Italy To Introduce Distribution Law After Netflix Row; Pathé Suffers $21.5M Internet Scam — Global Briefs

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Italy is enacting new legislation to ensure that movies are first seen in cinemas. This follows a row earlier this fall when Netflix film Sulla Mia Pelle played at Venice before going out day-and-date, a move which led to the resignation of the head of Italy’s distribution association. The legal move solidifies a previous industry standard that films have a theatrical window of 105 days. Exceptions will be made for limited releases or under-performing Italian movies. Italian Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli said, “I am going to sign the decree that regulates the windows on the basis that films will have to be first distributed in theaters and after this on all platforms. I think it’s important to ensure that those who run a cinema are reassured in being able to program films without these being available simultaneously on other platforms.” The move has been welcomed by Italy’s cinema bodies including ANEC, ANEM, ACEC and FICE.

French indie giant Pathé was the subject of a $21.5 million (€19 million) sting earlier this year. According to court documents released late last week in relation to an unfair dismissal suit, the firm’s Dutch division fell foul of the scam, which led to executives being fired. The scam took place when fraudulent emails were sent from the hacked account of former Pathé CEO Marc Lacan to Pathé Netherlands’ former CEO and managing director Dertje Meijer, demanding the transfer of large sums of money in order to acquire a company in Dubai. In the court documents, Pathé states it was “the target of a professional group of con men, who had used refined communication techniques to win the trust of several Pathé employees.” The scam led to the dismissal of Meijer and Edwin Slutter, Pathe Netherlands’ former financial director. However, the latter has filed for wrongful dismissal. Lacan stepped down from the CEO’s job at Pathé’s French headquarters in September; the conditions of his exit are unknown. The extent of Pathé’s loss remains unclear and the firm was unavailable for comment.

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