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U.S., EU and the French cultural “red line”


Treccani encyclopaedia defines “cultural exception” the “exception to the principle of free market, aimed at protecting the identity and specificity of a culture from the risk of a gradual convergence towards a single cultural model.”

Recently this became a hot topic, as all 27 European countries decided unanimously to exclude the audiovisual sector from the new free-trade treaty with the United States (strongly desired by President Obama) overcoming the resistance of the states less favourable to the protection of cultural differences.

So Paris won (supported by all European countries, including Italy), allowing to protect European cultural industry in an intelligent way, avoiding the so-called unique cinema system.

The principle and practice of cultural exception means, among other things, public investments supporting European production, mandatory quotas of European films in cinemas and on television, taxation of non-European films and controlled books prices.

In this way incentives will help the development of European talents competing with American hegemony in the sector.
Meanwhile, France decided to follow a very aggressive politic to protect authors of books and movies and music composers: in fact smart phones and tablets manufacturers should pay a tax of 1%; the same for internet giants, with 200/260 million Euros drawn from taxes and used to support authors, composers, actors, musicians and writers in France.

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Posted in A world of Cultures, Featured