IGF 2021 Launch / Award Event #51 A Vision for the Internet from the Professional Audiovisual Content Sector

Friday, 10th December, 2021 (11:00 UTC) - Friday, 10th December, 2021 (11:30 UTC)
Conference Room 7

International Federation of Film Producers Associations [FIAPF]
Bertrand Moullier, International Federation of Film Producers Associations [FIAPF], WEOG, Private Sector


Bertrand Moullier, Senior Advisor International Affairs, International Federation of Film Producers Associations [FIAPF], WEOG, Private Sector

Onsite Moderator
Benoît Ginisty
Online Moderator

Alvise Giacon


Dana Pohl


A straight presentation of a suite of ideas for Internet regulation. Participants will be encouraged to respond and comment online through the organisers' website (FIAPF).

Duration (minutes)



In this short session (20 m), a single speaker, Bertrand Moullier, from the International Federation of Film Producers Associations [FIAPF] will present and discuss key ideas from the global professional film and TV/streamer production sector regarding best practice in Internet regulation that can favour economic and social inclusion. This statement will consider in particular the increasing level of integration between the Internet infrastructure and services on the one hand, and the professional audiovisual content on the other. It will look at how good regulatory principles combined with key incentives may effect transparent and robust business practice that will result in the audiovisual sector fully playing its role as a driver of global and local demand for Internet connectivity and in the Internet infrastructure playing its full part in providing new opportunities for the financing and licensing of diverse content, to satisfy citizens needs for information, education and entertainment the world over.

In view of the short format and the length of time necessary to present key ideas, it if not proposed to make this particular session interactive. This session will for participants comfortable with hearing a presentation regarding the views of a professional sector regarding the Internet and its regulatory issues. The organisers will also supply online tools for further interaction with our sector on the issues, both during IGF and beyond, so that a productive dialogue may take root.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Incentives for Internet infrastructure growth should be deployed in parallel with incentives for local audiovisial content production as a key driver for Internet uptake by consumers

A well-regulated Internet entails the protection of trust, safety and security for all users. Active copyright protection online participates in delivering on those core principles and should remain a policy priority

Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

This session had a single speaker, audiovisual industry expert Bertrand Moullier, delivering a statement of Vision for the Internet from the professional audiovisial production sector worldwide, on behalf of the International Federation of Film Producers Associations [FIAPF].

After briefly describing the economic and creative parameters audiovisual content producers operate under, Mr Moullier discussed the six core principles and policy priorities that FIAPF, wish to see discussed at future IGFs and given serious consideration by all UN Members with a stake in the future of the Internet and the content made available therein.

  1. Internet growth and sustainable audiovisual production are conjoined factors – we need joined-up policies to reflect this fact

It is an established fact that – everywhere in the world – people’s appetite for audiovisual works, be they factual or fiction, be they entertainment or education or both, drives the demand for Internet connections. The creative producers and storytellers who take the huge creative and business risks of audiovisual content production, need to be active participants in the development of the Internet globally and in the expansion of its social and cultural impact. We want all stakeholders in the global Internet to include us in the formulation of meaningful governance principles and policies.

The fact that audiovisual content made by the professional industry is a strategic driver for Internet growth is still only very poorly reflected in local and international policies and regulations. There is a considerable lack of joined-up policies that ally stimulus measures for Internet connectivity with the incentivising of sustainable domestic audiovisual content production. It is as if the two existed in separate silos.

We urge governments and the multi-lateral system to consider the need for integrating and combining incentives for Internet growth with incentives for the development of sustainable local audiovisual content production. ‘Sustainable’ in this instance refers to the ability for content producers to make a career out of making and disseminating works that are culturally, linguistically and socially relevant to local cultures.

2) The need for universal Broadband

Now, Ubiquitous connectivity and quality connectivity are shared goals for all stakeholders at IGF. The audiovisual production sector  unreservedly supports the IGF goal of connectivity for all people everywhere. Improved and expanded connectivity translate into growing opportunities for producers and their creative and distribution partners to reach new users and to satisfy the runaway demand for quality culture, entertainment and education.

3) Safety and Security Online

This topic has been a salient issue at this, as well as past IGF annual editions: Consumers, businesses and governments must trust that their safety and security are protected online for the Internet economy to continue to grow and for its social dividends to pay off. 

IP protection is an essential part of users’ safety and security. It is a fallacy to suggest that copyright and other IP rights are for the privileged few:  these laws and regulations protect all creations of the spirit, including audiovisual works, everywhere; they protect small companies as well as large conglomerates and enable smaller audiovisual entrepreneurs to convert their and their teams’ talent and hard work into creative assets that can sustain themand the jobs they have created.

But IP laws are only as effective as those who use them: we call on governments and the UN to place more emphasis on training and education for people in the creative industries and, in particular, the audiovisual sector:

4) Freedom of expression

Free expression is critical to the creative industries as vehicles for the cultural conversation and its broader implications in the fields of social life and political debate. However, we also recognize the precept that, of necessity, the right to free expression is not absolute.  There are long standing limitations on expression where it impinges on the rights of others – e.g. hate speech or incitation to racial violence - and these limitations need to be exercised consistently with international standards. Similarly, we oppose any Internet service justifying inaction in the face of IP rights violation, by instrumentalizing – or hiding behind – a spurious freedom of expression defense.

  1. The Internet is not the only future for audiovisual distribution – we need a diversity of media and modes of consumption

Governments and the multi-lateral system should be wary of considering that the future of the audiovisual economy is necessarily destined to be entirely online. Audiovisual content production is inherently risky, requiring considerable upfront investment and sunk costs, with very little possibility of forecasting revenue from the exploitation of the rights in the finished film or audiovisual content. In order to exist and to thrive as a cultural sector, we need a diversity of production formats and  distribution opportunities. This diversity benefit consumers too, because they then have a greater choice of media and platforms with a range of options and pricing points, compatible with the variations in spending power. This means, for instance, that public policies and incentives should also be focused on the long-term viability of audiovisual media other than online:  linear broadcast TV, is proving extraordinarily resilient. Cinemas also – and despite the damaging hiatus caused by the COVID emergency – remain a popular form of consumption of single audiovisual works and the important launch market for many films, also to build awareness among audiences for future online exploitation on legal offers. 

6) The need for sound Internet Governance Structures

The ultimate objective behind incentivizing and governing the Internet should be to promote a safe and secure global communications’ environment based on the rule of law, transparency and accountability.

FIAPF and its constituent Members are committed to open, transparent multi-stakeholder processes to meet this goal. IGF can – and already does – play an important part in such a process.  We believe that to be successful all members of the Internet community must be meaningfully involved in fostering rights and responsibilities, community norms and the protection of core values such as respect for the consumer, connectivity for all, security.

IGF support to the inclusion of the audiovisual sector and other creative industries is encouraging and it should be expanded in years to come.