The Editors Weblog rounds up reports in the French media of plans to tax Google and other internet giants, including AOL, Microsoft and Facebook.
The tax would fund government proposals to support content creators online and reflects complaints from music and news organisations that search engines and aggregators are making money from free use of their content online.
The recommendation was made as part of the Zelnik report on the online content and advertising industries. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he backs some of the proposals, but has made no specific mention of the “Google tax”, according to this Boston.com report.
The French government has taken active steps to help the print and online news industries with schemes such as free newspapers for young readers. Similar fees have previously been proposed for internet service providers by leading editors.
The “Google tax” proposed is reminiscent of a similar scheme suggested by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK, which proposed introducing levies for aggregators.