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.

Product Review

Make friends. To survive the wasteland of 'Fallout 76,' you're gonna need 'em

Fallout 76 brings the nuclear wasteland online and invites you to hop in with your friends. It’s fun, and a new direction for the Fallout franchise, but it’s not without its faults.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.

Mozilla’s built-in price-tracking extension makes it easy to shop with Firefox

Mozilla has heard those worries about Black Friday shopping, and is now introducing a new set of experimental extensions which aim to make it easier to find the best deals online.

Turn your iPad into a display for your new Mac Mini with this workaround

The folks at Luna Display have figured out a workaround which lets you get the best of both worlds and use Wi-Fi and an adapter in order to turn your iPad into a display for the 2018 Mac Mini.

Latest SMS breach could allow hackers access to your online accounts

A new security breach that exposed more than 26 million text messages could be a huge nightmare for users relying on two-factor authentication. Many of the SMS on the database contained security codes and account reset links.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mail client goes freemium with the introduction of ads

Microsoft Windows Insiders are finding a nasty surprise inside the Mail app on the latest Windows 10 preview build in the form of banner ads. These ads will appear in the Mail app regardless of the webmail service you use.

All the best Apple MacBook deals for Black Friday 2018

Shoppers looking for a new Apple laptop could find huge savings on a new MacBook come Black Friday. Retailers are offering discounts as much as $650 on select MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models this holiday season.

Apple discontinues AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule as it exits Wi-Fi router business

Apple is now officially no longer in the router business. The company had already stopped selling the AirPort Express, and now its retail stores and websites have stopped offering the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule.

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.

PDF to JPG conversion is quick and easy using these simple methods

Converting file formats can be an absolute pain, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to JPG, no matter which operating system you're running.

Crypto hangover could take blame for Nvidia’s potential GeForce RTX 2060 delay

Nvidia's delay in announcing a ship date for its GeForce RTX 2060 GPU could be due to a burst in the cryptocurrency mining bubble. Executives blamed the crypto hangover for an oversupply of inventory on existing GTX 1060 cards,

Save $900 on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and more with Lenovo’s Cyber Monday sales

In the latest set of holiday sales, Lenovo is heavily discounting its fifth-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon and other popular Windows laptops and 2-in-1s for the holiday shopping season.