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FIAD applauds Members of the European Parliament for their defence of European cultural diversity

Strasbourg, 13 December 2023 - FIAD applauds Members of the European Parliament for their defence of European cultural diversity and the film-audiovisual industry in Europe.


In the Plenary on 13 December 2023, Members of the European Parliament voted to adopt the 'Implementation of the 2018 Geoblocking Regulation in the Digital Single Market' INI report. The International Federation of Film Distributors’ and Publishers’ Associations (FIAD) wishes to commend Members of the European Parliament for adopting amendments that state the importance of territorial exclusivity and the need to preserve the film-audiovisual sector’s exemption from the Geo-blocking Regulation.


It is worth highlighting a majority of Members of the European Parliament voted to insert into the Report the following amendments:


Amendment 6 (new): “Whereas maintaining geo-blocking for copyrighted works and protected subject matter is one of the major tools for guaranteeing cultural diversity.


Amendment 2 to paragraph 23:  “Considers that the inclusion of audiovisual   services in the scope of the Geo-blocking Regulation would result in a significant loss of  revenue, putting investment in  new content at risk, while  eroding contractual freedom  and reducing cultural diversity  in content production,   distribution, promotion and  exhibition; emphasises that  such an inclusion would result  in fewer distribution channels,  ultimately driving up prices for consumers;”


With these amendments the Report mirrors the successive Council Conclusions [1] adopted by the Member States of the European Union that underline the importance of geo-blocking and the principle of territorial exclusivity.


Robert Heslop, Secretary General of FIAD said after the vote: “FIAD congratulates the Members of the European Parliament for their stand today in defence of territorial exclusivity and the continued exemption of the film-audiovisual sector from the Geo-blocking Regulation. Members of the European Parliament from across the Union and spanning different political groups were united in their defence of European cultural diversity and the film-audiovisual industry in Europe. Today’s vote sends a strong message to the European Commission and Member States that there is no appetite in the European Parliament for including the film-audiovisual sector in the scope of the Geo-blocking Regulation.”


FIAD would like to thank the  more than 100 MEPs who tabled pro-film audiovisual sector amendments for the plenary vote. It is also important to recognise the CULT Committee members. They first supported the sector with their positive draft opinion on the Report and then by presenting amendments during this crucial vote.


Today’s vote demonstrates the significant influence of the film-audiovisual sector's collective voice. FIAD's joint efforts, including the signing of a joint press release with more than 700 signatures and the active involvement in CW!'s Coalition #Vote4Culture Twitter campaign, played a pivotal role in bringing awareness to this critical issue.


FIAD will continue to work closely with coalition partners and other key stakeholders in the audiovisual sector to engage upcoming MEPs, the Member States and the European Commission on the issue of territoriality and the preservation of this delicate balance.


[1] “3. there is a need to recall the importance of the key principles of financing media content which underpin the whole value chain and safeguard media pluralism. For example, territorial and exclusive allocation of licensing rights can often be crucial for the audiovisual media sector. The development of new innovative business models is also of great importance.” Council Document 12814/20, adopted in written procedure 27 November 2020.

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