The European Court of Justice still values the freedom of expression in a printed publication higher than a digital publication according to its recent VAT-ruling where a reduced rate will not be allowed on digital publications. Besides the problem that the higher VAT on digital publications is an obstacle for a blooming digital publishing industry and its authors, it is a further democratic problem in the sense that digital publishing is open for all to be published and get a return, while traditional publishing has more limited opportunities. The consequence of that the court’s reasoning that digital publishing should be characterised as an electronic service like any other is that it continues to put an extra cost on the freedom expression on the distribution-channel that is most open for the general public. This in an age that is often termed the Digital Age. Hopefully, the EU Commission’s plan to allow the member states to get wider powers to set their own VAT-rates will come into force soon. Source: Reuters
The European Court of Justice ruling differentiates freedom of expression
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