August 20, 2015
During a debate at the Locarno film festival about Europe’s industry digital future, Quebec Sodec’s president Monique Simard called for a tax on Internet service providers as a way to leverage new sources of financing.
With shrinking budgets for cable companies and the now common habit of consuming content for free and everywhere anchored in younger generations, it is no longer absurd to build a levy with ISP financing.
Regulating ISP is not new. In the early 2000, a similar but more utopian idea was discussed in Europe, without finding supporters. French regulators thought of adding a fee to the Internet subscription and redistribute the shares to the right holders. Today, Orange (former French Telecom) supports content creation as an ISP.
While such a business model was unthinkable years ago, the recent deals between film exhibitors, Film studios and broadcasters that will allow day and date releasing are showing a rapid shift in the way of creating and distributing content.
Once again, the question about creating national and international coalitions against threats like Netflix was raised. However, the diversity in European cultures generally makes difficult to build effective partnerships. Simard’s speech was widely applauded by the European Industry Audience.
Monique Simard also presented a set of recommendation. Among them, she pointed out that the money spent in the distribution and exploitation phases is too small, and elaborate new ways to measure success.
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