French CSA merges with Hadopi and becomes Arcom

by Eric Munch (Observer) posted on 05 January, 2022   (public)

Arcom: the new French regulator redesigned for a better regulation of the online sphere

As of 1st January 2022, the French Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA - media regulator) and the Haute autorité pour la diffusion des oeuvres et la protection des droits sur internet (Hadopi - online copyright authority) have merged, leading to the creation of a new regulator with a broader spectrum of action: the Autorité de régulation de la communication audiovisuelle et numérique (Arcom).


Arcom was created by the law of 25 October 2021 on the regulation and protection of access to cultural works in the digital age (loi du 25 octobre 2021 relative à la régulation et à la protection de l'accès aux œuvres culturelles à l'ère numérique) which came into force on 1 January 2022. In addition to going forward with the CSA’s former missions, such as preserving pluralism, it is designed to provide appropriate answers to the challenges posed by the regulation and systemic supervision of the online sphere and online platforms.

The Arcom Board ("collège") is composed of nine members, appointed by thirds every two years by five different authorities (from the executive, legislative and judiciary) for a single, non-revocable term of six years – with two new appointees, Laurence Pécaut-Rivolier and Denis Rapone, joining the seven who made up the CSA Board, before the creation of  Arcom. 


The internal structure has also been modified to reflect Arcom's extended missions. It notably includes a Directorate for Online platforms ("direction des plateformes en ligne"), tasked – among other things – of creating methods of evaluating a platform’s compliance with the regulation and a newly created Directorate for Creation ("direction de la création") to ensure the sustainability of French and European works through financing obligations - now also encompassing foreign subscription-based VOD services further to Art. 13 (2) of the AVMS Directive - and protecting rights.


As a means to succeed in providing better regulation, the Arcom has been granted a wider array of tools. It notably has:

  • The ability to impose gradual financial sanctions (up to 20 millions euros or 6% of the platform’s global turnover);
  • More means in favour of protecting minors (notably through media literacy actions – designing educational kits, promoting critical-thinking, raising awareness on copyright and a responsible use of Internet and social networks) and against disinformation and hate speech online;
  • Reinforced capabilities against piracy – which used to be one of Hadopi’s key missions – which has already led to the in-house creation of a browser plug-in designed to let the user know if the website they are visiting complies with copyright law.

Source: Arcom


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