2015: A year for authors’ rights?

A very happy new year from the SAA team to all our readers! So, what lies ahead in 2015 in terms of policy and court cases of interest to Europe’s screenwriters and directors?

What we know from the end of last year is that the European Parliament has already started work with a number of initiatives – an initiative report on European Cinema in the Digital era (draft now published), another evaluating the 2001 copyright directive, and a copyright working group which will hold hearings throughout the year.

The European Commission work programme confirms an evaluation of the AVMS directive with a REFIT exercise, which could see some targeted amendments to the directive in 2015. The Commission also confirmed its intention to present a legislative initiative on copyright in 2015 - expect something for the summer. The European Cinema Forum, announced in last year’s communication on European Cinema in the Digital Era, is also expected to be launched this year. In the first quarter of 2015, the Commission will also publish a study on the remuneration of authors and performers in the audiovisual and music sectors.  This will hopefully provide fuel for Europe’s screenwriters and directors to demonstrate how the digital revolution of the audiovisual market needs to see them fairly remunerated for every use of their works. SAA will definitely contribute its voice to this debate with the publication of the 2nd edition of its White Paper on the rights and remuneration of audiovisual authors in Europe (see our 1st edition here).  Keep your eyes open for a save the date and expect more information very soon.