So, as Commissioner Kroes said, authors should be at the heart of copyright. She used the word ‘should’. Does that mean that they are not?
Looking at this slightly differently, why not look at the role of authors within the value chain of their industry? There will be an introductory session as part of Audiovisual Authors Online – Seizing the Digital Revolution, the conference we are organising next week, which will try to nail down exactly that.
The author is where the initial idea or spark happens, but if he’s not supported by a series of other players then there may never be a flame or a fire. Screenwriters and directors need to work with producers, many often forge long term creative partnerships with them over a number of projects, others set up their own production companies. The producers then continue to secure funding whether through national support schemes or other partner with pre-financing through exclusive agreements with new co-producers, local distributors, broadcasters, international sales agents and international distributors. This is how European films are brought to the cinema, television and to online platforms and DVD. By the time the author’s work has reached these stages there has usually been a number of years since the initial spark and the signing of their first contract and a lot more people between the author and the revenue generated by his initial idea. Our introductory session will be kicked off by British writer Paul Powell. Paul has already written a great piece on the life of a comedy writer here and I’m sure his presentation will be fascinating. He will be followed by a discussion between authors Stijn Coninx, Francis Nielsen, Janusz Kijowski and Andrew Chowns of Directors UK. We’re honoured to have the session moderated by German MEP Helga Trüpel who has long been a defender of authors’ rights and who I’m sure will get the discussion flowing. The full programme for the day, registration information for the afternoon and more information on all our speakers can be found here. There aren’t many places left now so please sign up quickly to make sure you get a seat. With that I will leave you with the trailer for the film we will be screening (French with English subtitles) after the conference – LUX Prize winner Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro by Robert Guédiguian. http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/xll3w3 LES NEIGES DU KILIMANDJARO- Bande-annonce par diaphana