French politicians want to tax tablets for not running Windows

Michael Haney thezorch at
Fri Jan 7 11:03:25 UTC 2011

On Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 1:54 AM, Bill Cairns <cairnsww at> wrote:
> It would be interesting if we could stop the political name calling
> for a bit and hear what is happening in France.
> As I understand it, there is a proposal on the table in France to tax
> Tablet PCs because (so the theory goes) these are being used to pirate
> music and DVDs. In France, MP3 players are already subject to a
> special tax for that reason. If that proposal was not daft enough, it
> seems that Windows Tablets are to be exempt from this tax - Windows
> being a proper OS means that Windows Tablets are computers; Android
> and other Linux systems are not proper OSs and therefore the Tablets
> that run them are not proper computers.
> There is an old political maxim that says: when you have a choice in
> believing that something was caused by a conspiracy designed by the
> dark forces of evil, or perhaps that it is a result of a monumental
> cock-up by incompetent idiots, go for the cock-up theory. (A corollary
> to Occam's Razor I suppose).
> Does anyone have any recent news on this? Perhaps the French
> politicians are still recovering from their revelries?

This sounds like a case where Microsoft lobbyists have their claws
sunk deep into the heart of the French parliament.  Its a case where
the government would be subsidizing Windows tablets with taxes from
tablets using competitive operating systems.  That would violate EU
anti-trust laws.  France has already thumb their nose at the authority
of the EU with their Three Strikes law.  The EU needs to grow a pair
and take some kind of action.

Michael "TheZorch" Haney
"The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking
of morality by religion." ~ Arthur C. Clarke
"The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion and
politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there is no place
for it in the endeavor of science. " ~ Carl Sagan

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