Mr President of the Civil Society of Authors-Directors-Producers (ARP), dear Radu MIHAILEANU,Mr Deputy, President of the General Council, dear François SAUVADET Mr Senator-Mayor of Dijon, dear François REBSAMEN,Dear friends,
If I say to you, "Together, that is all," you will immediately understand the meaning of my visit to Dijon and of my presence among you.
It is first of all to pay tribute to the creator of the ARP and these meetings, whose memory you honoured yesterday, to the one who joined, at the beginning of this year, other illustrious figures of French cinema who we miss so much today.
Yes, the first reason for my presence among you is in the order of emotion, which is the driving force of our professions, and it is an intense thought that leads me to Claude BERRI, who was the very example of the author-producer, who has marked so profoundly and so singularly the last forty years of our cinema. He will always be present among us, because through cinema, as we all know, «death ceases to be absolute». He was a man with his faults and sufferings too, whom he had depicted to us without ornaments, in a touching and fair way, in his book of memoirs; an outstanding art lover; a faithful and committed friend.
With you, I think of him, I think of Claude and, of course, of his family who continue his work.
The second reason for my presence here is that I wanted to express my gratitude to all the members of the ARP who have been a precious support in recent months, because they are indefectible and courageous, during the debates we have conducted, together, in favour of defending and rehabilitating copyright, with the two so-called HADOPI laws.
For this commitment, which no doubt was a matter of course for a civil society of authors, has been strengthened, and this is a crucial point, by courageous individual statements, which have largely gone against the tide of a certain demagogy, which was not, in fact, that the jovial mask of defeatism. The rights of authors have been conquered over the centuries, since BEAUMARCHAIS, and according to technological developments that have regularly challenged them. HADOPI is just a new page in this history of copyright.
And I am pleased to see that this commitment was shared by the elected representatives of the city and the riding where the «Rencontres de l'ARP» have now, for 4 years, their home. I would therefore like to thank François SAUVADET, whose support has been unfailing and who has brought in his wake the majority of his group in the National Assembly; thank you, Mr President!
I would also like to thank François REBSAMEN who, together with many of his colleagues in the Senate, has adopted an attitude that is often benevolent and constructive towards the government’s intentions on this text: thank you also to you, Senator-Mayor!
The text, as you know, has been adopted; the Constitutional Council should now take a decision. The process, more preventive than repressive, I repeat, launched by the establishment of the High Authority for the Dissemination of Works and the Protection of Rights on the Internet, will be effective in the coming weeks
Sending the first email warning to the indelicate Internet user will undoubtedly raise many comments and feed thousands of pages of incandescent blogs! This must not distract us from what, for the Minister of Culture and Communication that I am, constitutes the essential: how to make the legal offer of films on the Internet become a success?
Our duty is to reinvent the rules of the game favourable to French cinema and its creativity in the digital horizon that is now ours. Because it is in the screen of the Internet in particular that we will find the instrument of renewal and expansion of the audience of the cinema. The latest Survey on the cultural practices of the French, published this week by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, confirms this.
That is why I have always said that HADOPI laws are only a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite. The regulation put in place is the first feature of a virtuous circle of financing creation, and especially cinema, in the image of the one that has proven itself in the analogue era.
That is why I want to invite you today to work together on a new pact for film creation in the digital age.
This new pact, which will bring together all the actors in the digital sector, should enable us to build a new cycle, equivalent to the one that presided over the financing of cinema in the analogue era.
I know that the debates and proposals are going well. We talked about “creative contribution”, and we are also talking about new taxes. But for me, the work that is opening up for us obviously cannot be reduced to such formulas.
Let us be clear: I have nothing against contributions, nothing against taxes, but I hope that the new mechanism will continue the solid and sustainable financing of film creation, as we have seen in the analogue era.
In particular, I am committed to the principle of an active contribution to the economy of the sector by all those who disseminate cinema: this is the meaning of this new pact to which I call on you today to involve the new players in film broadcasting.
I know that through the themes of the various round tables that you have organized here in Dijon, there is a common expectation and a common principle: the absolute need for solidarity of the entire sector, which is the foundation of our cultural regulation system “à la française”.
This new Creative Development Pact will require us to articulate and intelligently converge the various avenues of work currently being explored and which we would like to recall briefly:
Under the HADOPI law, we have, through the agreement signed on Rue de Valois on July 6, seriously modernized the media chronology, which is a key element of film financing. This agreement seems appropriate to the transitional situation in which we find ourselves, where so-called “non-linear” services are developing, without having yet taken over the traditional financing of creation. It is certainly intended to evolve in the future and it must do so based on the contribution of these new services.
We must now define the contributions to film creation funding provided by the “On-Demand Audiovisual Media Services”, the famous “SMAD”. It is a very complex exercise, given the diversity of offers and operators, and a challenge that, here too, we can only meet together.
Finally, the question repeatedly raised of the principle of a minimum remuneration for rights holders, regardless of the price paid by the public for access to a work, is dealt with in an order which I will shortly present to the Council of Ministers. This will be an important step forward in relations between publishers, distributors and rights holders.
- As you know, I also wanted to see a broader reflection on the development of the legal offer. Patrick ZELNIK, Jacques TOUBON and Guillaume CERUTTI, who have already done an effective job of consulting professional organisations, companies, consumer associations and Internet users, will give me their proposals in the coming weeks. I would like to tell you that beyond the conclusions of the rapporteurs, I do not exclude the creation of a permanent monitoring working group on these rapidly evolving subjects.
3 – Similarly, the mission that the Prime Minister entrusted to Marie-Dominique HAGELSTEEN on exclusive relations in the field of pay television must be given our full attention. The issue of exclusivity is at the heart of the agreements I encourage you to conclude with television operators. The system of exclusivity in cinema must be measured against the question of the financing of works, in the general interest.
4 – Finally, I proposed that, as part of the Great Loan launched by the President of the Republic, a digitization plan for heritage (whether films, audiovisual programmes or books) be included.because this is a major cultural issue and an investment for the future. The cultural exception would no longer have much meaning if the works were no longer to the technical standards required for their dissemination. The challenge concerns both the creation of today and that of the past, the sustainability of which also depends on the techniques we are able to put at their service. It is also in this perspective that I entrusted a mission to a group of experts led by Marc Tessier to study the conditions of digitization and the online placement of library holdings.
In the same vein, we must guarantee the possibility that works are legally exploited. This morning you mentioned copyright and French law. I no longer want retrospective organizers to complain about not having access to a particular copy of films that are essential to everyone’s culture, because of an obscure conflict between rights holders, while pirate versions of the same film often circulate blithely on the Internet! Digitization and the guarantee of a permanent and continuous exploitation of the works go hand in hand.
It is on the basis of all this work that we must come up with coherent proposals that will enable cinema, all cinemas, to enter the digital world with confidence.
I have already had the opportunity to say in other places that my dearest project is to develop in our country the culture for everyone and for everyone.
The evolution of the cultural practices of our fellow citizens shows that there is still much to do and strengthens my determination to act. It is also clear that it is in the field of cinema that the greatest number of people’s access to culture has made the most tangible progress in recent years.
It is my responsibility, but also yours, to ensure that this trend is confirmed and that the Internet participates fully in facilitating access to works. This afternoon you’re going to talk about movie theatres. I would like to repeat here the message I conveyed to exhibitors a few weeks ago: I am particularly attached to the existence of local cinemas, which are a very French specificity. I will do my utmost to allow them to regain a new lease of life at a time when some of them are weakened by the crisis. Here again, solidarity must be total.
For several months, many films have convinced me of the remarkable vitality and creativity of our cinema today. Believe that I, more than anyone, am aware that this creativity has a price; that it is not always obvious to those who have the power to decide on the financing of a project.
In short, this new pact, to which I am calling you today, is only a means to an end which is always to foster and develop a living and abundant production, at the service of the demands, the boldness and the innovation, so that the cinema can continue to amaze us, to amaze us, to nourish our questions about «the world as it goes». To defend this conception, you know that you will always find me at your side.
Louis DELLUC described cinema as «the son of mechanics and the ideal of men». Today that he has become in a way «the son of digital», it is our ambition that he continues to embody «the ideal of men».