Catalogue quotas, prominence requirements and possible financing commitments for VOD all welcome steps forward in promoting European creation in the digital era.
The Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for an amending Directive of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). This is a first step but an important milestone in the development of the EU’s cultural policy. SAA calls on the Council and European Parliament to be even more ambitious.
SAA fully supports two proposed revisions: the requirement for VOD services to include European works in their catalogues and ensure their visibility; and, in order to put an end to unfair competition, the capacity for Member States to apply the same financial contribution rules to services based outside their borders but targeting their citizens.
SAA is convinced that these two proposals will help create a fair and balanced market for both European works and Europe-based distributors. Regulatory forum shopping, used by some distributors when establishing headquarters in countries with weaker audiovisual regulation, should no longer be a competitive advantage.
SAA calls on the Member States and MEPs to consolidate these commitments and be more ambitious on the promotion and financing of European works. In particular, the Directive should set higher targets for the presence of European works on VOD platforms. The proposed 20% catalogue quota is insufficient. Broadcasters are required to have 50% of European content and, according to a recent study by the European Audiovisual Observatory, VOD platform catalogues are already made up of 30% European works.
SAA also wants the Council and European Parliament to be vigilant that the amending Directive does not weaken the integrity of audiovisual works and the moral rights of their authors. Among the proposed relaxation of advertising rules, SAA opposes the possibility of interrupting films every 20 minutes.
Chair of the SAA board of Directors, Barbara Hayes said: “The quotas in the AVMS Directive have helped European drama to breakthrough outside of national borders – making Europe’s audiovisual sector more competitive internationally and demonstrating our talented screenwriters and directors. Their extension to video on demand services is vital.”
SAA Executive Director, Cécile Despringre said: “SAA is resolutely supportive of any coherent regulation that creates a level playing field for audiovisual services. Operators in the same market need to be subject to the same rules, including on financial contributions.”
Founded in 2010, the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) is the association of European collective management organisations representing audiovisual authors. Its 29 members in 22 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.