Code on commercial exploitation of  image of children under sixteen on Internet-France

Code on the commercial exploitation of the image of children under the age of sixteen on online platforms – France

A Law to supervise in France on the ‘ operating business of ‘ Image of ‘ child of less than sixteen on platforms in line.

Scheme of the Law

For several years, videos featuring children at different times in their lives have been published on video-sharing platforms such as YouTube. The children are thus brought to be filmed within the framework of leisure activities, challenges and tutorials or in the process of testing, tasting or unpacking various products.

In France and abroad, these videos are the object of great popularity, especially among the youngest. A real social issue, this new phenomenon is also a significant economic and financial issue, whether for the families of children, who sometimes derive a significant income from it, or for brands, who see these videos as a new advertising opportunity.

This type of video, produced by parents and featuring minors, is not currently subject to any legal framework. The legislator must therefore fill this legal void in order to best protect these children.

Indeed, unlike the children of the show, the schedules and the duration of the shooting of these children are not framed by labor law. This situation is all the more worrying as some of these channels can publish up to several videos per week. This situation requires the children to devote a significant amount of time to it in total, in particular because of the shots that may be redone. Likewise, the children of the channels sometimes take part in additional promotional activities, such as signing autographs with their fans, advertising spots for advertisers or photoshoots, de facto increasing the weight of their involvement in these activities.

Families most often consider these activities to be purely leisure and entertainment for their children. But once a remuneration, a link of subordination and a work performance are clearly established, it nevertheless appears that these activities go beyond the strict framework of leisure and can be analyzed as disguised work. It is therefore necessary to ensure that these activities are qualified as such so that the protective rules laid down by the labor code can be applied to children.

In particular, it is necessary to protect these children from a financial point of view. Sharing these videos now generates significant income for some videographers. Indeed, these videos are generally the support of advertisements, whether it is advertising clippings, advertising inserts superimposed on the image or product placements. Some videographers also sell derivative products.

However, these different incomes are not subject to any framework other than that provided for by general social and fiscal law. As the situation of these children does not fall under the status of children of the spectacle, the income generated cannot be deposited, until the child reaches the age of majority, in an account of the Caisse des Dépôts, and are collected directly by the holders. chains and therefore, generally, parents. It is therefore necessary for the legislator to ensure a protective status for these children.

Finally, the law must respond to the consequences of such media exposure on the psychological development of these children. Beyond the impact that celebrity can have on the psychological development of these children, the risks of cyber-harassment, a common phenomenon on video-sharing platforms, are naturally increased. As soon as these children grow up and will have to fully assume the distribution of these videos in the years to come, the rights to image and to be forgotten must be allowed and recognized. A pedagogical work is necessary with the parents, as with the people viewing these videos.

In an entirely digital world, such a breakthrough cannot be achieved without the help of digital platforms. It is therefore necessary, as part of a global trend, to empower them in order to initiate work on the content they cover, to better guide users and alert.

Therefore, it is not proposed to prohibit this practice or to marginalize it, but rather to propose, through this bill, a legal framework for these children who do not currently benefit from any legal protection.

The Article 1 st supervises the situations in which the activity of the child should be regarded as a work by applying today planned protectionist system for children doing modeling. Thus, individual authorization or prefectural approval will be necessary to authorize the work of a minor under the age of sixteen as part of a production intended for video-sharing platforms.

The Article 2 provides for the immediate withdrawal by the platforms of videos available to the public in breach of the obligation of individual authorization or approval.

The Article tends to provide a framework for the distribution of the image of a child on the platforms for sharing videos where such activity is not part of labor law. In particular, a declaration must be made to the administrative authority as soon as the duration or the number of videos exceeds a threshold fixed by decree in the Council of State or the activity generates significant income. In these cases, a regime similar to that provided for children of the show may be applied. Thus, their working hours will be regulated and part of their remuneration will be paid into an account of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, until the child reaches the age of majority.

The Article 4 seeks to empower video sharing platforms. In particular, they should allow users to identify videos showing children under the age of sixteen and regularly inform them of the laws applicable in this area and of the risks associated with the dissemination of a child’s image. under the age of sixteen. Above all, they will have the obligation, when they derive direct income from content featuring a minor, to transmit the information to the administrative authority, which is responsible for the latter to identify potentially problematic situations and respond to them. by existing legal means.

The Article 5 tends to create a genuine right to digital oblivion for children whose image is broadcast on these platforms, ensuring mandatory withdraw those images when the minor requests it.

The Article 6 seeks to punish the platform operators who do not respect the obligations of reporting, information and content removal arising from the foregoing.

Statute of France-December 17, 2019.

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