Secretary General's Monthly Digest: January 2023

This is my first monthly digest. Whether you are a policymaker, filmmaker or other professional in the cultural and audiovisual sector, I hope my chronicle about the SAA’s activities may be valuable for you to get an insight into our work in support of audiovisual authors’ rights in Europe.

Firstly, I am excited to welcome three new authors to the SAA Board of Patrons that support our work: Katarzyna Klimkiewicz, Polish director, Aleksander Pietrzak, Polish screenwriter and director, and Jorge Paixão da Costa, Portuguese film director. We are right now making an active outreach to our member organisations to invite additional Patrons to enhance the diversity in terms of female authors, young authors, authors from non-Western regions and the Baltics, etc. In the coming months, we will present more newcomers to our community of authors supporting the SAA work!

Back from the holiday break, I have continued working on the European Parliament’s draft report of the Culture committee on the implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. Our suggestions have been taken on board by MEPs among the 170 amendments tabled on 12 January. Our objective is to make sure that the report includes strong support to the measures promoting European audiovisual works and creators, such as the minimum 30% quota in the catalogue of VOD services and the possible financial obligations of service providers to invest in European creation. We are not equipped with the same resources as the global platforms (and other operators) arguing against any obligation put on them but we do have persistence and good arguments. The European Parliament is now at the stage of negotiating compromise amendments between the rapporteur and shadow rapporteurs of the other political groups and we are organising meetings with MEPs and their assistants, together with other European organisations of authors, producers and distributors to get the voice of the European sector heard. The report will be voted in the Culture committee at the end of March.

Mid-January I had the pleasure to travel to Bucharest, Romania, for a World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Regional Conference on IP in the Digital Economy, focusing on the film industry in the digital environment. I was invited to speak in three different panels, one on the rights’ management in the audiovisual sector, another one on rights and distribution of audiovisual works, and a final discussion about empowerment of creators in the film sector. I took the occasion to present how rights are managed for audiovisual authors in Europe, the changes the EU Copyright Directive is bringing about and the advocacy and awareness raising activities the SAA is doing to improve the situation for authors (much of this can be found on our resource page). While in Bucharest, I also met with Mr Romascanu, the Minister of Culture, with other international federations, to support the Romanian collective management organisations’ work there (our member in Romania is DACIN-SARA).

Lastly, behind the scenes we are preparing a joint online event with our sister organisation FESAAL that works with audiovisual authors’ rights in Latin America, and CISAC that gathers the CMOs globally and across many repertoires, including audiovisual. We will soon send out an invitation! Watch our previous online events here. Moreover, my team and I are preparing the SAA general assembly meeting in March and the upcoming board of directors’ meeting on 17 February in Berlin, where I will stay on for a few days for the Berlinale (17-21 February).

My 3 reading tips:


Best regards,

Cécile Despringre