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Monday, 20 May 2013

Lescure Report on Cultural Exception in France - The Way Forward?

On Monday May 13th, Pierre Lescure issued his long-awaited report to the French government on Act II of the Cultural Exception.  Highlights include the following recommendations:

- Creation of an obligation to digitally exploit copyright protected works (incumbent upon assignees and licensees of such works).

- Adapt the so-called media chronology rules (windowing) so that SVOD services can offer films 18 months after their release.

- Harmonize VAT rules so that no distinction is made between physical copies and intangible electronic versions of cultural products.

- Implement mandatory collective management of producers' neighbouring rights in sound recordings in the field of on-line music services (in the event that a last-ditch attempt at negotiations fails).

- Implement a 1% tax on connected devices (which will initially complement but utlimately merge with the private copy levy).

- Transfer HADOPI's graduated-response powers in the realm of P2P piracy to the CSA (French audio-visual watchdog) and abolish the final third strike of internet access being cut off (to be replaced with fines).  On Sunday May 19th the Minister of Culture confirmed that she was adopting this recommendation.

- Shift focus of anti-pracy action to large-scale for-profit piracy, bringing a follow-the-money approach to bear (actions against financial intermediaries).

For the full report see here

1 comment:

Ben said...

I have just noticed that Fleur Pellerin, the French minister in charge of Internet policy, said during a recent visit to a high-technology complex in Sweden, that suspending Internet connections was incompatible with the French government’s hopes of spurring growth in the digital economy saying “Today, it’s not possible to cut off Internet access,” she said adding “It’s something like cutting off water.”

The article notes that French Government's position is despite a study by researchers at Wellesley College near Boston and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh that was published last year that showed that the threat of disconnection was directing more French Internet users toward Apple’s iTunes store, and separate studies, commissioned by Hadopi, that have shown a decline in illegal file sharing.