Open letter from performers and audiovisual authors

On 4 June 2018 performers and audiovisual authors wrote an open letter to members of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.

Dear Member of the Legal Affairs committee,

We came to Strasbourg a few days ago to discuss the draft Copyright Directive and fair remuneration of performers and audiovisual authors. We learnt that very little time is left before decisions are taken on the final compromise amendments to be voted on in committee in June.

This is why we are now writing to you. We urge you to speak up for all of us musicians, singers, actors, dansers, screenwriters and directors. The time is now! Not in 10 or 20 years. But now! 

Streaming and downloading platforms are no longer part of an emerging market, but it is how most people now enjoy listening to music or watching films or series.

Whilst the Internet is a fantastic tool for us musicians, actors, screenwriters and directors, the system we operate in is rotten. It is no longer working.

With producers and now also online platforms such as Netflix and Spotify dominating the market, no one can with sincerity still talk about contractual freedom. There is no such thing. 

Whilst legislation did protect us in the analogue world guaranteeing that we are paid fairly, it does not when the same music recording, series or film is streamed or downloaded. How can this be seen as fair? It is not.

What we do is our passion but it must also be able to pay the bills. Only if we are able to make a decent living from our work, can we keep on creating. But too many of us are not able to make ends meet anymore.

It is not just worrying for us as experienced performers and audiovisual authors. The current situation also discourages new young talent from entering the creative arts. The future of European culture does not look bright if this is not addressed.

This is why we are calling on you to upgrade current EU law, taking what is working for us in the analogue world and adapting it to the digital one, namely by introducing an unwaivable remuneration right, paid by the online platforms and subject to collective management into the draft EU Copyright Directive.

The desperate situation of performers and audiovisual authors cannot be fixed with transparency and a contract adjustment mechanism alone.

We count on your support to turn things around. This is a once in at least a decade opportunity to make things right. Please raise your voice ahead of this week’s meeting of the rapporteur and shadows.  

Yours sincerely,

Costa-Gavras, Greek-born French screenwriter and director

Murray Head, British musician and actor

Julie Bertuccelli, French screenwriter and director

Jochen Greve, German screenwriter

Hans Werner Meyer, German actor

Jean-Jacques Milteau, French musician

Paola Randi, Italian director and screenwriter

Johan Van Assche, Belgian actor and director

Nacho Garcia Vega, Spanish musician and songwriter