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French Senate mulls changes to media regulation

The French Senate is currently considering wide-ranging changes to the regulatory regime for audiovisual media in the country.

Under the plan being considered, the power to nominate the chief executives of France’s public media organisations – France Télévisions, Radio France and France Médias Monde – will pass from the French president to media regulator the CSA.

The membership of the CSA will meanwhile be reduced from nine to seven and the rules governing their appointment will be changed. Under the rules being considered, the French president, who has hitherto nominated three members, would only nominate the body’s president.

The presidents of the National Assembly and Senate currently nominate three members each. Under the new rules, the cultural affairs committees of each body would take a role in the choice, which would be subject to approval by a three-fifths majority in each house.

Separately, French culture minister Aurélie Filippetti has confirmed that the government is favourably disposed to the transfer of the duties of the Hadopi, the commission set up to combat internet piracy by implementing the country’s controversial “three strikes” regime, to the CSA. Socialist party senator David Assouline is expected to table an amendment to this effect, a move that could see the timetable for the change brought forward, bypassing discussion of the move by the lower house.

CSA president Olivier Schrameck has urged a rapid transfer of the Hadopi’s powers to prevent a weakening of efforts to combat internet piracy brought about by uncertainty over the future of the regulatory structure.