Sarkozy Will Go Halvsies on That Digital Song France will subsidize downloads, fight piracy By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff Posted Oct 15, 2010 4:24 PM CDT 5 comments Comments French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech during a ceremony for mothers awarded with the Family Medal at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Friday Oct. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Platiau, Pool) (Newser) – France is launching what Ars Technica thinks is a "novel" approach to steer young people away from musical piracy. It's going to help them pay for legal downloads. The government has earmarked $70 million over the next two years for half-priced download cards usable on a number of online subscription-based music services. French citizens between the ages of 12 and 25 will be able to buy cards with $70 worth of credit for only $35, with the difference paid by France. The idea is to get young people in the used to paying for music. The European Commission applauded the plan, saying that it was "well designed" to combat illegal downloading.