-Cultural Diversity Awareness-
"I do not defend protectionism, but I do defend the right of any state to promote its culture."
Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Prize winner for Economics
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What is a cultural policy? (protected by the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, UNESCO 2001)
Screening quotas for movies and nationally televised programs or broadcasting requirements for music by national artists.
Financial assistance programs for the performing arts, and for the production, editing and distribution of movies and books, public resources for public radio and television, subsidies for public theatres - this list is long, and no state implements exactly the same policies, fundamentally, each country should have the right to implement the policies it considers appropriate to ensure cultural diversity.
International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity [PDF]
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Article IV: Special Provisions relating to Cinematograph Films
If any contracting party establishes or maintains internal quantitative regulations relating to exposed cinematograph films, such regulations shall take the form of screen quotas which shall conform to the following requirements:
- Screen quotas may require the exhibition of cinematograph films of national origin during a specified minimum proportion of the total screen time actually utilized, over a specified period of not less than one year, in the commercial exhibition of all films of whatever origin, and shall be computed on the basis of screen time per theatre per year or the equivalent thereof;
- With the exception of screen time reserved for films of national origin under a screen quota, screen time including that released by administrative action from screen time reserved for films of national origin, shall not be allocated formally or in effect among sources of supply;
- Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (b) of this Article, any contracting party may maintain screen quotas conforming to the requirements of subparagraph (a) of this Article which reserve a minimum proportion of screen time for films of a specified origin other than that of the contracting party imposing such screen quotas; Provided that no such minimum proportion of screen time shall be increased above the level in effect on April 10, 1947;
- Screen quotas shall be subject to negotiation for their limitation, liberalization or elimination.
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947) World Trade Organisation
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|Country||since||Domestic film minimum||Imports restrictions||Domestic share|
|1 national / 20 imported films||
|Canada||- Canadian programs should cover 60% of the total television broadcast time and 50 percent of the time during evening hours (6pm to 12am) |
- For Direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcast services, more than half of the channels received must show Canadian programs
|20 films / year||
|40 percent of the TV broadcasting must be exclusively of French origin and additional 20 percent must be of EU origin||110 since 1960||
|zero in 1916||
|Italy||- Over 50 percent of the monthly TV transmission time including prime-time programming, is reserved for programs of EU origin |
- “Seat and screen” quotas which require all multiplex movie theatres of more than 1300 seats to reserve 15-20 percent of their seats, distributed over no fewer than three screens, for showing Italian and EU films
|Japan||abolished in 1945||quotas on imports lifted in 1971||
|14 days - Broadcasters are required, through licensing conditions, to devote 70-80 percent of airtime to local programming||
|10% since 1997||
|73 since 2007 - Domestically produced programs must cover a minimum of 50% (nonterrestrial) and 80% (terrestrial) of the broadcasting time - Upper limit for the share of total foreign broadcasting time for any foreign films, animation or popular music, from a single country is kept at 60 percent||Registered companies allowed to produce/import 6<26 / 1989 : foreign prints limited to 12 (abolished in 1994)||
|Taiwan||abolished in 2001||
|20% since 1935 (The Cinematograph Films Act of 1927, repealed in 1960)||
Some countries without Quotas : USA (95% domestic share), Finland (27%), The Philippines (25%)...
Take a look at this World Box Office map and tell me which country is bullying all other countries who earn less and secured a smaller share of their own domestic markets to sell their domestic film production (Answer: USA with a worldwide BO 13 times higher than the next competitor and a domestic share at home of 95% !!!)
Hollywood is pissed off because in France, Japan, South Korea, China or Brazil they own less than 90% of the market, precisely because there are cultural policies in place that protect a minimum share for the local films. Hollywood wouldn't let more than 5% to 8% of foreign films (for the film industries of the entire world), because of cultural isolationism, poor taste and a lame job of the film press and film education in general, yet they have the nerves to slap on the hand of countries that watch Hollywood films with a share of 40-60% already. They think that the commercial mediocrity should contaminate 100% of the world market, no less... no room should ever be left for cultural diversity, let alone for countries to develop a personal, national culture that is not the adolescent dumbness of Hollywood blockbusters.
Cultural exception (French: l’exception culturelle) is a concept introduced by France in General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) negotiations in 1993. Some countries had voiced their concerns during the final negotiations of the Uruguay Round that implementation of the GATT principles on cultural goods and services "would undermine their cultural specificity (and unique status), in favour of their commercial aspects".
The purpose of Cultural exception is to treat cultural goods and services differently than other traded goods and services because of the intrinsic differences of such goods and services. Many countries defend the fact that cultural goods and services "encompass values, identity and meanings that go beyond their strictly commercial value". It notably allowed France to maintain tariffs and quotas to protect its cultural market from other nation's cultural products, most notably American films and television. South Korean policy in favor of its movie industry is another example of how cultural exception is used to protect the audiovisual market.
- Cultural Diversity Awareness (series)
- Foreign friendly audiences / BO 2009 / Admissions per film nationality (USA-EU 2009)
- MPAA not interested in democratized culture
- Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (UNESCO)
- Cinema quotas (Wikipedia)
- World Trade Organisation report on Japan quotas [PDF]
- The Effect of Screen Quotas on the Self-Sufficiency Ratio in Recent Domestic Film Markets (Byoungkwan Lee, Hyuhn-Suhck Bae; 2004) [PDF]
- Parleying Culture Against Trade: Hollywood’s Affairs With Korea’s Screen Quotas (Brian M. Yecies; 2007) [PDF]