SAA White Paper opens debate on audiovisual authors’ rights and remuneration in Europe

White Paper to raise awareness of the legal and practical situation of audiovisual authors in Europe in terms of their rights and remuneration. New solutions are needed in the digital era.

The audiovisual industry makes a vital contribution to Europe both economically and culturally. There are currently approximately one million people directly working in the European audiovisual industry, an industry with more than €108 billion of growth revenues in 2009. SAA believes that the time is right to value the contribution of audiovisual authors and make sure that they are not left behind in the future when it comes to a fair reward for work. SAA’s role is to ensure that screenwriters and directors remain at the heart of the digital economy and are fairly remunerated in line with the financial success of their work.

In the light of the SAA White Paper publication, acclaimed Greek/French filmmaker Costa-Gavras commented: “Politicians’ support hasn’t been sufficiently active in finding ways to distribute European films to all European countries. In order to achieve change it is important to make collective efforts and in this context, the work of SAA is an important one.”

For Gerhard Pfennig, Chairman of the SAA Board of Directors, “Digitisation creates new challenges for authors and their collective management societies. Whilst societies are actively addressing the demands of new distribution platforms they also need the support of legislative protection at European and national level to ensure that authors continue to benefit financially for the use of and access to their works. New technologies should benefit users, the cultural industry, the communication networks – and also the creators.”

The White Paper provides information on the situation of European audiovisual authors in terms of their rights and remuneration. It highlights existing problems and presents solutions based on the experience and know-how of collective management societies.

With this White Paper, SAA wishes to open the debate at both national and European levels on the situation of audiovisual authors and on possible solutions to new challenges they face.

Press contact:

Cécile Despringre, Executive Director:, +32 (0)2 894 93 30.