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A bill to regulate the activities of youtubers and e-sports children

On YouTube, children's videos can earn money. NICOLAS SIX / THE WORLD

The income-generating activities of youtubers, e-sports (participants in video game competitions) or influencers under the age of 16 could soon be regulated in France. Faced with the legal void, majority MPs were to table a bill on Wednesday, December 4, concerning them. This will then have to be taken up again through parliamentary amendments at the time of the examination of the bill of reform of the audio-visual one, in the first half of 2020.

“We must adapt the law to technological developments and new forms of expression. With regard to child labor, it is wise to recall that, in principle, it is forbidden, including on the Internet, which is not an area of ​​lawlessness “explains Bruno Studer, MP LRM Bas-Rhin, at the initiative of the proposal and also chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Education in the National Assembly.

Read also Kids, little stars of controversial family channels on YouTube

Children employed in modeling or cinema

After several months of exchanges with platforms such as YouTube but also with child protection associations, MEPs want to expand the framework of labor law provisions that concern children of the show to minors exercising on digital platforms. “It's about securing the situation of parents and supervising the activity of these children in the same way as other children employed by modeling agencies or on film shoots”reminds Bruno Studer.

To this day, the legislation of the children of the show concerns in a restrictive way the minors under 16 years old engaged in spectacles, in the cinema, on television or in sound productions, but also the children models or since a modification of 2017, those engaged in “A company or association for the purpose of participating in video game competitions”.

“The subject is quite complex [juridiquement] since these are events happening in the private sphere. “

However, neither the children's commission of the show in Paris, nor that of the Hauts-de-Seine – the bodies that approve the most demanding prior requests among the most sought-after in France – have so far examined children's issues. -sportifs. Especially because they are often not bound by a contract of employment. “We had identified this situation well, but today we do not have specific answers about youtubers and influencers, which is also rather complex because they are events in the private sphere. Entering the private sphere when it comes to claiming to establish an employment relationship, currently defined by a contractual relationship of subordination, is legally difficult., reminds Frank Plouviez departmental director of the social cohesion of Paris, administration which endorses the secretariat of the commission.

Faced with this gap, the MPs of the majority found a parade. In their proposal, what The world consulted, the deputies envisage that the creators of contents will have to submit a declaration to the commission as soon as the activity of the child “Is significant, either because of the time spent, or because of the revenue generated by these videos”, summarizes Bruno Studer. Even if the videographers are parents, whether or not they have set up an entrepreneurial structure. As for current children of the show, the remuneration of these contents (through online advertising for example) will be partially blocked with the Caisse des Depots and Consignations until the majority of the child.

Associate broadcast platforms with effort

The bill also intends to place new responsibilities on the platforms concerning the detection of contentious practices and reporting to the authorities. “These companies capture a portion of the revenues, they must join this effort, as parents”, says the MP at the initiative of the file, which he had not missed the spring of 2018 several French families YouTube channels had been pinned by an association for their lucrative activity featuring their children. And to emphasize at the same time the lack of regulation.

“If this law can secure some players, it's encouraging. “

Justine Atlan, the president of e-Enfance, an association auditioned by parliamentarians, sees in this proposal “A message that goes in the right direction” and a significant interest in the protection of minors in e-sport. “It's a fast-growing sector, with a lot of financial stakes, often paid at the premium. However, it is still often an activity exercised by young people in isolation, sometimes in opposition to their parents. If this law can secure some players, protect them from the pejorative view sometimes focused on this activity by recognizing a professional aspect, it is encouraging, ” She says.

“We believe that new technologies are an important source of opportunity for families and children, but we understand that they can also raise new questions. We are thinking about it and remain at the disposal of the competent authorities and associations in France to determine together the best practices in this field “, answered a spokesperson for YouTube France.

Parliamentarians continue to exchange with the online video giant to find, in the future, an agreement under the aegis of Arcom, regulatory body that should eventually merge the CSA and Hadopi in the framework of the audiovisual reform.

Find our articles on YouTube and kids

The world has published a series of articles on the sometimes problematic links between children and YouTube, to find out what they are looking at on the platform, but also what they create:

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