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IRIS 2018-9:1/17

France

CSA adopts 20 proposals to reform audiovisual regulation

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Amélie Blocman

Légipresse

Reforming audiovisual regulation is one of the Ministry of Culture’s main priorities after the summer break. According to insiders, Minister for Culture Françoise Nyssen is hoping, in the next few months, to finalise a text for discussion by Parliament in the first half of 2019. On 11 September, the French national audiovisual regulatory authority (the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel - the CSA) unveiled its “twenty proposals for reforming audiovisual regulation”. The first task, according to the CSA, is to broaden the scope of the regulations by incorporating video-sharing platforms, social media and streaming platforms as part of the transposition of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). The CSA’s proposals to expand the regulations also include measures to strengthen the protection of minors, step up the fight against discrimination and hate speech, increase support for creative processes and establish a regulatory framework for the data economy, ensuring fair and equitable conditions in respect of access to programme audience data so that the revenue generated by its use is better distributed among the different stakeholders (publishers, distributors and platforms).

The second major area of reform concerns support measures to further the digital transition of the audiovisual industry: the modernisation of terrestrial broadcasting, the affirmation of the specificity of the public sector, the easing of constraints on television broadcasters by abolishing the ban on showing films on certain days, redefining production obligations, and encouraging free channels to acquire the rights to broadcast films on catch-up TV, in line with new technologies. The CSA is also calling for the relaxation of advertising rules, especially those concerning prohibited advertising sectors (cinema, literary publishing, distribution), and a review of anti-concentration rules. Lastly, the CSA wishes to promote new methods of regulation in collaboration with industry stakeholders (co-regulation, supra-regulation, participatory regulation). The law should be “refocused on core principles” and the principle of “limited recourse to the regulations” should be respected.

On 4 October, it will be the turn of the Mission d'information sur une nouvelle régulation de la communication audiovisuelle à l'ère numérique (the Fact-finding Task Force for the New Regulation of Audiovisual Communication in the Digital Era), on which MP Aurore Bergé serves as rapporteur, to present its conclusions with a view to outlining the planned audiovisual reforms. The CSA recommends that, once they are adopted, all the legislative and regulatory provisions should be codified.

References
Communiqué de presse, “Le CSA appelle à une refonte globale de la régulation », 11 septembre 2018 FR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19270
 
  CSA press release, "CSA calls for global regulatory reform2, 11 September 2018