European Parliament committee declines to support audiovisual authors in copyright vote
The European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee (IMCO), the first to vote an opinion on the Commission’s Copyright Directive proposal, failed to vote on any of 5 amendments calling for audiovisual authors’ to be paid proportionately to the exploitation of their works. The 5 amendments, which came from MEPs from the two biggest political groups in the Parliament, all called for an unwaivable right to remuneration for screenwriters and directors for the on-demand exploitation of their works.
While the transparency obligation and contract renegotiation mechanism are beneficial as provisions for authors and performers from all sectors, these provisions need to be complemented with an unwaivable right to remuneration for authors in the audiovisual sector. Three other opinion committees will vote on the Copyright Directive proposals before the summer and the Legal Affairs' committee (the lead committee) in September.
SAA Executive Director, Cécile Despringre said: “This is a massive disappointment for European screenwriters and directors who were encouraged to see broad support for their needs in multiple committees. At best this was a disastrous administrative mistake, at worst it was the deliberate exclusion of the remuneration right from the vote. The supporters of European creators in the European Parliament now need to make sure that they work together to ensure that copyright in the digital single market doesn’t leave audiovisual authors behind.”
SAA Vice Chair, Patrick Raude added: “No-one ever contests that audiovisual authors should be paid fairly and that if their work is a success then they should be rewarded accordingly. This is rarely the case and today was a missed opportunity for MEPs to back up those words of support for creators with meaningful provisions that would make fair remuneration a reality. European authors are confident that the CULT committee will soon correct this enormous mistake and that eventually the Parliament will adopt this unwaivable right of remuneration for audiovisual authors”
Founded in 2010, the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) is the association of European collective management organisations representing audiovisual authors. Its 31 members in 23 countries manage rights for over 120,000 film, television and multimedia European screenwriters and directors. www.saa-authors.eu @saabrussels