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INDUSTRY Europe

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Professionals react to the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive

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- Authors and producers from all over Europe state that direct investment in content should come from all media services, broadcasters included

Professionals react to the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive

Authors and producers from all over Europe are reacting to the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive state that is currently in interinstitutional negotiations between the European Commission, Parliament and Council. The film professionals, under the auspice of European institutions Animation in Europe, Eurocinema, The European Producers Club (EPC), FERA, Federation Screenwriters Europe (FSE) and Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA), as well as other 18 national institutions, are issuing a call for the revision to adapt to their needs.

The statement reads, "The EC proposal for a revised AVMS Directive proposed in May 2016 introduced many well-thoughtout proposals. Among these, Article 13.2 provides for the possibility for Member States to require financial contributions (direct investment in content) from on-demand audiovisual media services established in other Member States but targeting their territory, that will contribute to funding local and European creations. This is a very good approach to address the forum shopping from which we are all suffering in Europe. But where the Council is pushing for an application of this rule to all media services – on-demand as well as broadcasters – on a technologically neutral basis, the European Commission and Parliament are embracing a timid approach by excluding broadcasters in this measure."

The film professionals express their support for the Council position and welcome the ambitious attempt to establish a level playing field regarding obligations related to the promotion of European works. "The contributions would be calculated on the basis of revenues generated in the country that is specifically targeted by broadcasters or online demand services. There are countless examples of online platforms and broadcasters that are established outside a certain territory in order to avoid being subject to that territory's rules and obligations, and that are targeting specifically another country, with programs dubbed or proposed in the local language, with a catalogue specially designed for the targeted audience or with advertising breaks adapted to local consumers. Due to the convergence of the competition between on-demand services and broadcasters, both markets must be regulated by the rules of the targeted country. Broadcasters cannot be outside of any new system."

The signatories conclude that this way, "The countries that are targeted will be able to use any collected resource and financial contribution to support development of local audiovisual creations and European coproductions. This proposed revision provides an innovative mechanism allowing the constant growth and the value of European cultural diversity in the audiovisual sector."

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