Culture is future » Financing and economic models

09.23.2011

DEBATES 2011 - Intellectual property - Intellectual property on the international agenda by Laurence Franceschini

Laurence FRANCESCHINI, General Manager of the media and cultural industries

 According to you, what are the major issues related to intellectual property? What are the undertaken actions?

Intellectual property is one of the main themes of the cultural Summit that Frédéric Mitterrand will chair the 17th and 18th of November in Avignon. The summit was wanted by the French President of the Republic alongside of the G8 summit, after which the Heads of State and Government of the countries have unanimously stressed the importance and topicality of the fundamental principles of author right in the digital era.

On the occasion of the Cultural Summit, the Ministry of Culture and Communication will release a study about several major issues of remuneration for the creation in the digital age - because digital is not only changing the means of disseminating culture, it also changes intellectual property,  becoming a new lever for creating and by offering new opportunities for rights management.

In which countries do you see changes (public or private initiatives, legislation, regulations, case law, ...) that could inspire France?

The digital revolution, which makes possible a great spread of expressions and cultures, is beyond states and involves all of them. Its dimension is by definition international. Therefore, as far as digital policy is concerned, strategy is developed not only in reference to practices in other countries but also within the framework of international institutions such as the UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which must be reinvented in a digital environment so that commercial actors in a monopoly situation do not become the unique arbiters of cultural exchanges and that networks benefit diversity. I also think about the works of the Comité des Sages published last January at the European Commission, which provide rules on partnership between public and private actors respectful of national heritage. 

Regarding national good practices, we observe carefully actions which allow the democratization of culture and communication tools, and original forms of public-private partnerships: the initiative for a national digital library in the United States, led by the Library of Harvard, is emblematic. We also have to rethink the physical places of access to culture: regarding this, the initiative of the London Idea Stores, libraries opened late, 7 days a week, in popular neighborhoods, real places to live, to borrow films as well as to find help for a job, is a great example of reinventing places of culture in the digital era. 

Conversely, what are the French initiatives that arouse other countries’ interest? And how are they taken into account by these countries?

Digital policy of France is conducted in cooperation with other countries of the European Union, for example with Spain thinking about the digital book price or  an innovative management of written, audiovisual or museum heritage, where we are at the forefront thanks to the actions of institutions such as the French National Library, the French National Institute of Audiovisual contents and  national museums, but also through the impetus given by the Investissement d’Avenir and an economic environment conducive to the proliferation of start-ups.