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Reuters boycotts Cannes film festival launch

Reuters is to boycott Thursday's press launch of the Cannes film festival in a dispute over restrictions to media coverage.

Reuters, Agence France-Presse and Getty Images have agreed to boycott the launch, considered critical to gaining worldwide profile for the event as the film line-up is revealed. Hundreds of media clients rely on feeds from the agencies.

News agencies are protesting against restrictions on coverage, access and usage of video linked to a contract between the Cannes film festival and French broadcaster Canal Plus and pay-TV service Orange.

"Reuters will not cover the Cannes press conference tomorrow because of the unfair restrictions being placed on coverage," said Christoph Pleitgen, global head of news agency for Thomson Reuters, pictured. "We invite the rights holders and organisers to clearly spell out the suggested terms and look forward to a constructive discussion."

The festival runs from 12 to 23 May. The news agencies have told clients they may be forced to suspend their presence at the festival altogether if agreement cannot be reached. ■

The Guardian