Thursday, June 9, 2011

"When the law gets caught on the Web"

The controversy has developed on false premises. But it has one merit: that of allowing a debate. What are the facts? Seized by a television channel, the High Council of Audiovisual (CSA) said that to refer viewers to a social network named a form of surreptitious advertising. His analysis was imposed by a 1992 decree regulating advertising on television.

If the CSA had taken a contrary position, any other social network had obtained the conviction by the State Council. This is indisputable. Many people of good faith have been misled by hasty assertions of some who had not bothered to read what the CSA had written, or by some other ironic about in search of sarcasm.

Leaving aside the accusations of ignorance or backwardness uttered here or there, even the unexpected criticism of an "old background of anti-Americanism" is the common lot of all regulatory institution. The CSA did "not" to pronounce the word "Facebook" or "Twitter" on radio and television, as some have said or written with a great butt? Ridiculous accusation.

He "banned" in a string of such talk in an informative social network, for example to indicate how new it was received? Of course not. Has it only forbids same string to refer the public to the social network where she has a page or an account? No, as in all other cases before it, only one advertisement said could justify the initiation of proceedings against the chain.

And we do not take advantage of what Twitter would be admitted in a dictionary! It's the same for Coca-Cola, which does not allow the media to advertise for illegal liquor. Flammable The CSA continues to assert that television and the Internet are not competitors, contrary to what many claim to Cassandra, but complementary.

Increasingly, the chains are using the Web as an extension of the distribution of their programs: they precede, accompany or follow this release, developing interactivity between themselves and the public as among the public itself. The Web is inherently flammable material. After moments of excitement or exaltation, we need every surfer back to the facts.

The reality is that if the regulation of advertising is severe, it is to protect the public. Even though access is free, social networks are trademarks used by companies who derive profits, thanks to advertising resources, whose volume is related to the attendance of the network. Certainly, Facebook and Twitter are public spaces for exchange and free expression, but they are also commercial spaces.

There is competition, global or segmented, like Orkut, Friendster, Zynga, Linkedin, and tomorrow? Empires come and go on the Internet. New champions can arise at any time and we need to protect against monopolies the flame of competition they were the heart of their followers ... The reality is also a text dating back nearly twenty years could not anticipate technological revolutions and social, that may seem now shifted relative to our time.

These events can serve as a lesson! The role of CSA is to enforce the law. If he failed to do so, it would be in violation. The time seems ripe for the government and Parliament to inquire with agencies and professionals: the regulation of advertising on broadcast media, including the citation of products, services or brands, it does not evolve in the light of changes affecting technology and society? Article published in the edition of 10.06.11

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