The Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) and Writers & Directors Worldwide call on the European Commission to put authors at the heart of any copyright reform to ensure that they share in the future success of the Digital Single Market.
The organisations made their call on the occasion of the Writers & Directors Worldwide Executive Committee meeting, which took place in Brussels on 3rd June 2015. The meeting comes at an important moment as the European Commission prepares legislation on copyright reform, with a draft set to be published by the end of 2015.
Writers & Directors Worldwide has seen positive legislation develop in South America where most recently in Chile, directors and screenwriters were given an unwaivable right to remuneration for the exploitation of their works. On 23rd March 2015 SAA published the 2nd edition of its white paper on audiovisual authors’ rights and remuneration in Europe. The white paper, endorsed by the European Federation of Film Directors (FERA) and the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE), lays out a clear proposal to associate screenwriters and directors with the success of their works through an unwaivable right to remuneration. This would ensure that they are fairly remunerated for their work. Beyond Europe, there are also calls from Australian directors for similar action, demonstrating the global nature of the difficulty directors and screenwriters face in receiving remuneration for the exploitation of their work.
Yves Nilly, President of Writers & Directors Worldwide said: “Directors and screenwriters across the planet struggle to enforce their rights and secure fair remuneration for their creative work. Europe is the birthplace of authors’ rights and strong copyright reform that guarantees authors are connected to the exploitation of their work online would send a strong signal and hopeful inspire action elsewhere.”
Cécile Despringre, Executive Director of SAA added: “Screenwriters and directors can see the opportunities for the online market to help their films reach new audiences. All they ask is to be fairly remunerated when their works are used and seen – the very essence of authors’ rights, European action could turn this into a reality.”
Writers & Directors Worldwide
Writers & Directors Worldwide is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to protect and promote the rights of audiovisual, literary and dramatic creators. Chaired by French author and screenwriter Yves Nilly, and led by an international executive committee of established screenwriters, playwrights, poets and directors, the organisation provides a forum for the sharing of ideas, information, best practices and practical advice to defend the right to fair remuneration.
Through regular working groups, Writers & Directors Worldwide provides specific experience and expertise both to creators and to the authors’ societies that manage their rights. Within the dramatic, literary and audiovisual repertoires, the organisation aims to unify the voice of creators and support authors’ organisations in their fight to establish effective rights and fair remuneration for creators. It also works to raise awareness of creators’ rights issues within the industry and with the wider public and enhance the economic and cultural contribution of creators in all areas of the world.
Writers & Directors Worldwide is an official observer to the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. Learn more at www.writersanddirectorsworldwide.org
Founded in 2010, the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) is the association of European collective management organisations representing audiovisual authors. Its 26 members in 19 countries manage rights for over 120,000 film, television and multimedia European screenwriters and directors.
The organisation’s objectives are:
- to defend and strengthen the economic and moral rights of audiovisual authors;
- to secure fair remuneration for audiovisual authors for every use of their works.
- to develop, promote and facilitate the management of rights by member societies;
In addition to the 2nd edition of SAA’s White Paper on audiovisual authors’ rights and remuneration in Europe, SAA has also produced detailed documents on private copying compensation, royalty distribution rules and practices as well as a joint wish list with FERA and FSE for how Europe can help its screenwriters and directors help the European audiovisual sector thrive.