As the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs committee validated the Parliament-Commission-Council trilogue’s compromise text reached on 4 November, European audiovisual authors’ societies welcome the finalisation of the text of the Directive and call on the Commission to build on it now to improve authors’ remuneration in the digital era.
The Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) is pleased to see that the trilogue was able to reach a compromise that, although presenting implementation challenges for some societies, establishes a European legal framework for collective rights management which secures collective rights management as a future-proof tool in all sectors and not just music.
The SAA’s members consider that the Directive puts in place the conditions for CMOs to become essential and reliable partners for authors to trace and remunerate the multiple exploitation of their works on multiple platforms, in particular in the audiovisual sector. They hope the authors’ rights debate will now move on and concentrate on the issue of authors’ remuneration for the use of their works in the digital age. Authors should be put at the centre of a modern copyright framework which guarantees that creators are remunerated for every use of their works.
The Directive will impact on a number of areas of collective management organisations’ operations including their distribution plans, reporting obligations to authors, governing bodies, relationships with users and the amount of information to be published. The Directive leaves some space to different legal and operational traditions to continue as long as they respect the Directive’s objectives of good governance, accountability and transparency. The formal adoption of the Directive is expected in March 2014 and Member States will then have two years to implement it in their legislation.
Janine Lorente, Chair of the SAA board of Directors said: “The implementation of this Directive should reinforce collective rights management in Europe, both at national level and in cross-border exchanges. By committing to its implementation our members aim at developing a modern tool that will help improve the remuneration situation of Europe’s screenwriters and directors.”
Fred Breinersdorfer, German screenwriter and SAA patron said: “I rely on my collective rights management organisation to look after parts of my remuneration. They are a key element of my support network that enables me to focus on my next work. If this Directive means more internal transparency and efficiency but also the ability to secure remuneration for more exploitation of my works then that can only be a good thing.”
Cécile Despringre, Executive Director, SAA added: “This Directive will present different challenges for different SAA members during its implementation and will undoubtedly incur some costs. The overall objective, though, is undoubtedly worth the effort and should make collective rights management a solution for future remuneration management for audiovisual works in the digital age.”