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France's TV police target YouTube and iTunes

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France's TV police target YouTube and iTunes
The French TV regulator proposes new measures which would mean that video-sharing websites and downloading services would have to abide by French law. Photo: Rego - d4u.hu/Flickr
09:17 CET+01:00
The body that regulates French TV has asked the government to grant it power to keep tabs on popular video-sharing websites such as YouTube, Dailymotion and online download stores such as Apple's iTunes, and make them contribute financially to the French culture industry.

France's TV police the Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel (CSA) are seeking a new law to allow them to regulate video sharing web sites and online music and app stores in the same way they do mainstream TV channels.

The watchdog made its case for tightening legislation in a 55-page report that was handed to French Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault this week.

CSA is proposing new measures which would mean that video-sharing websites and downloading services would have to abide by French laws.

The measures would affect video-sharing websites such as YouTube and Dailymotion as well as permanent downloading services such as iTunes, the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live, according to L'Express newspaper.

“More and more companies and publishers are offering audiovisual content on video-sharing websites,” the report read.

“This is notably the case with Dailymotion, where every holder can open an 'official user' account to share their catalogue, and also on YouTube," it added.

"The CSA therefore requires a change in legislation in order to incorporate such distributors under the French law," the report adds.

CSA wants to carry out a study to determine how much revenue is earned through the content that mainstream TV channels are uploading to sites like YouTube.

If it exceeds €10,million then YouTube and the others will have to contribute financially to the French culture industry, CSA demands, as well as be forced to stick to the quotas over the number of European productions broadcast, that currently restrict what French TV channels can show.

The regulator's report has sparked concern at ASIC, the French Association of Internet Community Services, whose members include Dailymotion.

“We are surprised to hear of such a position, far removed from the exchanges that we’ve had with the new team [at CSA]," said Giuseppe De Martino, ASIC's Secretary General.

If CSA gets its way, distributors will be obliged to propose content “in equitable, reasonable and non-discriminatory conditions”. This particular measure will target application stores such as AppStore, and Google Play which offer on-demand video services such as CanalPlay and TF1 Video on smartphones and tablets.

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