During the plenary session of the European Parliament today, MEPs enhanced the Mazurek Report and opted for an approach aimed at safeguarding the European model of film financing and distribution, which is based on territorial exclusivity. In particular, MEPs backed amendments calling for the geoblocking of audiovisual works to be maintained.
Julie-Jeanne Régnault, EFAD Secretary General stated: "The European film and audiovisual agencies not only support the creation of European works of all genres, they also have the task of facilitating access to these works in all their diversity. They are actively involved in efforts to ensure greater availability of European works online in different languages, as well as their promotion in all EU countries. Removing geo-blocking is not the solution to help European citizens access European films online more easily, quite the contrary, as it would jeopardise all the players in the European value chain (producers, distributors, sales agents, cinemas)".
Alternatives exist, such as:
- Improving the visibility and discoverability of European works legally available online for consumers ;
- Ambitiously implement the VoD quota of at least 30% European works and the prominence obligation introduced by the AVMS Directive, and consider how to go further;
- Seizing the opportunities of the Creative Europe MEDIA programme to increase the online availability and promotion of the greatest European films in each EU Member States as well as initiatives to improve the distribution of works in unsold territories;
- Encouraging European co-productions and theatrical exploitation in multiple countries, as both positively impact the online circulation of films.
Other proposals and best practices identified in various countries have been outlined in our contribution to the Commission's stakeholders' dialogue on cross-border availability and access to audiovisual content across the EU (here).