Thank you, Mr. Chairman, dear Bruno Studer.
Thank you to the General Rapporteur, dear Aurore Bergé,
Thanks also to the rapporteurs, dear Sophie Mette, dear Béatrice Piron,
Thank you to the co-rapporteur, dear Jean-Jacques Gaultier, and to the various rapporteurs for their opinions: Bothorel, Portarrieu, Hennion and Euzet,
Ladies and gentlemen of the House,
Thank you for being here.
And thank you for the few hours we will spend together, both in committee and in the Chamber, in the service of this long awaited bill.
If necessary, too.
Necessary, because at a time when content is abundant, viewing modes are diversifying, screens are expanding, our legislative framework is outdated.
The Freedom of Communication Act dates from 1986.
The audiovisual of today has little to do with the one of then.
This law was designed for another time; for another world.
It has since been amended, of course, many times.
But every time, with discounted margins.
Today, it needs to be thoroughly rethought.
That’s not an option.
It’s a no-brainer.
It is an obligation.
An obligation, because the sector is facing major changes.
The digital revolution, in the first place.
It is not – and the actors that have emerged with it are not – a threat in itself.
But they can be.
Our responsibility is to make the digital revolution an opportunity.
Both for creators and audiences.
This is the full meaning of the bill on audiovisual communication and cultural sovereignty in the digital age, which I have the honour to present to you today.
This is a historic bill.
History, because it finally establishes a framework adapted to the television and radio of the XXIe century.
History, because it allows France to show the way; to be an example and a model for our neighbours.
With this text, we will be the first to transpose several directives.
Directives for which we fought, with the President of the Republic, with the Prime Minister, with the whole Government.
Our engagement was instrumental at the time of their adoption.
With this law, we are showing Europe that we are as mobilized to transpose as we were yesterday to negotiate.
This text, I come today to present to you: Ambition – and it is great, the content, and the concrete impact in the lives of French women and men.
Ambition, first of all.
It is double.
There is a strong cultural ambition and an ambition for sovereignty in this legislation.
It must enable the development of cultural diversity and creativity.
It must also allow French audiovisual and cinema to shine even more brightly.
Finally, it must make possible the application of our French cultural model, based on rules and values, to all actors, both national and foreign.
Its second ambition is democratic, societal and civic ambition.
It aims to protect citizens from certain digital excesses.
And to offer to all – urban or rural, from France or overseas, of all ages and all backgrounds – a closer and more efficient service.
That is the ambition of this bill.
Its contents, then.
We will have ample opportunity to discuss this in more detail together later next week and during the Hemicycle discussions…
But I would like to summarize the main points.
The text consists of three main parts.
The first concerns support for the French audiovisual and film industry and the protection of all artists involved in the creative act.
My belief is that traditional audiovisual actors and digital actors must be able to coexist.
Today, however, there is too much asymmetry between them.
Television channels are subject to binding rules... while platforms escape most of these rules.
It is the role of the State – and the objective of this law – to rebalance the rules of the game.
Make sure they play on a level playing field.
To maintain fair competition between them.
I want to be clear: this law will not be against platforms, but with them.
It aims to integrate them into our model.
Integrating does not mean opposing.
It means not giving up who we are.
Do not compromise on our values.
Do not compromise the pillars of our cultural model.
This means continuing to require those who distribute the works to fund those who create them.
It means encouraging virtuous actors, and benefiting those who are the best allies of creation.
Platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and tomorrow’s Disney +, provide a service that our fellow citizens appreciate.
They offer our creators tremendous opportunities to broadcast in France and around the world.
They are most welcome.
But they must respect our rules.
With this legislation, they will have to respect the principles of our system of financing audiovisual and film creation.
It is a question of fairness.
Television groups are already required to finance French and European series and films.
With this law, new services will also be affected.
They will have to finance French and European production: at least 16% of their turnover for general-purpose services. And at least 25% of their turnover for actors specialized in film and audiovisual.
There will therefore be more French creations produced by Netflix.
These new platforms are already doing that.
But we want them to do more, and to better value French and European works.
Because our culture is made of these works.
And it is up to us to enrich our culture; to share it; to remember tirelessly that it is unique; and to make it live.
This legislation contributes to that—I’m absolutely convinced of that.
Moreover, with this law, platforms will have to respect the foundations of French-style copyright.
For example, there is an obligation to use a delegated producer, or to leave the «final cut» in the hands of the director – the famous final cut, in good French.
To prevent Anglo-Saxon "buy-out" practices – the practice of buying back all rights without any limitation of territory or duration – the law provides that production contracts must include standard clauses.
They will reflect the principles of moral law and the essential conditions of remuneration of authors.
The CNC and ARCOM will be responsible for verifying the presence and compliance of these standard clauses.
In their absence, a work may not be taken into account under the investment obligations, nor be eligible for aid from the CNC.
ARCOM will have to take this into account in calculating the broadcasters' obligations.
However, rebalancing the rules is not just about imposing new ones on those who are not yet subject to them.
This also means relaxing those imposed on traditional actors.
I am thinking in particular of the rules governing television advertising.
Their relaxation will give channels access to new resources.
Resources that, mechanically, will be reinvested in creation.
And that will help consolidate our French audiovisual champions.
I want to be very clear: there will be no more advertising time on television.
In addition, the adaptation of these rules was designed so as not to destabilize the advertising market of other sectors, including the national or regional press.
It follows a long consultation process and is based on an impact study.
Advertising will not be permitted for promotional offers in the distribution sector. This would destabilize the balance of the radio and press advertising market.
On the other hand, segmented television advertising will be permitted, in a framed manner.
It is a real source of growth and modernization for television. It is also an element of fair competition between television channels and Internet players.
In deploying this innovation, we will obviously be attentive to the protection of personal data.
In its second part, the law seeks to renew the regulation and strengthen the role of the regulator.
In order to adapt to media convergence, the regulation of audiovisual and digital media must no longer be separated.
That is why the Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel and Hadopi will be merged into a single authority: the Autorité de régulation de la communication audiovisuelle et numérique, ARCOM.
This new regulator will protect the public on all screens.
It will act against infox, against the proliferation of hate content, and for the protection of minors.
It will also have strengthened prerogatives to fight against pirate sites, including with regard to sports competitions.
To this end, its cooperation with ARCEP will be strengthened.
At the same time, the State will acquire a real centre of expertise on digital regulation; work with the Ministry of Economy and Finance is already well under way.
Finally, the third part aims to reaffirm the role and uniqueness of public broadcasting.
I want to make it a reference; a reference in Europe.
A source of radiation for France.
To achieve this, it must transform.
More differentiated from private offerings.
Refocus on its public service missions.
Information, education, culture, social cohesion, France’s international reach and proximity must be its priorities; the heart of its programme offering.
On television, on radio, as online.
These common priorities call for closer cooperation between public audiovisual companies.
They must gather their forces to offer a truly complementary offer on all screens.
To this end, France Télévisions, Radio France, France Médias Monde and the INA will be united within a public group, responsible for defining a global strategy: France Médias.
The composition of the boards will be changed. And the appointment of officers will now be a board initiative.
So much for the text.
But, concretely, how does all this translate? What will change for the French?
What will change is the provision of programs.
It will be improved, enriched, diversified, and made more accessible.
And on every screen.
We will generalize ultra-high definition on DTT by 2024, so that our citizens have high-quality access to Olympic Games broadcasts.
There will also be more cinema every day of the week on the free TV channels. More French and European films and series on platforms. More local programs, and programs dedicated to youth on public broadcasting.
And more programs accessible to people with disabilities, on TV and on platforms. Television channels already have an obligation to make programs accessible to people with disabilities. With this legislation, video-on-demand services—such as Netflix, OCS or Canal Play—as well as catch-up television services will also be affected.
Because rebalancing the rules means imposing the same rules on everyone: on Netflix as well as on TF1 or M6.
Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen,
This is a historic reform that we will carry out together.
With this law, we will prepare television, radio, and the entire French audiovisual landscape for the future.
We will help them to truly enter the XXIe century.
It is a huge responsibility.
And I am counting on your mobilization, and that of the whole Parliament.
I was interviewed last week by the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as regards the external audiovisual sector.
It was a first step; today, the next.
It’s a very dense text that we’re going to look at.
And I want to thank you in advance for the work that you’re going to do, that we’re going to do.
I would like to commend the high-quality work done by the general rapporteur Aurore Bergé and the rapporteurs Sophie Mette and Béatrice Piron. Thanks to the three of you.
We also welcome the involvement of many MEPs in this text, some of whom have been doing so for several years.
As you said, Mr. Speaker, I am thinking of the contribution written in 2018 by Frédérique Dumas, Pascal Bois, Raphaël Gérard, Marie-Ange Magne, Sophie Mette, Sandrine Morch and Pierre-Alain Raphan.
Then to the report of Pierre-Yves Bournazel and Aurore Bergé.
And through them, I greet all the members of the information mission on a new regulation of audiovisual communication in the digital age.
Other parliamentary proceedings enrich our debates.
I am thinking in particular, dear Florence Provendier, dear Michèle Victory, of the flash mission on the quotas of francophone songs applicable to private radio stations.
We can also count on the contributions and expertise of the rapporteurs of the committees seized on the substance or for opinions: Mrs Hennion, Mr Bothorel, Mr Euzet, and Mr Portarrieu.
Thank you also to the members of Parliament who, through their professional background or their links with audiovisual actors, bring us real added value and concrete proposals for this bill.
I am obviously thinking of Céline Calvez, Bruno Fuchs, Sandrine Morch, Erwan Balanant, Bruno Millienne, and Frédéric Petit.
I will end by thanking all the members of this committee for their amendments, the administrators of the National Assembly, and your collaborators for the work done.
Thank you all.