Opinion | Opinie 09/01/2010

OK a slightly odd one today. Apparently, a French government committee is going to propose something RIDICULOUS:

To tax Google to compensate artists for the loss of income due to illegal downloads.

Excusez-moi? Surely that is a joke, and a poor one. And it can only have been thought up by some stuffy bureaucrat – on a mission, as we shall see below.

So many things stink about this proposal it’s unreal, but I’ll try to give a couple.

This proposal sucks because:

First there is obviously the “duh” one: How exactly is Google responsible for illegal downloads?

Second, with Google being so big, famous, successful and rich, it reeks of good-old welfare envy: they have so much money, they must not deserve to have it. Let’s take some and give it to the poor ourselves. Redistribution gone south. No, really; why only Google? There are dozens of search engines out there. Well as we say in Dutch: because you can’t pluck a bald frog (<- no connection with the nickname for the French, by the way), and they know it.

Third, how on earth was the French government thinking of measuring… whatever it was they were thinking of measuring, to determine the height of the tax?

I’m sure I could think of a few more reasons but that would feel like kicking a dead horse and then sleeping with it. There are however two other things that to me elevate this proposal from simply unworldly and impractical.

This proposal is predetermined, cynical and calculated because:

There’s the funny coincidence that the wife of the French president (Carla Bruni) happens to be, you guessed it (or knew it – I didn’t), a musician. Yeah somehow it seemed unlikely she’d turn out to work for Google.

What about the committee, surely it was independent? Well… no. The head of this government committee (one Patrick Zelnik) is – oh no what an other amazing coincidence! – a record producer.

After all that you will not be surprised to hear that…hahahaa hahaaa noo… don’t tell me? Really?! But surely not? Yes, by yet another coincidence mr Zernik happens to have produced records with Mrs Bruni.

‘Nuff said.

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