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Will watching a football match or a movie on an illegal site soon be impossible? Promised by the government in 2020, the bill “Relating to the regulation and protection of access to cultural works in the digital age” was presented Thursday, April 8, in the Council of Ministers. The text, which initially provided for a vast audiovisual reform, was tightened around 21 articles “Consensual”.

It will be examined in urgent procedure in mid-May in the Senate, and at the end of the summer in the National Assembly. Roselyne Bachelot, who is recovering from a Covid-19 infection, said on Twitter that she will be able to defend it in Parliament. “This text is fundamental for the defense of French creation”, justified the Minister of Culture.

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The bill kicks off the merger of the Superior Audiovisual Council (CSA) and the High Authority for the Distribution of Works and the Protection of Rights on the Internet (Hadopi), which fights the piracy of works audiovisual. The Audiovisual and Digital Communication Regulatory Authority (Arcom) will thus be born. The investigative powers of this new independent regulator will be strengthened. Arcom will be responsible for implementing the main provision of the text: the fight against pirating of cultural and sports content.

Hard time

The Authority will therefore have to put in place a ” blacklist “ sites against which intermediaries (SEO players, advertising …) will have to fight. “One of the objectives is to go through self-regulation and to empower intermediaries”, we explain to the Ministry of Culture. Another measure, in the event that a judge pronounces the blocking or delisting of an illegal site, the decision could then be used against “Mirror sites”, these copies of existing sites. Here too, the Arcom will be at the forefront.

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But it is the sports streaming sites, which abound on the Internet, which have given the government the most difficulty. The problem: the rights holders – television channels, professional league or federation – suffer immediate damage, the site broadcasting the competition live, without the possibility of recourse. In this case, a judge could pronounce an emergency measure and have the counterfeiters blocked for the entire duration of the sports season, whether or not they have been identified upstream or not. The procedure has been requested for a long time by the beneficiaries.

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