Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Europe Day: European film and the information society - Cannes Declaration

Festival de Cannes – 11-22 mai 2005, Cannes, le 17 mai 2005 - 2005/05/17

For the third consecutive year, the Cannes Film Festival teamed up with the European Commission to present Europe Day. At the invitation of Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, eighteen European culture and audiovisual ministers, as well as film industry experts and telecommunication industry executives, met for a morning of discussions on the theme “European film and the information society,” specifically the potential of online film and the economic model for this new form of film distribution. By launching the debate on online film, a powerful film distribution channel and cultural diversity promotion tool, the European Union has provided further proof that it appreciates all European film, declared Ms. Reding, who also noted that “The Internet offers immense opportunities for niche films to serve the cause of cultural diversity, but we must solve the problem of piracy that is inherent to the Internet.”

At the outcome of the meeting, the European culture ministers adopted the Cannes Declaration on downloading films from the Internet, reiterating the need to raise public awareness as to the respect of copyrights. “It is urgently needed that the film industry meet with online providers in order to ensure films are distributed within a legal framework,” states the document. The declaration goes on to say that “there is a big danger of huge revenue losses if the pirating of films continues, as was true for the music industry.” In addition to the need for legal downloading mechanisms, the European culture ministers also consider it necessary to “facilitate the development of the film industry online... and consider the necessary funding to digitalize cinematographic works and thereby render our film heritage accessible.” [05-17]