Increasing the availability of European works online

The second part of “Audiovisual Authors Online – Seizing the Digital Revolution”, the conference that SAA is organising this week, is all about how we can resolve one of the eternal frustrations of any author – making sure that his or her works are out there and accessible to the public (legally of course).

We are all aware of the potential of the internet to create the unlimited shelf space that was never possible in the physical world, but turning it into a reality is going to mean changes for a lot of actors in the sector. We have managed to bring together a fantastic panel of people for this roundtable – all of whom are already actively involved in trying to get European works out there. First of all, we are delighted to have Polish MEP, Piotr Borys, moderating the roundtable. Not only has Mr Borys recently had his report European Cinema in the Digital Era adopted by the European Parliament, he has also put forward a proposal for a pilot project to test some alternatives to the current exploitation windows for certain types of film. Joining Mr Borys on stage will be 3 people directly involved in online services but all in slightly different ways. Jerome Chung is the co-founder of Under the Milky Way which is looking at aggregating European content to provide large pan-European services such as iTunes a single access point for the necessary licenses. Cay Wesnigk is a man with many strings to his bow. He’s a German screenwriter, director and producer as well as being the chairman of OnlineFilm, a documentary focussed VOD platform – he’ll provide excellent input from all sorts of angles. Maxime Lacour is the Directing Manager of UniversCiné.be the VOD platform that operates in France, Belgium and Switzerland and also works as a white label with other VOD services such as those provided by cable or internet operators. His perspective from a small country like Belgium will be interesting to hear. Looking at the issue from the authors’ organisations perspective will be Janine Lorente from the SACD in France. The SACD is one of the first collective management societies to have negotiated deals with online operators like DailyMotion, so it will be interesting to have her take on the discussions. Europe’s diversity (both cultural and economic) is one of its biggest assets. It’s going to be very interesting to hear the roundtable’s speakers talk about how we can carry this asset onto the online market and give all European’s access to the broad cultural cinematic heritage that is growing every year. As always you can find more information on the speakers and the rest of the conference here. The big day tomorrow. Hopefully see many of you there. CD