On June 23 2016 the UK public voted to leave the European Union. Although 'Brexit' will not have immediate effect, at some point the United Kingdom will no longer be subject to EU law. EU directives and regulations will thus no longer bind the UK legislature, resulting in new differences in law between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The United Kingdom will also no longer be considered an EU territory, which will have numerous consequences for EU companies and individuals dealing with UK nationals. The following implications under French law are worth noting.

Fair compensation

In France, fair compensation is due to performers and producers for public representations and broadcasts of phonograms fixed in an EU member state. Following Brexit, this remuneration could be challenged for phonograms fixed in the United Kingdom, since the United Kingdom will no longer be an EU member state. However, the French provision reserves the application of international conventions.

France and the United Kingdom are both signatories to the Rome Convention of October 26 1961, which the United Kingdom ratified in 1963 and France subsequently ratified in 1987. The convention provides for fair compensation for radio broadcasts and public representations (Article 12), and also provides that each contracting state shall grant national treatment to performers and producers of phonograms if the performance or first fixation of the phonogram takes place in another contracting state (Article 4).

In view of this, UK performers and recording companies should still be entitled to the moneys collected for UK phonograms which are broadcast or publicly represented in France.

Quotas in audiovisual regulations

The French Media Law of September 30 1986, together with the decrees of 2010, imposes obligations on television broadcasters and audiovisual media services providers regarding the promotion and financing of French and EU works. The regime specifies investment quotas and local content carriage requirements regarding EU audiovisual works and films.

Following Brexit, works produced in the United Kingdom will not qualify as EU works and will therefore be excluded from broadcasters' quotas. The obligation to fulfil these quotas could lead broadcasters to rethink their production schemes or even redirect some investments to French productions.

Agent activity

As regards live entertainment, the fact that UK nationals will no longer be EU citizens will introduce a need to follow administrative procedures to obtain visas for UK artists to perform in France. This is already an issue for agents working with non-EU artists; it will likewise extend to UK artists post-Brexit.

UK-based model agencies will also face additional hurdle. Model agencies which are established in a member state of either the European Union or the European Economic Area may exercise their activities in France on an irregular basis without a French licence. However, post-Brexit, they will need to obtain a licence – even for irregular secondment activities – and obtain a financial guarantee in France.

Artistic agents established in the United Kingdom will still be able to represent French artists, given that such activities have not needed a licence since 2011 or registration since January 1 2016.

For further information on this topic please contact Loïc Fouquet at Nomos by telephone (+33 01 43 18 55 00) or email (lfouquet@nomosparis.com). The Nomos website can be accessed at www.nomosparis.com.

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