Secretary General’s March Digest, 2023

In March, we promoted audiovisual authors’ rights at the international level, both with an online event with our Latin American colleagues and participation in the WIPO meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights in Geneva. We also met with SAA members in Brussels for our general assembly meeting and partnered for the screening of a Swedish documentary film linked to the Swedish Presidency of the Council. This is all the diversity of activities that I love at the SAA.

March started with welcoming another two additions to the SAA Board of Patrons. This time, two female authors from Spain, Olatz Arroyo and Virginia Yagüe, were announced on International Women’s Day (8 March)! I believe in the next few months we will have a board of Patrons composed of a wide diversity of authors from almost all our 33 members in 25 European countries, just like we aimed for!

On 1 March we held an online event on Audiovisual Authors’ Rights in Europe and Latin America, together with our sister organisations CISAC and FESAAL. The event attracted 200 participants on the day and others watched the recording afterwards. You can now read our press release and watch the event. It was a great experience to put together authors and experts from different locations on the two continents, with participants connecting from all parts of the world!

Following this event, I went to Geneva to participate in the meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights of WIPO – the World Intellectual Property Organisation. This is a continuation of SAA’s commitment to work at the international level to improve the visibility and understanding of audiovisual authors’ rights and remuneration, and the role their collective management organisations play (see the brochure in English, French, Spanish and Slovenian). I also participated in the meeting of the Advisory board of WIPO for Creators, with the same aim – to raise awareness on audiovisual authors’ rights. During the week, I met many civil servants and experts on copyright from all around the world and I hope I succeeded in building interest in the need for WIPO to include the audiovisual authors’ rights and remuneration in its agenda, one way or another. Stay tuned for what is being cooked!

While I was in Geneva, my colleague Evan travelled to Strasbourg for the meeting of the Advisory Committee of the European Audiovisual Observatory which regularly produces interesting reports and analysis on the audiovisual sector. This year, we will feed into the Legal department of the Observatory which is going to draft a report on the implementation of chapter 3 of the Copyright Directive on fair remuneration of authors and performers. Now that only a few countries still need to implement the directive (Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia, Poland, Portugal) it is the right time to assess the real impact of this important chapter of the directive.

In March, we met with the SAA members online in different working group constellations to discuss in detail the implementation of the Copyright Directive, the retransmission right, and equality and diversity in the audiovisual sector. It was great to finally see many SAA members in person around the table of the SAA general assembly meeting in the European House of Authors in Brussels. Together with my team, we presented our work and achievements of the last year and the plans for 2023. In the evening, we opened the doors and welcomed external guests from European institutions and partner organisations for a cocktail reception (photos).

Finally, on 28 March we partnered for the screening of the Swedish documentary “Breaking Social” by Fredrik Gertten (and in his presence) at Cinema Galeries in Brussels. The screening was organised by EFAD (the European association of Film Agencies) and the Swedish Film Institute, in partnership with the European associations of the culture and audiovisual sector, including the SAA (photos). ‘Rendez-vous with European cinema’ is a recurrent event aiming at promoting the diversity and beauty of European cinema twice a year in Brussels with the screening of a film from the country holding the Council Presidency. In October or November, we will screen a Spanish film!

My 3 reading tips:

Cécile Despringre