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April 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Angered by the announcement that France’s Canal Plus pay-TV channel and the Orange telecom company will have exclusive video access to the red carpet at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Press, and Getty Images made good on their threat to boycott the festival’s announcement this morning (Thursday) of its 2010 lineup. In a joint statement, the four news agencies said that they have not been officially apprised of the restrictions but threatened to boycott the festival altogether if the announced changes are implemented. AFP news director Philippe Massonnet said, “If these restrictions, which we have not been informed of officially, were upheld they would be unacceptable. They would penalize many media subscribers of the agencies the world over.” In its report of the boycott, Reuters observed, “The agencies feel that the fest is a public event and a Canal Plus or Orange exclusivity contract is unfair.” AP’s story quoted Lou Ferrara, the news agency’s managing editor for entertainment, as saying, “We believe that the coverage we provide at the Cannes Film Festival is in the public’s interest and that we shouldn’t be prohibited from broadcasting material from such a large, public event.” The festival did not immediately respond to the news agencies’ complaint.