OBSERVATIONS ON THE ISSUES PAPERS RELATING TO THE TVWF DIRECTIVE (TELEVISION WITHOUT FRONTIERS) FOR THE CONFERENCE ON AUDIO-VISUAL COMMUNICATION DUE TO TAKE PLACE IN LIVERPOOL FROM 20 TO 22 SEPTEMBER 2005.
The document which follows is
organised in accordance with the following
1) Presentation of Certil
2) Modernisation of the legislation on audio-visual content:
field of application
3) Right to information and right to short extracts
4) Advertising communications
5) Protection of minors and human dignity, right of reply
6) Media pluralism
As requested, the observations have been drawn up separately for each issues paper submitted for public consultation.
1. PRESENTATION OF CERTIL
CERTIL is the European Confederation for Independent and Local Radios and Televisions .
The Confederation was constituted in Brussels and has its headquarters there at 30, Avenue Marnix.
The objectives of CERTIL are, among others:
1. To defend freedom of audio-visual communication;
2. To promote close-range audio-visual communication and to strive for the adoption of technical, economic and professional rules that are favourable to enterprises exploiting close-range presentation methods;
3. To support relations and intercultural exchanges between members and the formulation of common strategies;
4. To support the exchange of technical know-how and access to new technologies;
5. To act as a link between the members and European institutional environments and international organisations.
The President of CERTIL is Marco Rossignoli (Coordinator of the Italian association AERANTI-CORALLO).
The Vice-President of CERTIL is Philippe Gault (President of the French association SIRTI).
The Secretary General and Treasurer of CERTIL is Filippo Lombardi (President of the Swiss association TELESUISSE).
2. MODERNISATION OF THE REGULATIONS ON AUDIO-VISUAL CONTENT: FIELD OF APPLICATION
(Rules applicable to Audiovisual Content Services)
CERTIL takes a positive view of the creation of a general framework covering any form of electronic transmission with audio-visual content, with the provision of specific rules for the television sector.
In this context CERTIL considers it appropriate that non-linear services be defined as services on demand for which the users are able to choose the content at any time, independently of the modalities of transmission.
Such services, however, if distributed across television platforms, will have to be subject to specific rules prescribed for the sector, with particular regard to anti-trust regulations.
CERTIL furthermore believes that radio broadcasting must maintain its own autonomy with respect to other technologies, and that it must not therefore be included in the scope of application of the new directive which is to be issued.
3. RIGHT TO INFORMATION AND RIGHT TO SHORT EXTRACTS
(Rights to information and right to short reporting)
CERTIL considers it very important that, for the purposes of and within the limits of the exercise of the right of reporting, the new directive should guarantee the capture and distribution of images and sound and information material regarding all newsworthy events in current affairs, sports, show business, culture and mores.
It is therefore necessary to lay down a set of rules to reconcile the position of the holders of rights to the transmission of events, with the right of television broadcasters to inform and with the rights of television viewers to be informed.
In particular, it will be necessary to establish the maximum duration of transmission of excerpts / short pieces on newsworthy events.
4. ADVERTISING COMMUNICATIONS
On the subject of advertising communications, CERTIL considers that:
- regarding forms of advertising transmitted following an individual request (for example, on the supposition of interactive advertising), the rules laid down for the protection of television viewers may ensure a lower level of protection, compared with what is prescribed for the dissemination of advertising contained in programmes.
- regarding new advertising techniques such as “split screen”, it is not possible (for obvious reasons connected with the modalities of broadcasting of this form of advertising communication) to apply the principle of the separation between commercial communication and television programme, and therefore for this kind of advertising the one necessity will be to ensure clear recognisability;
- member states of the EU should be able to keep the derogations from the overcrowding limits for the transmission of advertising and telesales laid down for television stations whose transmissions do not exceed the territory of the member state.
5. PROTECTION OF MINORS AND HUMAN DIGNITY, RIGHT OF REPLY
(Protection of Minors and Human Dignity, Right of Reply)
CERTIL considers it important that the rules for the protection of minors and human dignity and on the right of reply currently prescribed by the TVWF directive (Articles 22, 22 bis and 23) should be extended to cover all non-linear audio-visual services.
6. MEDIA PLURALISM
CERTIL considers that a specific Community intervention is necessary to protect pluralism in the media.
The lack of regulation at European level in fact favours oligopolistic concentration of the television market and of the corresponding advertising income, with consequent abuse of dominant position and obvious damage to pluralism.