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An impermeable film (such as oil) can be used to prevent gas entrainment by the free surface of a liquid. This film, lying on the liquid, is modeled as a continuous viscoelastic two‐dimensional medium. Cohesion and sufficient thickness of this medium are necessary to ensure effective protection. The authors study the evolution of the system in the case of a progressive surface wave of low amplitude. A theory of linearized disturbances is used to obtain the propagation equation of the wave. The solution of this equation gives the film thickness and the surface tension during the movement and leads to determination of the protection conditions of the liquid.