Magazine article Screen International

Digital Single Market: Oettinger Stresses Special Case for Film Industry

Magazine article Screen International

Digital Single Market: Oettinger Stresses Special Case for Film Industry

Article excerpt

Speaking at this year's Munich Media Days conference, Oettinger argued that "if one is striving for a digital single market and has a digital vision of Europe, then, as a general rule, national boundaries should no longer be observed because they were created by Napoleon" and then re-drawn at international conferences in Vienna, Versailles, Potsdam and Yalta after the Napoleonic, First and Second World Wars, respectively.

"Napoleon knew little about digital services and communication or about electronic media," he observed. "National boundaries may be important for culture, language, economic policy and education, but I regard national and regional boundaries to be increasingly irrelevant in the digital sector."

Turning to the case of the film industry in Europe, he pointed out that film funding is established on the basis of national markets.

"If there was only one Europe, without borders, the business model for these national film funds would disappear and their hard work ruined. Then Google and Hollywood would take everything over. There wouldn't be any more talk of cultural diversity."

"This means that every rule also needs exceptions - keyword territoriality," Oettinger suggested.

His "good cop" stance regarding the position of the film sector in the Commission's DSM strategy appears to still be at odds with previous pronouncements made by Andrus Ansip, EC Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, on the issues of terrirotiality and geoblocking.

More clarification on Ansip's position may come later today when he and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker join German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande and members of the European Round Table of Industralists at the Elysée Palace in Paris for a Franco-German conference on the digital priorities in the EU.

EU support for UK film industry

Meanwhile, Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, has responded to a written parliamentary question filed by Conservative UK MEP David Campbell Bannerman about the number of British companies benefitting from the EU's Creative Europe programme.

Navracsics revealed that UK-based organisations had attracted 12.5% of the budget for the Culture sub-programme, which represented the second highest amount allocated to organisations from any of the countries participating in that sub-programme. …

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