The Czech Republic, known for its top-ranking female tennis players, the world’s first robot, and it’s 2,000 castles, is since 1 July holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU. I had a talk with Jan Barták, working for our Czech member DILIA about their work and expectations about the Presidency.
DILIA (founded in 1949) is a multi-repertoire agency that represents 5,000 authors of theatre, literature, and audiovisual works (all except for music). The organisations work both with individual and collective licensing, based on direct mandate from authors, and as a collective management organisation when Czech law obliges for obligatory or extended collective management of rights.
Jan Barták is the Head of the Collective Management and Media department at DILIA. He has been with DILIA since 2006, and before that he worked for a law literature publisher. Jan explains that by leading two different departments he has the opportunity to work with very different copyright cases, something he enjoys a lot. On one hand, he works with individual representation and negotiates on behalf of film directors with the producer. On the other hand, he is also in charge of collective bargaining and licensing (for example with retransmission operators). Understanding the full circle, from the very first licensing case to the collective agreement, he can confidently make the case when remuneration does not come back to the author, e.g., for online usage.
Becoming an SAA member
“There was a strong voice missing for audiovisual authors, this is why we joined the SAA.”
DILIA joined the SAA in 2010, shortly after the SAA was founded. DILIA was already a member of CISAC and IFFRO, and it has bilateral agreements with 50 CMOs, but an umbrella association for audiovisual authors was missing from our point of view, explained Jan. Today, we consider the SAA to be an important part of EU policymaking in the audiovisual field, and we are happy that we have this common voice, said Jan. Meeting colleagues through the SAA, to exchange thoughts on current issues and discuss specific problems for authors is very valuable for DILIA, continued Jan.
Expectations about the Czech Presidency
In terms of DILIA’s expectations about the Czech EU Presidency, in these difficult times, the Presidency is prioritising “managing the refugee crisis and Ukraine’s post-war recovery” and “energy security”, amongst other concerns. The copyright issues are therefore not a top priority, said Jan. However, DILIA works in partnership with the Czech Ministry of Culture, who are responsible of copyright issues. As a result, on a governmental level, the Ministry know very well the current issues on copyright, and the weaknesses of the regulation in the digital age. The Ministry’s main activity for this Presidency was the conference that they hosted on 14 July in Prague on opportunities (and limits) for media and copyright regulation and self-regulation. The SAA was invited as one of the speakers on the topic of collective bargaining in copyright, also addressing remuneration rights collectively managed.
“What we, DILIA, see as very important, is for the Czech Republic first to implement the latest directives: the Copyright directive and the SatCab II directive, that are still not implemented yet.”
“The Czech Presidency should show leadership and implement as quickly as possible these two directives (the Copyright directive and the SatCab directive). The implementation is prepared and waiting in the national Parliament for voting (hopefully in September).
Our wish is that the Czech Presidency and Culture and Copyright representatives will continue to look for systematic solutions to balance between the plurality and quantity of digital usage of works, and fair remuneration for the authors. This is the key issue for years now. On the European level, the first steps are made, and others should follow”, concluded Jan.
Another interesting topic to note is that of the Status of the Artists, which European level stakeholders dialogues and the EU Parliament’s report has given attention to since the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the Czech Republic was one of the few countries that adopted the Status of the Artists as a reform under its National Recovery and Resilience Plan. Jan explained that indeed, Status of the Artist is included as one of the issues in the government's program statement, also with an allocated budget. The main issue is that independent artists are not part of or fairly enough covered by employment social policies, protection, tax laws etc. Still, the government have no concrete proposals yet. Nevertheless, DILIA as well as the SAA, are monitoring the development, as it will also have an impact on the working conditions of screenwriters and directors.
On this note, I thanked Jan for his time and concluded for myself that once again I had learned something new about our members. Visit our interactive map to see them all!