updated 04:33 pm EDT, Mon October 28, 2013
Increase in cost demonstrates growing popularity of iPad in France
A number of countries -- such as Canada, Germany and France -- impose a special surtax on digital devices that can display or transfer copyrighted material, with the funds collected distributed to artists and copyright holders to partially compensate them for income losses due to piracy. Last year, Apple was ordered to pay some five million Euros ($6.9M US) to Copie France after losing a legal dispute over the issue. This year, the company has been ordered to pay €12M ($16.5M) for iPad sales over most of 2012.
While the figure represents the extent to which iPad popularity is growing in France, Apple has collected the tax on behalf of the SACEM (the French society of authors, composers and music publishers) since 2011, but allegedly has not turned over any of the cope privee tax revenue to the authorities yet, perhaps pending the exhaustion of legal appeals. Apple has also recently increased prices on its iPhones in France, perhaps to compensate for the inevitable payment of tax revenue.
France is also considering another special tax on mobile devices, a one percent "culture tax" that would raise funds to help industries that promote French culture in the performing arts, such as Francophone music, videos and more. There has been no comment from Apple thus far on the latest court-ordered payment.