Filmindustry professionals gathered last week to present proposals which would helpto regulate the local video on demand (VOD) market and keep piracy in check.

Thememberships of the authors, directors, producers association (ARP), the writersguild (SACD), exhibition watchdog FNCF, and the video publishers union (SEV)along with internet service providers and terrestrial and cable broadcasterspresented a 'work in progress' document outlining five steps key to keeping awatch on this emerging area of the film business.

The mainelements of the proposal are to develop VOD only on secure networks viapayments on a per-film basis rather than in package form, royalties for rightsholders on each download, no advertising for films via VOD except during theperiod in which they can legally be accessed and - importantly as it couldprovide a new investment stream for films - a pre-buy obligation for internetproviders once VOD sales have reached a certain (as-yet undetermined)profitability.

Thewindow for VOD will likely fall at nine months following a theatrical releasefor films which have sold less than 1 million tickets and 12 months for thosewith over one million admissions.

Theproposals follow ARP's annual conference which was held in Beaune in October andwhere officials including culture minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres suggesteda forum be opened so that agreements could be reached as quickly as possible onthe matter of VOD.