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EXHIBITORS France

Piracy: focus on the graduated response

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The principal subjects of discussions at Deauville where the 60th Congress of the National Federation of French Cinemas has ended (FNCF), the drop in admissions and Internet piracy did not leave the public bodies indifferent. The director general of theNational Film Centre (CNC), Véronique Cayla, announced to exhibitors that the "the battle against piracy will intensify" and that a law applying a graduated response will be voted on before the end of 2005. Blending repression, prevention and education, the principal of a graduated response envisages four stages of action against pirates downloading films illegally: warning letter, recommended letter, blockage of high speed access, closing of subscriptions.

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Meanwhile, the minister for Culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres reaffirmed the support by public bodies for the exhibitors, insisting on the involvement of the State in the matter of the "regulation of the whole sector, in which one of the key tools is the media timeline". The current legal rhythm of the distribution of films (theatrical release, on Dvd six months later, TV broadcast nine months after for Canal+, twelve months after for pay-per-view, two years after for terrestrial channels if they are co-producers and three if they are not) must find the right place for the Internet and its VOD ((video on demand) which is rapidly developing (launch of CanalPlay beginning of October and of TPSvod in November). Negotiations have been taking place for several months between the professional organisations from French cinema and the FAI (Internet Access Providers) could set a target of 8 to 9 months. But if the providers’ involvement of the battle against piracy leaves a lot to be desired then a law will decided between them.

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(Translated from French)

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