Aiming to Promote the Usage and Utilization of Broadcast Archives [Part II]

The History of the French Legal System That Supports the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (INA) and Its National Heritage

Published: May 1, 2024

This two-part series reports the latest developments at the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (INA) of France—one of the largest broadcasting and audiovisual archives in the world—as well as the French legal system and elicits insights that could contribute to promoting the usage and utilization of broadcast archives in Japan. With almost 50 years since the establishment of the institute, the second part of the series explores the history of legislation, including the French Broadcasting Act, which supports the activities of INA and highlights the legislators’ determination not to hesitate in changing the law, even forcefully at times, to maintain the balance between INA’s high public nature for preserving and utilizing national heritage and its commercial aspect of being a distributor of audiovisual footage. Since its establishment, INA had been engaged in a fierce “tug-of-war” with public service broadcasters over copyright ownership, which once led to the deterioration of management until the amendment of the Broadcasting Act in 2000 enabled the institute to sign COMs (contracts of objectives and means) with the state government, which stabilized INA’s remit and revenue sources. When rights handling issues for archive utilization became more challenging with the advent of internet society, a “rebuttable presumption of permission” system was introduced in 2006, which allowed INA to significantly reduce the rights handling costs for performers. This resulted in a prolonged court battle against dissatisfied performers, which was settled, however, as the European Court of Justice made a decision to endorse the system in favor of INA. In summarizing this series, the author presents the three aspects of broadcast archives: public goods, broadcasting goods, and commercial goods. Then, by focusing on the broadcast archives’ value as public goods and with a view to expanding the role of the Broadcast Programming Center of Japan, the author makes recommendations for legal amendments in Japan.

The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research

Takashi OTAKA

in Japanese