Archive for May, 2021

European Copyright Directive

26th May 2021

We’re not going to blame you if the transposition of the European Copyright Directive (ECD) has not been at the top of your agenda lately. Nor if you feel an overpowering urge to skip to the next article. But PLEASE DON’T. Because it might just be the most important thing you hear about this year.

Why? Because it’s the biggest shake-up in Copyright law in the last 20 years. It shifts the balance of power (and the distribution of profits) away from producers back towards rights-holders. That’s you.

Being honest, it does lots of other things that neither you nor I care a fig about.

The meat and potatoes are articles 18-23 which assert an artist’s right to ‘fair and proportionate remuneration’.

It compels producers to issue you annually with a detailed breakdown in writing of the profits and losses of the production you wrote (starting June 7th 2021).

It entitles you to seek additional, appropriate and fair remuneration if your fee is not ‘proportionate to financial success of the project’ (or to get your guild to).

You also have the right to revoke your rights from the contract if the producer is not, in your view, exploiting the work effectively.

The producers unsurprisingly have greeted this innovative piece of legislation with slightly less enthusiasm than that of mill owners in nineteenth-century England contemplating the reform of child labour laws.

Not so surprising, it imposes a slew of additional annual paperwork for which they get no compensation and complicates contracting with international streaming companies who insist on not reporting viewing figures or any demographic data whatsoever and have embraced buy-out deals universally, often cunningly disguised as ‘lump-sum’ agreements.

So, let’s be clear. Writers cannot assess whether they have received ‘fair and proportionate’ remuneration if they cannot get viewing figures. Even if they could, entering into a buy-out or ‘lump-sum’ contract prevents them seeking additional payment if the project is successful. You cannot define what might be proportionately fair unless you assess the revenue derived from your work in hindsight.

So the Guild asks you not to sign agreements with buy-outs/lump-sum terms.

The Guild asks you not to sign a clause which waives your right to ‘fair and proportionate remuneration’.

The Guild asks you not to sign a waiver of your right to revocation.

Don’t do it. Please.

Sartre said when you choose for yourself, you choose for everyone. Well, here it is. If Guild members follow our request, the power of the directive in Irish law will make you all more prosperous and your dealings with producers will be fairer and more transparent.

This is just one of the campaigns the Guild will be engaging in this year – and if we stand together – it will be a year of transformation.

The best way to resolve the issues thrown up by the ECD is a collectively bargained agreement, which a number of the articles allows for. There is work being done at European level which will expressly allow arts workers like you who are self employed to empower the Guild to collectively bargain on your behalf.

In the meantime, the Guild is at your service, looking over your contracts that contain these new provisions. Do send us in a scan or photo of examples of these new clauses. We will be pleased to advise you about alternate wordings which will protect your new rights and allow you to conclude the contract in confidence.

Hugh Farley


WGI invite members to a zoom meeting to discuss the European Copyright Directive on 1st June from 11am–12pm.

Please use the link below to join the meeting on the day:

WGI ZeBBie Awards – Project Co-Ordinator

19th May 2021

The Writers’ Guild of Ireland are looking to hire a freelance Project Co-ordinator to successfully manage and deliver the 2021 ZeBBie Awards.

The Writers’ Guild of Ireland is the representative body for writers for stage, screen and radio in Ireland.  The WGI ZeBBie Awards celebrate the best scripts written by scriptwriters in Ireland each year.

The role includes:

  • Working with a small team to successfully manage and deliver the 2021 ZeBBie Awards

  • Managing the nominations and voting process

  • Liaising with the ZeBBie Committee, the Nominees and related production companies to ensure the delivery of the 2021 awards

  • Clearing rights and permissions to allow nominated scripts to be read for the voting process

  • Creating detailed schedules and timetables to be followed in the run up to the awards

  • Assisting in the planning and management of the awards ceremony – subject to government regulations these may include – venue hire, managing guest list and invitations, attaching presenters, booking entertainment and managing audio-visual requirements

  • Publicity for the awards via social and traditional media

  • Delivering the awards within budget

  • Reporting and resolving any issues as they arise

  • Tracking project performance and providing regular updates

Skills & Requirements:

Prior experience of awards/events/arts project management
A strong track record of successful project delivery
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Strong initiative and ideas generation skills
Strong attention to detail
Ability to work without supervision
Good time management skills

    Interested applicants are invited to submit a CV and covering letter detailing their experience to before 5pm on Thursday 27th May. Please include ‘ZeBBie Co-Ordinator’ in the subject line of your email.

    This freelance contract will run over a period of 4 months between June and October with a total fee of €4000 for the project. Contact hours are at the discretion of the successful candidate subject to meeting all project requirements. The successful candidate will not be exclusive to WGI and will provide their services on a self-employed basis. The work will be on a remote basis, though (government guidelines permitting) we envisage some Dublin location-based duties in the weeks prior to the awards ceremony, and on the day of the event itself.

    WGI Welcome New Screen Ireland Board Appointments

    13th May 2021

    The members of the new Board of Screen Ireland have been appointed following a Public Appointment Services (PAS) campaign.

    They are

    • Ms Susan Bergin (Chair designate)
    • Dr Zélie Asava
    • Mr John McDonnell
    • Mr Ray Harman
    • Mr Eoin Holohan
    • Ms Marian Quinn (re-appointment)
    • Ms Kate McColgan (re-appointment)

    WGI welcome this week’s appointment of the new Screen Ireland Board and their new Chair and we look forward to working closely with Susan Bergin and her Board in these exciting and challenging times for screenwriters in the industry.

    We are delighted to see two WGI members now sitting on the Screen Ireland Board. Dr. Zélie Asava joins Marian Quinn, who was re-appointed.