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Cablegate: France: Ipr Issues Update

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

151036Z Nov 05




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) This message contains a series of updates on French
Intellectual Property (IPR) and cultural policy news.

French Net pirates prefer U.S. films

2. (U) Almost 38 percent of French Internet users admit to
illegally downloading movies, with a marked preference for
U.S. movies, according to a recent French survey carried out
by the National Center for Cinematography (CNC) and the
Association against Audiovisual Piracy (ALPA). A comparison
with last year's survey -- the first such study in France --
shows that movie piracy is on the rise in France since
illegal movie downloads were admitted by 36.4 percent of
users last year.

3. (U) The recent survey, which covers films released
theatrically between August 1, 2004 and July 31, 2005,
further shows that French net pirates prefer American films,
which represent 72.7 percent of all pirated films, compared
with 26.4 percent for French films.

French to Implement EU Copyright Directive

4. (U) French Parliament is expected to adopt the 2001
European Union Copyright Directive (EUCD) in early 2006 as
part of an emergency procedure called for by Prime Minister
Dominique de Villepin. France's tardiness in adopting the
EUCD earned it the threat of a fine from the European
Commission last summer. The emergency procedure, which is
limited to one reading by both houses, is designed to keep
controversy surrounding this text to a minimum. The EUCD
was created to bring the copyright laws of EU countries into
alignment with the WIPO Treaties of 1996, just as the
Millenium Copyright Act was originally designed to do in the
U.S. It outlaws bypassing controls on digital media as well
as making, distributing or possessing tools capable of
bypassing digital controls.

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5. (U) French groups representing consumers and copyright
holder interests have been opposing the EUCD since May 2003,
when the GOF first attempted to transpose it into French
law. Recently, they launched a high-profile anti-EUCD
campaign, on the grounds that it conflicts with French
private copying rights and stifles competition in the
software market. They have created a specific website,
appealed to France's Data Protection Agency, the CNIL
(Commission Nationale Informatique et Libertes), and written
to the French President and Prime Minister not to "rush" the
implementation process, so far to no avail.

New GOF campaign against Digital Piracy

6. (U) French Culture and Industry Ministers announced on
November 10 that they would launch a campaign in January
2006 to make the public more aware of the damaging effect of
counterfeiting and digital piracy. They said that the Anti-
Piracy Charter they brokered last year among industry and
internet service providers (ISP) to prevent net users from
pirating pop music was bearing fruit. Under the agreement
signed by French net providers and record companies in July
2004, net users who pirate music are sent warnings and face
being cut off if they do not stop the illegal sharing. To
give people an alternative to free pirated tracks, French
music firms have doubled to 600,000 the numbers of
legitimate tunes available to buy and download, as
originally proposed by the charter.

French "CNN" before the end of 2006?

7. (U) After several years of delay and controversy, French
Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres confirmed
earlier this month that France's new international news
channel CFII, would be launched before the end of 2006. As
a first step, the government will soon announce the
establishment of CFII (Chaine Francaise d'Information
Internationale), a part-private/part-public company
initially financed by public capital. The company will be
a joint venture public television group France Television
and private network TF1, France's most popular channel and
part of the Bouygues construction group. The GOF will
provide 65 million Euros in 2006 to give the new network a
starting thrust.

8. (U) Regarded as "essential" to projecting France's
image in the world, the CFII project was first introduced
by President Jacques Chirac in March 2002, to compete with
CNN and the BBC. Its programs will be mostly in French,
but also in English, Arabic and Spanish.


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