates or royalty agencies: creating an infrastructure to distribute funds to “amateurs” outside France’s cultural institutions would be a daunting task.


Limited-time Amazon deal knocks up to $200 off the thin, light Acer Swift 5

Looking for a new laptop? The online retailer Amazon is currently discounting the Acer Swift 5 and several other popular Acer products by up to $200, but only through the end of today, March 14.  

How you can share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are tools you can use both online and offline. This step-by-step guide will instruct you on how to use them.

Want to learn to code? Udemy drops online coding courses under $13

Whether you’re embarking on a new career or are just looking for a fun new hobby, here are six of the best online coding courses on Udemy to get you started. With options under $20, it's surprisingly affordable.

At $99, Nvidia’s Jetson Nano minicomputer seeks to bring robotics to the masses

Nvidia announced a new A.I. computer, the Jetson Nano. This computer comes with an 128-core GPU that Nvidia claims can handle pretty much any A.I. framework you could imagine. At $99, it's an affordable way for A.I. newbies to get involved.

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 

Amazon and Nvidia bring artificial intelligence to the cloud with T4 GPUs

Nvidia announced the availability of new mainstream servers optimized to run the company's latest T4 GPUs with Turning architecture. Amazon jumped on board immediately, announcing that new AWS EC2 G4 instances will offer the technology.

Calibrate your display to get it looking just the way you like it

Want to see images the way they're intended to be seen? Here is our quick guide on how to calibrate your monitor using your operating system or another tool, to make what's on the screen look as good as it can.

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.

Netgear’s new Nighthawk Tri-band AX12 router brings Wi-Fi 6 speeds to the masses

Available in May for $600, the Nighthawk Tri-band AX12 router allows for maximum Wi-Fi performance on smart home devices and offers everything needed for gaming, streaming, and other high-bandwidth applications. 
Home Theater

Smart speakers are about to get an IQ bump thanks to new Qualcomm chips

Qualcomm announced a new chipset that is designed to make the next generation of smart speakers sound, listen, and connect better than ever before, and it could soon be in your living room.

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.