Birthday greeting from Commissioner Mariya Gabriel

(c) European Union, 2017

Birthday greeting to the Society of Audiovisual Authors from Mariya GABRIEL, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth 

Dear Members of SAA,

Let me wish you a wholehearted happy 10th anniversary!

We are all living difficult times, difficult times also for artists, for culture in general.

The COVID-19 crisis has shown how fragile creators are.

With theatres and cinemas closed, with film and music festivals postponed, with many cultural events and initiatives put on hold.

At the same time, creators help us immensely to bear this period, with music, films, series; their creations make our lives in confinement brighter and richer.

Your role as collective management organisations is essential to support authors and performers in this situation. I am glad to see that many have mobilised their resources and contribute providing all the support they can to their members. I thank you for that.

This period will pass. We are doing what it takes to make it happen, together. When we will find ourselves at the end of this tunnel, we will continue working to help creators to make sure that the rich European cultural sphere can flourish again.

In 10 years of existence, SAA has achieved some great results to support European filmmakers and promote cultural diversity.

From the Collective Rights Management of 2014, to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive of 2018, and more recently, the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, all these achievements were possible thanks to your tireless work.

You all know that the new provisions on remuneration of authors and performers introduce, for the first time in EU law, a whole set of measures to protect individual authors and performers, such as actors, film and TV directors, screenwriters, who are the sources of creativity, but often have the weakest bargaining power in the value chain.

We won this first battle together!

Now, more than ever during this COVID-19 crisis, we have to be very vigilant and make sure that by June 2021, Member States will translate the Copyright Directive in concrete measures that will generate actual remuneration to audiovisual authors for the exploitation of their works by on-demand platforms.

On the Commission side, we are assisting Member States to ensure a complete and timely transposition of these new rules.

But your work continues to be key.

Collective management has an essential role in the copyright ecosystem, and the new Directive acknowledges this.

I want to thank you sincerely for our fruitful collaboration over the years.

I also seize this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Society of Authors and Composers in the field of Dramatic Art (SACD) for having awarded me the Beaumarchais Medal last June. It is a real honour and I will cherish it for the rest of my life. This pushes me to continue my actions to defend and promote a strong European creative sector.

It has been a pleasure to work closely with all of you as Commissioner responsible for Digital Economy and Society.

You all know how dear you are to my heart.

So rest assured that you can continue to count on me as Commissioner responsible for Research, Innovation, Education, Culture and Youth.

Congratulations for your many achievements, and, once again, happy anniversary!

Mariya Gabriel