Date: 20th December 2000
France has moved to protect local cinemas - by imposing a ban on the sale of popular American films on DVD (digital versatile disk).
The ban, which will go into effect on 1 January (01), will operate during the six months leading up to each film's premiere in France. Critics of the ban say it will prove ineffective, as fans will still be able to order new films on DVD directly from America, long before they appear in French cinemas.
In the past year in France, sales of DVD players tripled and up to 13 million DVDs were sold - a higher take-up of the new video entertainment than in any other European country. The unrestricted sale of DVDs, often before the film reached French screens, was starting to hurt cinema owners, who draw nearly 55 per cent of their revenues from American films.