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France subsidises online music sales to fight piracy

Under the new venture, French citizens in the age group of 12 to 25 years old can now buy a carte mu

France will be subsidising digital music purchases in an effort to give a boost to the industry.

Under the new venture, French citizens in the age group of 12 to 25 years old can now buy a carte musique, a prepaid card that they can use on subscription-based music websites.

The card which comes with €50 worth pre-loaded credit will be available to customers at half the price at €25.

The programme, which will go on for two years and is expected to sell an estimated one million cards a year and result in €50 million total expenditure for the French government, aims at reducing music piracy by giving young people an incentive to pay for the content instead.

The European Commission praised the efforts of France calling the plan "well designed" to counter piracy and will "contribute to preserving pluralism and cultural diversity in the online music industry."

To avoid monopoly practices among online music vendors, the French government has also come up with safeguards such as a €5 million cap on the revenue any one music service can make. Participant websites will also be expected to slash music prices, extend subscription durations or help advertise carte musique.