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post #1 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 00:20 Thread Starter
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France, the US, and the "culture quota"

Article here:
http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/2005...7400110440.htm

Basically UNESCO has adopted a convention which allows the participating countries to put a quota on the import of foreign culture (music, film, etc). This targets in particular the US film industry, i.e. Hollywood. The US has been pushing certain countries with quotas to lower them (to bolster a faltering Hollywood I suppose) but instead France has managed to get 148 countries to sign on a treaty which will enforce quotas world wide. The US voted against it of course, having all of their ammendments turned down.

Countries have been enforcing the % of domestic content in media for years (i.e. in Canada - part of NAFTA - radio stations must play a certain % of Canadian music, magazines must have Canadian content), limiting the % of foreign stuff is a little trickier (though the same really) since countries can complain through the WTO.

Thoughts, opinions?

Do policies like these bolster culture or demean it (since anything domestic, even if it's mediocre, will get playing/viewing/publishing time, the argument goes)? Are they the wrong thing to do or are necessary in a world where big corporations with large marketing budgets can flood any market?

How much of it is just plain ol' antiamericanism?
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post #2 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:00
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A culture ban?

You Europeans and Canadians have finally gone completely mad.

When was the last major French innovation in music?

Blues - American
Jazz - American
R&B/Soul - American
Rock - American, British
Rap - American
Hip-Hop - American

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Last edited by Humbird; October 22nd, 2005 at 03:17.
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post #3 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:22
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how's the situation in the US, on the other hand? I mean, are there any serious numbers of how many non-american cultural products are to be spread in US media? would be interesting to know, although I estimate a tendency towards 0,1 %. (could be completely wrong though)
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post #4 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
Blues - American
Jazz - American
R&B/Soul - American
Rock - American, British
Rap - American
Hip-Hop - American
these seem all african to me
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post #5 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrija PFC
Thoughts, opinions?
What utter nonsense. People keep forgetting that outside culture is imported for one simple reason: demand. So, if the demand exists, why try to limit imports? Simply to preserve culture for which there does not exist enough demand?
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post #6 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanyi
how's the situation in the US, on the other hand? I mean, are there any serious numbers of how many non-american cultural products are to be spread in US media? would be interesting to know, although I estimate a tendency towards 0,1 %. (could be completely wrong though)
You are 100 percent completely wrong. Just in Chicago, we have a huge show from Italy on Pompeii, the Art Institute of Chicago has the world's largest collection of French Impressionist paintings outside of Paris and regularly hosts travelling exhibits from Europe which are often sold out. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is know world wide and features performances from many European musicians. We are now currently hosting performances by the Moscow Ballet. And that's just Chicago.

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post #7 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:33
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for smaller countries, I think this is a must. when coming back home to hungary it is sad to see how all those multiplex cinemas - which mostly show some hollywood trash- took over everywhere and most of those smaller cinemas where they showed all sorts of films have to close down.
like this, hungarian film industry is in the situation it is, a budget of 50,000 € is something like a bigger production.............
in music it's pretty much the same.

bigger countries, like germany or france, don't have these problems, though in germany there is something like a boom for german music and films recently, but I don't know if it has something to do with that quota.
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post #8 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:35
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German movies? Bah. they can even make sex seem boring.

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post #9 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
You are 100 percent completely wrong. Just in Chicago, we have a huge show from Italy on Pompeii, the Art Institute of Chicago has the world's largest collection of French Impressionist paintings outside of Paris and regularly hosts travelling exhibits from Europe which are often sold out. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is know world wide and features performances from many European musicians. We are now currently hosting performances by the Moscow Ballet. And that's just Chicago.
well, I know about such things. but fine arts & co. is aiming on upper-class audience, and it is available anyways. I was referring to those things that is to be consumed by the broad masses (I should have been more expliciit, my fault), i.e. pop music in radios or films in movie theatres. however, I don't think that above mentioned quota is related with museum shows, exhibitions, classical concerts etc., but more or less
deals with pop culture (although I could be completely wrong again) and mass media things.
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post #10 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
German movies? Bah. they can even make sex seem boring.

hehehe, I don`t like them either but that is another thing. they had some good classics, though (fritz lang, f.w. murnau, ernst lubitsch, werner herzog)
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post #11 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:43
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oh, mass media, like the hugely successful Scottish band Franz Ferdinand? Or the hugely successful French movie March of the Penguins? Keep producing quality product and you will be successful in the US market. The problem is when you produce crap and then complain that nobody likes it.

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post #12 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanyi
hehehe, I don`t like them either but that is another thing. they had some good classics, though (fritz lang, f.w. murnau, ernst lubitsch, werner herzog)
The Germans haven't produced a truly original film since the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

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post #13 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
oh, mass media, like the hugely successful Scottish band Franz Ferdinand? Or the hugely successful French movie March of the Penguins? Keep producing quality product and you will be successful in the US market. The problem is when you produce crap and then complain that nobody likes it.

that is O.K, nobody complains here. the other side of the medal is that there is so much U.S. crap (and euro crap as well) being successful here, and I don't know where the demand for it comes from. keep producing low quality products and you will be successful in the european market. maybe some us productiions are made only for the european market.
never heard of that franz ferdinand (the austrian arch duke ??????????) and that french movie (an antarctic documentary???????) btw.
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post #14 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
The Germans haven't produced a truly original film since the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
that's right, werner herzog's aguirre is an exception imo, but it is a south american production to me.
and austrian films are better anyways.
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post #15 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 03:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanyi
that is O.K, nobody complains here. the other side of the medal is that there is so much U.S. crap (and euro crap as well) being successful here, and I don't know where the demand for it comes from. keep producing low quality products and you will be successful in the european market. maybe some us productiions are made only for the european market.
If something is successful that means it has something that people want to see or hear or read. Europrotectionism is a radical response to a problem which should be corrected by developing interesting, meaningful, and entertaining products. But that is difficult, and it takes hard work. It is much easier to blame all problems on Americans and then look smug and intellectual.

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post #16 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 04:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
If something is successful that means it has something that people want to see or hear or read. Europrotectionism is a radical response to a problem which should be corrected by developing interesting, meaningful, and entertaining products. But that is difficult, and it takes hard work. It is much easier to blame all problems on Americans and then look smug and intellectual.
agree. but that wasn't my point anyways. I didn't blame anything on america, maybe I expressed my curiosity in a wrong way. maybe I should have asked, how big is the demand for foreign culture in the u.s.? (one is easily discredited as us-basher here, which I'm not)

another stunning example is a hungarian film of 2003. it was the director's debut, and his producer managed to get him the amazing amount of 5,000 €
investors said, there is no demand for this. still, he made it, and won several prizes on festivals. after all, the film was in the pot for the oscar for the best foreign film. needless to say, he didn't win it, but still, a little miracle. however, it has never been shown in movie theatres outside of festivals but shows your point, yes, it is hard work, and a bit of luck, too.

Last edited by sanyi; October 22nd, 2005 at 04:15.
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post #17 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 04:46 Thread Starter
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I think this is mainly aimed at movies (hollywood), not music.

Calling hollywood movies meaningful, interesting and entertaining...well to me nowadays 90% of them aren't. To most people maybe the last 2 things, but I still contend that 90% of them are not meaningful. European movies tend to be more "meaningful".

Hollywood has a huge marketing apparatus behind it, it can do things film makers in small countries can't. They come from a huge market which means they have a lot of money, they have the benefit of already having the entire world as a potential market (not because they necessarily have the best movies, but because "everyone" speaks English). It's a lot like independent movies vs. hollywood in the US; there are a lot of good ones among the former, but do you hear about them as much as you do about the next multimillion special effects productions no one will remember 2 years from now? The playing field is not level.

Quote:
What utter nonsense. People keep forgetting that outside culture is imported for one simple reason: demand. So, if the demand exists, why try to limit imports? Simply to preserve culture for which there does not exist enough demand?
It is not necessarily about demand. It is about the purchasing power of media companies. In Canada the "canadian content" regulation exists for publishers because many of them are owned by US companies (or are US companies). A US media company can go into a small country, buy out a TV station/publisher/recording company what have you and use it to push its own products. They have the advertising power to make the domestic producers be unheard and unseen almost.

I personally don't think culture should be left out to the market completely (frankly, I think letting the market rule over culture is a disaster), whether we are talking about foreigners or not. A market-based approach appeals to the lowest common denominator and to the public's lowest instincts. I think a clever cultural policy on behalf of the state can be very useful.

Btw this is not a ban, but a limit.
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post #18 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 04:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
A culture ban?

You Europeans and Canadians have finally gone completely mad.

When was the last major French innovation in music?

Blues - American
Jazz - American
R&B/Soul - American
Rock - American, British
Rap - American
Hip-Hop - American
Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
German movies? Bah. they can even make sex seem boring.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
oh, mass media, like the hugely successful Scottish band Franz Ferdinand? Or the hugely successful French movie March of the Penguins?
It's a shame that even when you're actually right you embarass yourself by turning to the extremes. I'm not sure what your tastes are, but there are plenty of good European stuff that stand out. And stand out in the sense that even someone like you should have heard about them. We're not talking about quality here, but quantity.

The quota rule is ridiculus, obviously.

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Last edited by Boyo; October 22nd, 2005 at 15:23. Reason: unnecessary
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post #19 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 06:00
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I agree with this quota completely. In fact, I think we should pass laws that ban exporting culture altogether - let's keep the state of the art special effects, brainless fun, but meaningless and not thought-provoking movies here and let the greek geeks and the heroin addicted artsy homosexuals keep their meaningful and thought-engaging, queer-angled close ups of badly trimmed nostrils in France and Greece.

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post #20 of 84 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2005, 06:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrija PFC
I think this is mainly aimed at movies (hollywood), not music.


Hollywood has a huge marketing apparatus behind it, it can do things film makers in small countries can't. They come from a huge market which means they have a lot of money, they have the benefit of already having the entire world as a potential market (not because they necessarily have the best movies, but because "everyone" speaks English). It's a lot like independent movies vs. hollywood in the US; there are a lot of good ones among the former, but do you hear about them as much as you do about the next multimillion special effects productions no one will remember 2 years from now? The playing field is not level.



It is not necessarily about demand. It is about the purchasing power of media companies. In Canada the "canadian content" regulation exists for publishers because many of them are owned by US companies (or are US companies). A US media company can go into a small country, buy out a TV station/publisher/recording company what have you and use it to push its own products. They have the advertising power to make the domestic producers be unheard and unseen almost.

I personally don't think culture should be left out to the market completely (frankly, I think letting the market rule over culture is a disaster), whether we are talking about foreigners or not. A market-based approach appeals to the lowest common denominator and to the public's lowest instincts. I think a clever cultural policy on behalf of the state can be very useful.

Btw this is not a ban, but a limit.

the music quota thing is an older invention. in france and germany, I think, it exists a couple of years already. with movies, this seems to be new. while such a quota is nonsense, there has to be subvention for culture somehow, especially in smaller and poorer countries. germany, france and britain wouldn't need that anyway, their music and film market
is doing well. and it has nothing to do with euro protection or anti-americanism, the smaller countries have to protect themselves somehow against french, german and british trash as well.

that demand thingy is very problematic with culture. it is created by the media in t6he first place. once a radio statiobn plays a record, and some people like it, there is demand, if they don't play it, nobody will have demand for the unknown. with film industry it is even more complex. once a producer decides if there is demand or not, then he gives mon3ey for it or not. there can not be demand for a film a priori, when he is not even produced yet. there might be demand, but we will never know. or the distributors who dfecide which movie goes to the multiplexes where they can reach a broad audience. once it is shown in a big theatre, big marketing behind it, and yet there is demand.
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