Screenwriters and directors from Belgium (Lucas Belvaux), Denmark (Annette Olesen), France (Dante Desarthe, Michel Hazanavicius, Eric Lartigau, Jean-Paul Salomé), Germany (SAA patron Fred Breinersdorfer) and Poland (Dariusz Jablonski) were invited by European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip on Friday 13th November to exchange views on how best the Commission can help the film industry to make the most of the opportunities offered by the Digital Single Market.
The conversation between the filmmakers and VP Ansip, covered by Chatham House rules, addressed a number of issues that are part of the Commission’s plans on copyright, in particular enforcement, portability and cross-border access, as well as issues that have nothing to do with copyright but are essential for the circulation and availability of European works online: investment in production and promotion, contribution of VOD platforms to the financing ecosystem, digitisation of European film heritage, subtitling, referencing, discoverability, etc.
Filmmakers expressed their desire to see their works travel better across Europe and their willingness to explore all possible opportunities to reach audiences. They are experiencing the digital revolution from the inside. Based on their experience, they insisted that no legal online market can develop for European films if piracy is not seriously tackled as a top priority.
The European Commission is expected to publish a Regulation on portability and a Communication on future initiatives in the field of copyright on 9th December. European filmmakers hope that today’s constructive dialogue will inspire the Commission as it proceeds with its proposals and that authors’ rights will be consolidated as the essential mechanism to ensure authors get remunerated for the use of their works in the digital environment.
Founded in 2010, the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) is the association of European collective management organisations representing audiovisual authors. Its 26 members in 19 countries manage rights for over 120,000 film, television and multimedia European screenwriters and directors.
The organisation’s objectives are:
- to defend and strengthen the economic and moral rights of audiovisual authors;
- to secure fair remuneration for audiovisual authors for every use of their works.
- to develop, promote and facilitate the management of rights by member societies;