Mr. Chairman, dear Raphael,[1]

Madam Delegate General, dear Françoise Chamber,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

Thank you for your invitation to join you in thinking about the media ecosystem of tomorrow.

It is an honor to open these Meetings.

They are, I must say, timely.

On Monday and Tuesday, I received all the stakeholders involved in the reform of the audiovisual law, including those involved in advertising, for a final phase of consultation on the draft text to come.

This bill aims to modernize audiovisual regulations.

This text is fundamental in that it must allow us to recover, to recover, to reaffirm our cultural sovereignty.

And reinvent it, for a long time.

As the President of the Republic perfectly expressed when he gave us the honour of coming to celebrate, with all the teams, the 60 years of the Ministry of Culture in the gardens of the Palais-Royal, the challenge is not to «adapt» to external constraints.

It is a matter of inventing a new model, able to assimilate harmoniously all the stakeholders.

Yes, dear Raphael, “we are living in an important moment”. And we must live up to it.

The finding today is widely shared: the 1986 Freedom of Communication Act – and some of the accompanying statutory instruments – are dated. Unsuitable. Outdated.

Digital has thrown everything in the way, you are the first to know.

The growth of the communications market is now entirely driven by the growth of investments in digital media.

Within a few years, the landscape changed dramatically.

Content has abounded, consumption patterns have diversified, screens have multiplied. As for the act, it was only revised at the margin.

This results in strong regulatory asymmetries between actors. They weaken the development potential of some and allow others to thrive as stowaways.

The reform we are about to launch will allow us to remedy this.

More than that: it will allow us to invent a new model of regulation.

This is an issue of fairness.

This is an issue of technological and economic neutrality.

It is a question of simplification.

But more importantly, as I said, it is a sovereignty issue.

Because the coming audiovisual law is twisting the neck at the idea that, in the face of the supposedly all-powerful actors of the Internet, we would be powerless.

No, we can act.

We must act.

To protect our national actors, who make us proud.

To protect our media agencies, our creation, our data, our pluralism of thought – which inevitably passes through media pluralism.

To protect our values, our model of cultural diversity, our cultural exception and therefore our authors, artists and creators.

 

Restoring our cultural sovereignty requires the integration, in our system of financing the creation and protection of the public, of actors who are for the moment kept out of it.  

Integrating digital actors into our model was first and foremost the goal of several battles, which we fought on a European scale. The battles we have waged, during long months of negotiations, with the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Government as a whole, have been fully mobilized.

Battles that we won.

I’m thinking of the audiovisual media services directive.

It imposes obligations on platforms to broadcast and fund creation, just like any French broadcaster.

Those who disseminate the works finance those who create them: this principle, on which our virtuous model is based, will now apply to digital players, even if they are based abroad.

On the other hand, European works must constitute at least 30% of their catalogue.

I am also thinking of the copyright directive.

The European text reflects the French conception of copyright, the special place we give it, which we defend, because it is written in our DNA.

It makes it possible to secure and value authors, to ensure fair and proportional remuneration.

The adoption of these directives by the European Parliament was a huge victory for Europe.

These votes are proof that Europe is our best protection.

That, in front of the digital giants, it is our only effective and credible protection.

That, in the face of them, we will only be able to do so if we stand together.

After having played an important role in the negotiations, we have a great responsibility.

The responsibility to transpose them quickly and effectively.

The responsibility to lead the way.

And we have shown the way by adopting, at the end of July 2019, the law that establishes a neighbouring right for publishers and news agencies.

Today, the value they create is captured by platforms and search engines, which reuse their content without remunerating it, even though they generate significant advertising revenues.

The objective of neighbouring law is, once again, to integrate new players into our model.

It’s about ensuring fair value sharing.

To rebalance it for the benefit of companies and news agencies, but also journalists. Allow them to receive remuneration for each reuse of their content. To give them the means to inform us – quite simply. To protect their independence. To defend pluralism.

A pluralism that I also defended with the bill on press distribution, which should be adopted very soon.

In particular, the law will establish an obligation to distribute political and general press information through digital kiosks.

And it will impose transparency obligations on content aggregators.

Digital kiosks, content aggregators: here again, these are new players who were not concerned by the law until then. The goal, again, is to integrate them into our model.

By creating neighbouring law, France was the first European country to transpose this part of the “copyright” directive. 

It is a strong symbol.

This is a sign that we are as mobilized to transpose as we were yesterday to negotiate.

This is proof that our country does not have a second to lose to protect its cultural sovereignty.

By adopting tomorrow’s audiovisual law, which will make it possible to transpose the SMA directive and the rest of the provisions of the copyright directive, we will send an even stronger signal.

Reaffirming our cultural sovereignty also requires national actors, whether private or public, strengthened and subject to the same “rules of the game” as digital players.

In the new model we are building, traditional players and digital players will be subject to fairer competition rules.

That doesn’t mean we’re going to break what works.

This does not mean that we are going to put at risk the actors in the media world who have based their economic model – often fragile – on the current regulatory framework.

But that means reviewing a number of rules.

Outdated, archaic, outdated rules.

Rules that do not benefit the public, or that do not make it possible to effectively prepare the future of traditional players, in view of the international competition that is raging today.

On television, for example, you can’t advertise for a movie that goes out at the cinema; whereas, for the same content, on the internet, you can.

These rules from another time, we will change them.

I’m thinking of certain prohibitions on advertising, or prohibited days.

We need to change them because they are unfair to the public and to professionals.

Because they disadvantage certain actors, and allow others to capture an excessive share of the value.

I want to be very clear: there will be no increase in television advertising time, contrary to what I can read here or there.

The rules defining its distribution and targets will be relaxed. *

These developments also require a strong public broadcaster, which is becoming a reference in Europe. I will have the opportunity in the coming days to talk about our ambitions for our public broadcasting.

 

Finally, regaining our cultural sovereignty requires an evolution in our conception of regulation.

We must broaden the field of audiovisual regulation to new players; make it more flexible, more agile and modernise it.

It must be able to fully grasp the entire digital environment. This evolution has already begun.

The law against the manipulation of information has given a new role to the CSA in the fight against «infox».

The “Avia” bill, adopted at first reading in the National Assembly, imposes important obligations on social networks in the fight against hate speech, under the control of the CSA.

The audiovisual law, by transposing the SMA directive, which sets obligations to video sharing platforms for the protection of minors, the ethics of advertising and the fight against hate speech, will add to this building of better platform accountability.

We will also make sure to put an end to the «impunity» of pirate sites, especially of streaming, especially through blacklists, the widespread use of content recognition technologies and a new judicial mechanism to combat the reappearance of mirror sites.

The extension of the field of regulation to new players necessarily raises the question of approximation between regulators, as well as that of methods of regulation.

In view of the increasing proximity of their missions, it is very legitimate that the CSA and Hadopi merge to form a new authority.

This new authority and ARCEP must cooperate better: this can be done through a common member, as well as through a common dispute resolution service.

Finally, the powers of the regulator must also evolve.

It must be capable of gathering all the information necessary to carry out its new tasks, in particular with regard to the digital sector.

It must also develop new modes of regulation, leaving more room for example for mediation or regulation by data. 

It will also require a much more intense cooperation between the various regulators in charge of digital subjects.

With all these measures, I want to put an end to the idea that the Internet would still be a lawless space.

What is at stake is the protection of our artists, our creators, and intellectual property.

It’s about protecting the public.

And it is the protection of our democracies.

Mr. Chairman, dear Raphael,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

France has this opportunity to be the cradle of powerful actors of communication, recognized worldwide.

I’m not telling you anything new…

If our country is a reference in this area, it is thanks to each and every one of you.

It is a pride, an honour, and a responsibility.

It is to protect the diversity of actors, the diversity of thought and creativity of which each and every one of you is the representative.

Because yes, dear Raphael, this diversity is our chance.

Because, yes, dear Raphael, “differentiation is born of diversity”.

Our responsibility is to ensure that, in the face of sometimes formidable competition, in the face of competition that has no borders, you are not left on the sidelines.

It’s about redefining the rules of the game, the terrain, and the role of the referee.

We cannot afford to wait any longer.

You know better than I do.

The future of our entire model is at stake.

So the Government is determined to move quickly. The text will go to the Council of Ministers in early November, with a view to a first review by the National Assembly in January 2020.

This long-awaited transformation, this indispensable transformation, ladies and gentlemen, is finally ready.

She is fair.

She is a protector.

And it will allow us, I am convinced, to regain our cultural sovereignty for a long time.

[1] Raphaël de Andréis, President of UDECAM