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IRIS 2018-6:1/19

France

Agreement on the Audiovisual Media Service Directive unanimously welcomed in France

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Amélie Blocman

Légipresse

Following trilateral discussions between the Parliament, the Council and the European Commission on the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AMSD), which began almost a year ago, the agreement reached on 24 April 2018 has been unanimously welcomed by the French National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image (CNC), the Higher Audiovisual Council (CSA) and the Minister of Culture, who labelled it “balanced and ambitious”. Françoise Nyssen said that the text, which marks a new stage in audiovisual regulation, “is exactly what France wants as regards the promotion of cultural diversity, the financing of its creative industries and public protection”. Under the agreement, European works will need to constitute at least 30% of the catalogues of video-on-demand services such as Netflix. At France’s initiative, the Council and Parliament increased the 20% minimum quota that was originally proposed. The agreement also requires television channels and video-on-demand services to contribute to the funding of film-making in the countries that they target, regardless of where they are based. This will help to reduce the distortion of competition, prevent opportunistic relocation and protect the financing of French film-making. “In concrete terms, this means that, for the first time ever, Europe accepts the idea of including all foreign-based broadcasters that target our market within the ecosystem of the European cultural exception,” said Dominique Bredin, CNC president.

Lastly, the scope of audiovisual regulation is extended to cover video-sharing platforms such as YouTube, which were previously excluded. From now on, these platforms will need to take steps to protect minors and combat hate speech and violent content, including such material disseminated via live broadcasts. The member states’ audiovisual regulators will therefore be required to monitor the implementation and effectiveness of these measures. For its part, the CSA warmly welcomed the extension of the directive’s scope to include video-sharing platforms, social networks and web-based live broadcasting platforms. It was pleased that rules had been introduced for these new services and that the rules governing linear and on-demand audiovisual media services (AVMS) had been harmonised.

The Minister of Culture announced that the AMSD would be transposed into French law through an audiovisual bill, to be tabled at the end of 2018.

References
Communiqué de presse du Ministère de la Culture FR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19100
 
  Ministry of Culture press release    
Communiqué de press du CSA FR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19101
 
  CSA press release