While the #Cannes2018 Film festival just ended last Sunday, a third proposal reforming the French media statutory windows was presented to professionals on May 17th, 2018.
Pursuing previous reform proposals introduced by mediators Dominique D’Hinnin and François Hurard, the project of May 17th implements a general acceleration of successive windows of exclusivity (as explained in the above diagram).
However, this text introduces new modifications as compared to the last proposal of March 30th:
- The threshold triggering a derogation which accelerate the exploitation of the work (set at 15.000 viewers during the 2nd week of their theatrical exploitation) must be specified;
- The “advanced windows” system introduced in the second reform proposal was suppressed, except for works whose exploitation rights have not been “purchased or pre-purchased by Pay-TV with 2nd release agreement or by virtuous SVOD”. Such works can exceptionally be released on Free-to-air TV and Pay-TV with co-production commitments 19 months after theatrical release;
- Criteria defining “virtous” services were modified. Now, in order to be considered as “virtuous”, services must commit to:
- Comply with French legislation and regulation applicable to the categories of services to which they belong, including intellectual property matters;
- Pay CNC tax;
- Conclude agreement with the CSA;
- Undertake a financial commitment calculated on the basis of a minimal amount requested per subscriber
- Ensure investments diversification;
- Editorialize the offer of cinematographic works on the service;
- Pre-funding commitments.
- Documentaries under €1.5 million can be released 12 months after theatrical release provided that the documentary’s exploitation rights – which were contractually available – have not been purchased or pre-purchased by service editors of following windows of 20 months or more;
- Exploitation rights for physical distribution, EST, TVOD and Pay-per-view services are thawed, which ensure a continuous exploitation of such media and allow operators to keep films in their catalogs for unlimited periods of time.
In addition, the text allows operators to set up contractual exclusivity windows in favor of TV services, depending on “the pre-financing of the work, which falls within the obligations to contribute to the development of the cinematographic production”.
According to journalists, #Canalplus and the FNCF (National Federation of French Theaters) have already agreed upon this third project.
Further details should be provided in the coming days.
Salomé Ricordel for ATURQUOISE
Sources: Satellifax and Contexte.com