Protectionism in the entertainment products and film industries

Measures affecting the importing of films, such as licensing requirements or import quotas, apply in many developed and developing countries. Screen quotas require cinemas and television studios to allocate a certain proportion of their screen time to the showing of domestic films. A further measure which impedes the import of films can be the requirement that prohibits foreign films from being dubbed into the local language. Governments may also impose higher admission taxes and other levies on foreign than on domestic films, and they may require all films to be imported and distributed through a public distribution organization which has a monopoly position. Such centralization of purchase and distribution is found particularly in developing countries.
A group of French movie personalities protested in the European Parliament in 1993 in support of France's stand to protect audiovisual trade from a future GATT accord. They argued that exposing Europe's vulnerable film industry to unrestrained competition from the USA would be a cultural and financial disaster. Currently the French film industry receives $312.8 million in annual support, which would be outlawed if the new GATT trade rules were applied to the audiovisual sector.
(D) Detailed problems