France Considers Bookstore Protections

During a discussion in the French National Assembly about prohibiting free shipping by Amazon in order to preserve the competitiveness of bookstores, a counter-proposal to grant a tax reduction to non-DRM or proprietary e-books was introduced. Isabelle Attard, the French deputy and member of the Europe Ecology Green Party who suggested the idea, made the distinction between the right to possess a digital e-book file and the right to read it: “The contract that [Amazon’s] clients accepts is a right to read, not to possess, a digital file. The best proof of this is that Amazon gives themselves the right to delete books from the Kindle accounts of their clients.” Attard stated that “the sale of books in open file format (non-DRM) should benefit from a reduced [Value Added Tax]” whereas “closed systems like those of Amazon and Apple, that are offers for digital service… would be subject for a VAT of 19.6%, in the capacity of services, and not sale of books.” The entire article can be found at The Well-Prepared Mind.