Posts Tagged ‘FERA’

Venice Declaration

3rd September 2018 by Maura McHugh

165 European screenwriters and directors call on the European Parliament to adopt the Copyright Directive

On the occasion of the 75th Venice International Film Festival, 165 screenwriters and directors across Europe have come together in the “Venice Declaration” to call on the European Parliament to adopt legislation that puts authors at the heart of copyright and of the European cultural and creative industries, including online.

On 12 September, the members of the European Parliament will adopt the Parliament’s position on the draft Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. After several delays, this vote is the last chance for a final adoption of this much-needed Directive before the European elections. It will determine the future for audiovisual authors; if they will have a chance to receive fair and proportionate remuneration for the use of their works across the EU in a near future or if will they be left behind for another decade.

Filmmakers in Venise selections Jacques Audiard, Joachim Lafosse, Mike Leigh, Laszlo Nemes and Pierre Schoeller, EP LUX Film Prize finalists Benedikt Erlingsson, Wolfgang Fischer and Mila Turajlic, as well as Iciar Bollaín, Costa-Gavras, Matteo Garrone, Agnieszka Holland, Daniele Luchetti, Laura Morante, Cristian Mungiu, Sir Alan Parker, Stefan Ruzowitzky, Lone Scherfig, Volker Schlondörff, Paolo Sorrentino, Paweł Pawlikowski, Bertrand Tavernier, Paolo Taviani, Fernando Trueba, Margarethe von Trotta and many others across Europe signed the Venice Declaration. Most of them already signed the FERA/FSE/SAA petition supported today by more than 18,700 signatories from over 100 countries worldwide.

Quote
“We, audiovisual authors, absolutely need this Directive to be adopted on time: to ensure freedom of expression and independence of creators as well as authors’ rights. The principle of fair and proportionate remuneration, improved measures on the transparency of the exploitation and contract adjustment mechanism will make a big difference. With these provisions, the Directive will improve our position in the industry.”

Sign the EU Council Petition

1st February 2018 by Maura McHugh

The Federation of Screenwriters in Europe, Federation of European Film Directors, and Society of Audiovisual Authors have launched an online petition to support European screenwriters and directors in their call for a modernised EU copyright framework that includes all creators.

It asks the European Parliament, the Member States, and the European Commission to hear the voices of European creators and adopt the following measure: an unwaivable right to proportional remuneration for authors, which would be collected directly from the on-demand platforms by the collective management organisations representing the authors.

Please lend your support for this vital matter by signing the petition, and urging your fellow creators to do so also. The more signatories we have, the better.

Fair Payment for Online Use

14th November 2017 by Maura McHugh

As the European Parliament handed out its cinema award – the Lux Prize – Europe’s associations of screenwriters and directors and their collective management organisations congregated in Strasbourg to meet MEPs and new Digital Commissioner Mariya Gabriel with a clear message: despite the welcome benefits of awards ceremonies like the Lux prize, many screenwriters and directors are unable to sustain a career as an author.

They face income instability, weak bargaining power and high-risk during the unpaid development stage of new projects. On top of that, as more people pay to watch their favourite films and TV shows online, screenwriters and directors often find themselves unable to share in that economic success.

They are calling on Axel Voss, rapporteur for European Parliament report on the draft Copyright Directive, to strengthen the existing provisions on transparency and fair remuneration in contracts, and to include an unwaivable right to remuneration that will ensure that on-demand platforms have to negotiate royalty payments for screenwriters and directors with their collective management organisations.

A delegation of screenwriters and directors led by Oscar-nominated German screenwriter, Fred Breinersdorfer will meet Commissioner Gabriel on 15th November to discuss the Commission’s legislative proposals.

FERA, FSE and SAA congratulate director and screenwriter, Amanda Kernell for winning the LUX Prize with Sami Blood. Robin Campillo and Philippe Mangeot’s 120 BPM and Valeska Grisebach’s Western were the other finalists who received distribution support through the subtitling into all the languages of the European Union.

Quotes

Cécile Despringre, Executive Director of SAA said: “The time for rhetoric on fair remuneration for authors is over. Draft legislation is on the table, Members of the Parliament must now show they have the political will to tackle this issue.”

Pauline Durand Vialle, CEO of FERA added: “The authors’ community in Europe must be empowered to make the best of its future: we call on the Members of the Parliament to give us the tools to build sustainable careers in the digital era.”

David Kavanagh, Executive Officer of FSE said: “The problems of authors’ remuneration cannot be solved by our marketplace. We need legislative and regulatory solutions from the European Union.”


New EU Copyright Proposal

10th December 2015 by Maura McHugh

In relation to its Digital Single Market strategy, the European Commission delivered today a proposal to allow Europeans to travel with their online content and an action plan to modernise EU copyright rules.

At present, Europeans travelling within the EU may be cut off from online services providing films, sports broadcasts, music, e-books or games that they have paid for in their home country. Today’s proposed Regulation on the cross-border portability of online content services addresses these restrictions in order to allow EU residents to travel with the digital content they have purchased or subscribed to at home. Cross-border portability, a new EU right for consumers, is expected to be a reality in 2017, the same year as the end of roaming charges in the EU (press release). Since it is a proposal for a Regulation, once adopted it will be directly applicable in all 28 EU Member States.

In addition, the Commission today outlines its vision of a modern EU copyright framework. This “political preview” will be translated into legislative proposals and policy initiatives in the next six months, taking into account all inputs from several public consultations.

The SAA, FERA, and FSE have broadly welcomed the European Commission’s commitment to go beyond political declarations and take action on authors’ remuneration.

They said:

In addition to action on authors’ remuneration, the Commission’s communication Towards a modern, more European copyright framework rightly identifies other areas where it can make a difference:

  • Effective enforcement: tackling commercial-scale piracy, which discourages new businesses based on the online exploitation of protected works that are essential to the development of the European online content market;
  • Fostering accessibility, availability and circulation of European works through a range of measures using the review of the Satellite and Cable Directive, the Creative Europe programme and, although not mentioned in the Communication, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive review.

Furthermore, the Commission’s communication shows that copyright and authors’ rights are certainly not broken but can be adapted in specific areas to cope with the challenges of the online environment. SAA, FERA and FSE welcome the fact that the Commission does not directly question the territoriality principle and recognizes the flexibility of copyright and authors’ rights to adapt to any market structure and business model, whether territorial or pan-European.

However, some measures could still inadvertently question the territoriality principle and need to be reconsidered. While we can support portability of subscription-based online content services, poor drafting that would not limit the portability in time could allow cross-border access through the back door. The same applies to a unified copyright title, considered as the long-term goal by the Commission, and any review of the Satellite and Cable Directive that seeks to extend the country of origin mechanism of direct satellite broadcasting to online transmissions.

In addition, cross-border access still seems to be mistaken for the silver bullet to enhance accessibility of European works. While FERA, FSE and SAA support the objective of improved circulation of European works, we consider that only active promotion which brings European works to European citizens’ direct environment will make a difference in a highly competitive market dominated by Hollywood productions.

Finally, we are surprised by the inclusion of private copying levies in the communication and the negative approach. This sits in stark contrast to the European Parliament’s 2014 resolution which underlined the continued relevance of the system to the digital age and its importance to Europe’s creators. It also seems to contradict the Commission’s insistence that authors’ remuneration is one of its priorities. The levy system is a virtuous cycle, which provides freedom to copy for consumers, a contribution from manufacturers and importers who sell copy-making devices and fair compensation for creators.

Barbara Hayes, Chair of the SAA board of directors said:
“Action on authors’ remuneration is very much linked to the fostering of a sustainable online marketplace for European works by enabling screenwriters and directors to receive continued royalties for previous works while working on the development of future projects.”

Cécile Despringre, Executive Director of the SAA added:
“We do not understand the Commission’s long-term vision of a unified copyright title as if it was in its DNA to harmonise everything. This simplistic and bureaucratic vision is in clear contradiction with the EU’s political motto “United in diversity” which acknowledges exactly what the EU is about.”

Pauline Durand-Vialle, CEO of FERA said:
“Any actual improvement of authors’ remuneration will require a thorough approach by the Commission based on improved contractual practices as well as increased collective bargaining and collective management of rights”

Here are some responses from members of Creativity Works!:

David Kavanagh, Executive Officer, Federation of Screenwriters in Europe, said:
“Authors are at the roots of the creative industries’ value chain. We are hopeful that the European Commission will promote a legal environment with fair remuneration of all right holders safeguarding creativity and ensuring the continued investments which are vital to Europe’s economy.”

Anne Bergman, Director of the Federation of European Publishers, said:
“Exceptions to copyright need to be just that – exceptions, not the rule. It’s a positive sign that the Commission says it will take market specificities and existing practices into account regarding exceptions to copyright. The current system enables respect for cultural and national diversity, flexibility and an appropriate degree of EU harmonization and has led to more creative works being available than ever before. Licences can and are already addressing many issues. Any new exception would therefore have to be justified by very strong evidence of market failure, and consider the incentives for investments by writers, publishers and booksellers in order to ensure the creation, publishing and distribution of new books.”