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France launches ‘carte musique’

Move aims to turn pirates on to legal downloads

BRUSSELS — A government-subsidized digital music scheme encouraging young people to abandon piracy and take up legal offers bowed Thursday in Gaul.

Plan is the carrot on the stick of a new law cracking down on Internet file sharing.

The “carte musique” is available to residents age 12-25 and allows them to download or stream €50 ($69) worth of music a year for $35.

The spend may be spread across different participating platforms, which will each receive up to $7 million in state compensation. Cap is to stop one platform from draining the $35 million government fund. Fourteen bodies are signed up including iTunes, Amazon, Virgin and Orange.

Government rules also insist that platforms promote Francophone and local dialect artists. Euro regulators have given their blessing. Scheme will be reviewed after two years. — Ian Mundell

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