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Sarkozy to set up national music org

CNM to support French music industry

President Nicolas Sarkozy has confirmed that he will set up the Centre National de la Musique to support the French music industry in the same way that the CNC backs the local film biz.

Sarkozy said his government aims to launch the org by next spring with an annual budget of E145 million ($195 million), which will be financed in large part by taxes collected from Internet service providers, and to a lesser extent by taxes on ticket sales for live events.

The music org would centralize, regulate and distribute existing resources and subsidies provided by various institutions such as the Authors Rights’ Collective Management, and Civil Society of Phonographic Producers, as well as the French Ministry of Culture.

“We are going to set up a system for music that is similar to the system used by the CNC to support cinema,” said Sarkozy at a forum on digital creation in Avignon. “I would like the Internet service providers, which are extremely prosperous and that’s good for them, to contribute to music creation just as many industry players contribute to film creation. The day there are no longer any musicians, filmmakers and writers, what will your generation look for on the Internet?”

The plan has been warmly received by the music biz.

“Considering the difficulties faced by the music sector, which has been weakened by a 60% fall on recorded music, and the lack of substantial contributions, we are favorable, in principle, to the creation of the CNM,” said Bernard Miyet, CEO and chairman of France’s Society of Authors, Composers and Editors of Music. “We are, however, expecting to see details regarding the board’s management and financing before we give our full approval.”

Sarkozy also said the anti-piracy law, Hadopi, will be extended to apply to users of illegal streaming websites.

Sarkozy claimed that Hadopi has caused peer-to-peer piracy to drop by 35% since its inception in June 2009, although the figure has been disputed by numerous French journos.

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