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French video publishers put five proposals to presidential candidates

In the run-up for the French presidential election, the video publishers' association SEVN had submitted to the candidates five proposals aimed at defending and strengthening their market:

1. Make permanent the 'graduated response, the component of the policy to fight the illegal distribution of copyrighted material which SEVN notes has produced encouraging results. The graduated response must be maintained to encourage the development of a legal offer. This policy must be accompanied with an educational component that spells out the economic threat illegal downloading subjets the audiovisual and cinema production.

2. Block access to websites engaged in piracy SEVN, together with other professional bodies, has started legal action to block these websites often located in 'piracy paradise' which offer links to access pirated material. The successful operation against Megaupload is an example to follow.

3. Condemn advertisers and their agencies that patron pirate sites Legal proceedings to block illegal sites must be beefed up by a more effective monitoring of financial transactions between those sites and advertising agencies which sometimes service well known brands.

4. Apply to video the same VAT rate which is applied to other 'cultural goods' The video sector must benefit a VAT rate more adapted to the market conditions, like the other cultural sectors. Such a rate ought to be applied to both digital copy and physical media alike.

5. Experiment with new contractual models as regards release windows SEVN, who has been campaigning for shorter release windows (chronologie des medias), says there is a cross-industry working group looking at shaping release windows "that take into account consumer expectation and the economics of film production." Authorisations should be granted to experiment with new contractual relationships.

It will be up to Socialist candidate Francois Hollande or Conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkosy to take up SEVN proposals, now that French voters have put both men in pole position to battle it out in the second round of the presidential sparring match.

Story filed 22.04.12

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