FIAD Congratulates MEPs in the CULT Committee for their Opinion on Geo-blocking Report
Members of the European Parliament in the CULT Committee have voted to approve the Committee's Opinion that will influence the final text of the Parliamentary Report "on the implementation of the 2018 Geo-blocking Regulation in the digital single market."
The Opinion clearly supports the continued exemption of the film and audiovisual industry from the Geo-blocking Regulation as MEPs recognize that territorial exclusivity is central for the production, distribution and exhibition of diverse audiovisual content across the European Union.
FIAD congratulates the MEPs in the CULT Committee for considering the business reality for the film and AV sector in the European Union and for recognizing that the market is delivering an increasing number of European films to audiences across Europe, thus proving that the continued exclusion of audiovisual services from the scope of the regulation remains fit for purpose.
FIAD encourages the JURI and IMCO Committees to incorporate the CULT Opinion (find in full HERE) into their own deliberations on this Report.
The below sections from the Opinion are of particular importance and should be noted for future work the European Parliament conducts on the realities of the film and audiovisual sector in Europe.
3. Emphasises that investments in the production, distribution and exhibition of films is a high-risk enterprise and that this investment is safeguarded through the ability to secure exclusivity of the film on a territorial basis;
4. Notes that the film and audiovisual sector has a broad range of stakeholders that include many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), encompassing a large number of highly innovative and creative independent production companies, film distribution companies and cinemas that produce, distribute and showcase a wide variety of content across the EU;
5. Emphasises the pragmatic and constant adaptation of the film and audiovisual sector in Europe to the cultural and economic realities of a Union comprising 27 countries, with diverse national and regional cultures, habits, market conditions and audience demand, that require tailored approaches to content development, production and distribution;
10. Reiterates the fact that exclusive territorial licensing currently ensures the sustainable financing of films and audiovisual content, and contributes to ensuring both content and cultural diversity, pluralism, and a wide range of distribution business models, which ultimately benefit EU consumers;
13. 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;
15. Highlights that recent European Audiovisual Observatory data proves the market is delivering an increasing number of European films to audiences across Europe; recognises that this surge in availability proves that the business model of territorial exclusivity ensures an abundance of films and that the continued exclusion of audiovisual services from the scope of the regulation remains fit for purpose