Screen Quotas

US-Korean FTA

Submitted by Sasha Costanza-Chock on April 7, 2006.English | Korean | Media Ownership | Screen Quotas | WTO

Things are really heating up in Korea over the proposed US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA). In the media and cultural sector, one goal of US negotiators is to reduce or eliminate the Korean screen quota system, which specificies that Korean movie theaters have to play Korean made films a certain number of days a year. The system is widely credited with nurturing the Korean mainstream movie industry to the level of popularity it enjoys today. The Coalition for Diversity in Moving Images has a website with information about their activities to defend the screenquota system, and even a flash photo show: http://screenquota.org/home2/default.asp.

UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity: CRIS Statement/ UNESCO Convention sur la diversité culturelle: Communiqué CRIS

The campaign for Communication Rights in the Information Society (CRIS:
www.crisinfo.org) welcomes UNESCO's near-unanimous approval of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions. The Convention is a clear demonstration that governments recognize that culture cannot be reduced to a mere commodity. By endorsing the Convention, governments have shown that they are prepared to take positive steps to support cultural diversity in the age of global cultural industries.

The WTO, the Internet and Trade in Digital Products (flyer wunsch vincent.pdf by Sacha Wunsch-Vincent)

Flyer for a new book on electronic trade and WTO: The rapid development of the Internet has led to a growing potential for electronic trade in digital content like movies, music and software. As a result, there is a need for a global trade framework applicable to such digitally delivered content products. Yet, digital trade is currently not explicitly recognised by the trade rules and obligations of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Report by Garry Neil (INCD) on final round of UNESCO negotiations, 25 May - 5 June 2005

INCD logo

We are only half way through the third and final meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts which is considering the terms of a Convention on cultural diversity. However, the rhythm of the meeting is well established and it is now possible to contemplate the broad parameters of the final outcome, with only a couple of elements remaining under consideration. The meeting may conclude ahead of schedule [...]

UNESCO convention on cultural diversity: key documents (Eng-PreliminaryDraftConv-conf201-2.pdf by UNESCO)

UNESCO logo

Government delegates from over 180 countries approved the final text of the Convention on Cultural Diversity (CCD) at the UNESCO General Assembly in the fall of 2005. The CCD (formally known as the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions) is meant to be an international legal agreement to implement the principle that culture cannot be reduced to a commodity. Concretely, it is meant to allow each country to exclude its cultural policies, including 'audiovisual services' - otherwise known as media - from 'free trade' deals like the WTO.


During the negotiations, progressive NGO networks like the International Network on Cultural Diversity and the campaign for Communication Rights in the Information Society called for broad civil society support for the CCD, but warned that it should not be subordinated to the WTO and should be written to support cultural and media diversity inside countries, not only between them. In addition, they had a good deal of success in lobbying for the elimination of language supporting the current extremist copyright regime, although they failed to insert references to the importance of the public domain, fair use, and the creative commons.


Now that the CCD has been approved by UNESCO, the next step is ratification by each member country.


Key Documents:

  • Final Text of the convention. [en | fr]
  • Comments by the CRIS campaign [
    en | es | fr]
  • Comments by the INCD [word]
  • UNESCO overview of the Convention process
  • Daily reports from the II session of the intergovernmental meeting [Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 8 | 9 | 10| 11| 12 ]
  • US government: April 15 Briefing by the US State Department on their view of the UNESCO convention [download .rtf]
  • Reports from the III (final) session of the intergovernmental meeting: UNESCO report | INCD
  • NOSSA MÍDIA NÃO ESTÁ A VENDA (omn4s_text_pt.rtf by Pablo Ortellado (trad.))

    NOSSA MÍDIA NÃO ESTÁ A VENDA

    "Livre Comércio" vs. Imprensa Livre
    Como consequência do colapso do encontro mundial de comércio da OMC, em
    Cancún, ministros de finanças estão se esforçando para aprovar acordos

    The Economics of Cultural Heritage

    European MPs attempt to influence a new UNESCO convention

    As part of a new series on cultural heritage, Tiscali Europe looks at the political state of play in and around Europe.

    In a recent vote in Strasbourg, MEPs agreed their position on UNESCO's draft international Convention on Cultural Diversity, which is set to beef up global thinking on culture by Autumn 2005. Parliament essentially wants a "binding, standard-setting instrument" for the protection of cultural diversity.

    US State Department public briefing on the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity (US State Dept UNESCO briefing.rtf by Sasha Costanza-Chock and Frannie Wellings)

    Friday, April 15. The briefers were Jane Cowley, Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State with Dana Gioia, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts and Robert Martin, Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services, who were leaders of the negotiating delegation. The briefing took place at The Old Post Office Building, in the President's Council on Arts and Humanities room (Room 520), 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

    Our Media are Not for Sale (quito, spanish (OMN4S_quito_es.pdf)

    'Our Media are Not for Sale!' flyer distributed at Americas Social Forum, Quito. Two sided, bilingual; this is the Spanish side.

    Our Media are Not for Sale (quito, english) (OMN4S_quito_en.pdf)

    'Our Media are Not for Sale!' flyer distributed at Americas Social Forum, Quito. Two sided, bilingual; this is the English side.

    Our Media are Not for Sale (pamphlet outside) (FTAA_outside_final.pdf)

    'Our Media are Not for Sale!' flyer distributed at FTAA Miami Ministerial. Outside of 2 sided flyer, print ready.

    Our Media are Not for Sale (pamphlet inside) (FTAA_inside_final.pdf)

    'Our Media are Not for Sale!' flyer distributed at FTAA Miami Ministerial. Inside of 2 sided flyer, print ready.

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