updated 04:55 pm EDT, Tue October 12, 2010
French government to subsidize digital music
In a new attempt to fight the rising rate of music piracy, the French government will subsidize the cost of digital music, a Tuesday report said. The strategy was approved by the European Union and was praised for its promotion of cultural diversity. French residents who buy a card to download music from subscription-based websites will only have to pay half of a 50 euro (about $70) card, with the government paying for the remainder.
There are some limitations, however, including limiting consumers to just one such card purchase per year. The scheme is expected to last two years and cost France 25 million euros (nearly $35 million) if one million cards per year are sold. The plan is expected to primarily benefit 12- to 25-year olds.
The European Commission believes the plan will help economic development as well as promote cultural diversity in the online music industry.
Website operators, meanwhile, will be required to cut the price of music, extend the length of subscriptions and help out in the advertising of the cards. Their profits will be limited to 5 million euros each.