Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

France: "Act 2 of the Cultural Exception"

In a press release dated September 6, 2012, France’s Ministry of Culture and Communication summarized the major points of what is being called the "Act 2 of the Cultural Exception" in France.

On July 18, French minister of Culture and Communication Aurélie Filippetti, named Pierre Lescure, former Canal+ CEO and director of Théâtre Marigny, to lead a mission on digital content and cultural policy in the digital age.

In her July 18 presentation to the French cabinet, Ms. Filippetti mentioned, among other issues, that:

"Since the 1980s, France has relied on […] a coherent system to further the creation, production, distribution, and dissemination of literary, film, and audiovisual works. The mechanisms put in place to defend the ‘cultural exception’ have enabled [France] to maintain a quality cultural output that is both varied, and accessible.

Today, digital innovation is profoundly transforming cultural content and the ways that creative people and industries—and content users—interact. These changes mean that we must adapt the various instruments set up to protect the cultural exception. That is the motivation driving this ‘second act’."

To prepare "Act 2 of the cultural exception," Pierre Lescure was tasked with forming a group to assess digital content and cultural policy in the digital era. Its mission will be broad, spanning film, audiovisual, music, books, media, photography, and video games. In going about its work, the task force will remain mindful of the European and international dimensions of the issues, especially as it shares its findings and recommendations with France’s EU partners.

More specifically, the mission will be carried out in three phases:

  • July to September: Current conditions will be analyzed and issues reviewed.
  • October to December: Representatives from throughout the cultural sector will participate in hearings and discussions, as will researchers. Regional discussions will be held and special attention paid to Internet usage, especially among young people.
  • January to March 2013: A summary of findings, including hearings, will be prepared and recommendations developed.

A website launched September 6 will allow the public and all involved parties to monitor and contribute to task force efforts.

In addition, a steering committee will monitor task force initiatives, review progress reports and guidelines, and receive a final report. This committee consists of the ministers of Culture and Communication; Economy and Finance; Industrial Recovery; and Small and Medium Enterprises, Innovation, and the Digital Economy.