Meanwhile somewhere in France..
As PC Mag reports, the European Commission approved the country’s plan earlier this week. “Carte Musique,” proposed in March 2010, will give youths the chance to buy a €50 gift card for the price of €25. The French government will then pay the difference.
The program, which should launch sometime in the next few weeks, is supposed to last two years. Those who participate will be allowed to purchase one card per year. Websites that accept these cards are supposed to offer lower prices for music downloads. They should also provide offers to extend music subscription services or contribute towards advertising “Carte Musique.” French government officials expect 1 million cards to sell each year.
The European Commission has praised the new measure, saying that it is particularly “well designed to achieve its objective” of combating illegal downloads, and that it will not interfere with the European Union’s competition rules.
That being said, PC Mag does add that there are some concerns that larger groups like iTunes, Amazon and FNAC might not participate. This is because “Carte Musique” limits the benefits each website operators may receive from the program at €5 million. (Mashable)
France is trying something very new and very untested. The cynics will be all over an untested idea like this, but I think the idea of this program is to change a frame of mind, change a learned pattern of behaviour, rather than stem the flow of French piracy.
Notice that this is targeting people in generation Y. A generation that’s arguably been raised with free music. The program’s two year time frame is a little slim. It probably will take more than that to change the behaviour of pirating music, but I think the intent is good.
The likelyhood of this idea catching on elsewhere is slim. Because France has traditionally valued the Arts more than most western countries, and due to the complex minefield that is digital music, I can see most jurisdictions staying away from this. Still, Kudos France, for having the balls to try something this crazy.
Take Control of Your Music