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EU Court Allows TV Network Earmarks

(CN) - A European member state can require its television networks to earmark funds for European films and television shows, Europe's highest court ruled.

The Union de Television Comerciales Asociadas challenged Spain's rule requiring stations to preserve 5 percent of its revenue for film production. Sixty percent of the earmarked funds must be used for films in which the original language is one of Spain's official languages.

While the Court of Justice recognized that the rule restricts some of the networks' freedom, it ruled that "such a restriction may be justified when it serves overriding reasons relating to the general interest."

"Cultural grounds of the defense of Spanish multilingualism, on which the measure at issue is based, constituted an overriding reason in the public interest," the court added.

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