The Finance Amendment Bill 2013 extends the tax on television services to catch-up television services and video-on-demand services offered to French consumers by service providers or distributors established outside France. The collection of this tax from foreign entities shall be identical to that for the collection of value added tax (ie, a mini one-stop-shop system).
According to the Supreme Court, the consent given by musicians for the use of their performances as "phonograms published to be commercialised" includes communication to the public through paid downloads. The court so ruled recently when it issued six decisions to end a dispute between record labels and Spedidam, the collecting society representing the musicians.
A series of disputes pitted a reality television show production company against programme participants to determine whether their relationship served to qualify the participants as employees or whether the participants should be classified as performers. The disputes allowed the Court of Cassation to address a new problem relating to the evolution of this television genre.
A Paris appeal court has ordered Twitter to disclose the identities of users who posted offensive tweets and to establish a clear system for reporting abusive content. Twitter Inc, based in the United States, claimed to be obliged to withhold the data, as it had not been processed in the French territory. However, the court ruled that in an international dispute, the implementation of such measures is subject to French law.
Over the past 20 years, relations between phonogram producers and musicians in France have been strained by a conflict between producers and SPEDIDAM, the society for the collective management of musicians' rights, which claims the right to authorise any new exploitation of a phonogram. Two judgments issued this year herald significant developments in this relationship.
The Finance Act 2013 and the 2012 supplementary budget have introduced improved tax credit rules in the film and audiovisual sector. The tax credit for music production has also been modified and extended. These changes will enter into force at a date to be fixed by decree, but no later than January 1 2014.
The Supreme Court has rendered four anticipated rulings in relation to Google's liability for its paid referencing service, AdWords. The four rulings implement the ruling of the European Court of Justice, which considered the cases in a referral, and annul the appeal rulings that held Google liable for trademark infringement.
In accordance with the government's aim of liberalizing the online gambling sector before the 2010 World Cup, the National Assembly recently adopted the proposed legislation as presented by the Senate so that it could be ratified and promulgated. However, the Socialist opposition has challenged the terms for liberalization before the Constitutional Council.
Search engines are not subject to a statutory liability regime. In a recent case the Paris Court of Appeal reiterated several rules relating to the technical role of a search engine. Within this framework, the court reiterated search engines' obligations and then determined how they may be held liable.