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French Government May Subsidize Music Downloads 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the opening-a-new-front dept.
angry tapir writes "The European Commission has approved a French program to subsidize legal music downloads for young people. The Carte Musique scheme gives €25 (US$35) to French residents aged 12 to 25 to spend on music downloads or subscription services. Young people can purchase a €50 card for just €25, with the balance paid by the state."
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French Government May Subsidize Music Downloads

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 15, 2010 @09:29AM (#33907172)

    Musical socialism?

  • by mangu (126918) on Friday October 15, 2010 @09:35AM (#33907220)

    for the next 2 years while this is in effect, the online music services will be raising their prices to milk the system.

    Probably yes, and that would show how stupid they are.

    If I were a teenager, I wouldn't really care about the subsidy. All I would want to know is what I'd be getting for my money. If I had to spend 25 euros on a 50 euros card to get 20 euros worth of music I wouldn't do it.

    As usual, the taxpayer gets fucked. And the music companies, even with the subsidy, will get less than what they would if they had reasonable prices.

  • by hedwards (940851) on Friday October 15, 2010 @09:36AM (#33907236)
    More like fascism, this is just a form of corporate welfare. The industry couldn't figure out how to deal with piracy so now the government is subsidizing their products.

    Ultimately it won't work, I doubt very much that this will really convince people to stop pirating. And on the unlikely event that it works, the question really is why does the French government need to provide a subsidy to what was apparently an issue of supply and demand.

    By all means crack down on those that are distributing the copies, but that's the responsibility of the recording industry, not the government.
  • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Friday October 15, 2010 @09:37AM (#33907240) Journal

    Where do you get that they most likely won't? I probably won't be double, but an extra 50% increse is predictable.

    Normally I'm a moderately liberal individual, and am for the government helping the people, but this is asinine. This is a luxury, not a necessity. This is promoting a specific business model that should survive or fail on it's own merits, not on some kind of corporate welfare.

    W.T.A.F.?

  • by Thornae (53316) on Friday October 15, 2010 @09:37AM (#33907244)

    Note that this is "may" in the sense of "is permitted to," rather than "might."

  • by xednieht (1117791) on Friday October 15, 2010 @09:38AM (#33907256) Homepage
    Where does the French government "earn" it money from? The French government isn't subsidising squat, the French people are.
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday October 15, 2010 @09:39AM (#33907268) Homepage

    Buy Apple shares, quick!

    There's a bunch of French taxpayer money about to be transferred to Apple's account.

  • FTFY (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 15, 2010 @09:48AM (#33907376)

    Young people can purchase a €50 card for just €25, with the balance paid by the taxpayers.

    This certainly sounds like the perfect deal for the record companies though -- basically state-sponsored welfare for them.

    I wonder what I'd have to do to get a product listed on the "government gift certificate" list.

  • by andrea.sartori (1603543) on Friday October 15, 2010 @09:55AM (#33907448) Journal
    Not really. If you were a teenager, you would gladly spend your 25, buy 50 worth of music, and when the card is depleted you would go back to downloading illegally.
  • Only music? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 15, 2010 @09:59AM (#33907508)

    Not all teenagers are obsessed with music.

    Why can't Jean-Paul use his €25 to buy books or clothes?

  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Friday October 15, 2010 @10:00AM (#33907524)

    Normally I'm a moderately liberal individual,

    You can be conservative and socially liberal as well. Don't believe the trolls that tell you that if you are a liberal, you must be for ANYTHING proposed by another self proclaimed liberal. The reverse is also true, you can be conservative and not... Oh how do they put it, 'view Somalia as a libertarian paradise.'

  • by DrEasy (559739) on Friday October 15, 2010 @10:09AM (#33907620) Journal

    Ok, we need to stop saying France is a socialist country. Sarkozy is anything but socialist. And this latest idea is much more in line with what a neo-con government would do, which is to subsidize the private sector.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 15, 2010 @10:10AM (#33907644)
    If they use it at all - let's face it, this initiative is not aimed at students who want to buy music, they're already doing so (this might let them buy a bit more) - it's aimed at those who just don't want to buy music at all while it's available free and easy. The best way to combat that attitude is to make music cheap enough that it's essentially free anyway (remove the barrier to impulse buys). Even former label head Rob Dickins agrees this is the best approach [bbc.co.uk] - my price point for new albums is now about £5, if they go over that by even a few pennies, I just don't think it's worth the risk losing money on potential dross. If they were a quid I'd buy a hell of a lot more.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 15, 2010 @10:25AM (#33907798)

    Socialism? Where did you get that from? A conservative French government that subsidize the multinational media industry doesn't sound very socialist to me.

    The French like to comment that Obama (Hugo Chavez) sounds Right-Wing Conservative to them. I have a feeling their choices are between Communism and Socialism.

  • by CharlieHedlin (102121) on Friday October 15, 2010 @10:31AM (#33907856)

    Apparently in order to participate they have to lower prices, but I still think this is a terrible use of public funds.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Friday October 15, 2010 @10:49AM (#33908088)

    Why dont they just write a cheque to the record industry and cut out the middle man.

    Because the point of this program is to train the 12-25 yo crowd to pay for music. Apparently the French government believes they're all pirates (who might vote pirate party if not trained).

  • by timeOday (582209) on Friday October 15, 2010 @10:53AM (#33908154)
    Oh, just calm down. It's France, not the US. We all know they haven't whole-heartedly embraced US-style capitalism. They seem to be getting along just fine, and just because they did something doesn't mean we will.
  • by Americano (920576) on Friday October 15, 2010 @11:09AM (#33908344)

    In a normal market, that would lead to lower prices.

    For something that's a commodity, yes. Farmer Bob's corn is pretty much the same as Farmer John's corn. Saudi Arabia's oil is pretty much the same as Venezuela's oil. South African gold is pretty much the same as gold produced by Peru.

    However, Metallica's CD is quite different from Britney Spears' CD. The entertainment industries will never produce "commodity" music - or let's hope they never do. As such, price is not the only determining factor in choosing the products, and in many cases, it's not even remotely a factor: if you offered me Lady Gaga's entire catalog for $1, I'd probably decline, because I simply don't dig her music. It's not something I'd be interested in listening to. In the same breath, offer me a copy of good-quality outtakes, unreleased songs, and other studio 'rarities' produced during recording sessions by Tool, Bruce Springsteen, or other artists I *like* for $20, and I'd probably hand over $20 on the spot.

    When personal taste factors into the buying decision, you won't necessarily have an asymptotic approach to a price of $0, because people like what they like, and the existence of 10 million other records out there wouldn't make me miss Tool's "Undertow" or Springsteen's "Nebraska" any less, or replace those albums for me if I couldn't afford a copy of them.

  • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Friday October 15, 2010 @11:13AM (#33908386) Homepage

    The reverse is also true, you can be conservative and not... Oh how do they put it, 'view Somalia as a libertarian paradise.'

    Perhaps I'm just taking this the wrong way, but (assuming you group libertarians in with the "conservatives") you should know that it generally isn't the libertarians themselves who "view Somalia as a libertarian paradise." This is a categorization usually made by their opponents.

    Libertarians are against aggression in general, of which government happens to be the largest source in most of the "civilized" world—made yet worse by its false shroud of "legitimacy"—but rule-by-tribal-elders (as practiced in Somalia) and the hypothetical rule-by-criminal-gangs scenario are just as thoroughly opposed. Moreover, many of the problems in Somalia exist specifically as a result of external powers attempting to prop up a succession of unwanted central governments in the region.

  • by painandgreed (692585) on Friday October 15, 2010 @12:26PM (#33909302)

    25 to be spent in WHICH music store ? iTunes, Amazon, Napster ?

    Knowing France, it will probably only be good at a French government site that only sells music by French bands or sung in French that have been approved by some council of culture.

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