By Stuart Thomson
The European Commission has expressed reservations about France’s plans to implement in national law new European rules that place obligations on international video-on-demand platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+.
According to information seen by consultancy group NPA Conseil and financial daily Les Echos, the EC has taken issue with key elements of France’s proposed SMAD regulation governing VOD services, which translates the EC’s audiovisual media services directive into national law.
Specifically, the EC views a proposed French rule that the quote of European originated work within catalogues should comprise 85 per cent French works for SVOD services and 80 per cent French works for VOD services.
The EC believes such quotas could create advantages for French producers and are much higher than those considered proportionate.
The Commission has also expressed concern about French plans to impose mandatory contributions to European works of 20 per cent of revenue in France, rising to 25 per cent in the case of platforms that offer movies that have been released theatrically during the same year. These amounts go beyond those imposed by other European countries, which are generally limited to about 5 per cent according to NPA Conseil.
France’s media regulator the CSA gave a favourable opinion on the proposed SMAD decree at the end of March, arguing that it represented a “a major step” in the modernisation of the finance of content create against the background of profound changes in the audiovisual sector.