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Europe’s creatives welcome copyright remuneration vote

July 12, 2017

The European Parliament Industry and Culture committees has voted in favour of an unwaivable right to fair remuneration for authors and performers for the making available of their works. Supported by the European audiovisual authors’ community, such a remuneration right would ensure that screenwriters and directors receive royalties when their works are exploited on on-demand services, wherever in Europe, thanks to its collective mechanism.

The ITRE committee opinion, drafted by Polish ECR MEP Zdislaw Krasnodebski, was adopted including an unwaivable right to fair remuneration as introduced by S&D MEPs led by British MEP Theresa Griffin, with support from across the political spectrum.

Drafted by French EPP MEP Marc Joulaud, the Culture committee adopted a compromise amendment with a similar positive provision for authors and performers based on amendments introduced by S&D, EPP and Greens but undermined by a possible derogation for original agreements which would raise the costs and sap the functioning of any collective agreement. Taking into account the weak individual bargaining power of audiovisual authors, such a derogation is not justified and will need to be re-examined.

The SAA encourages the European Council and the lead committee in the European Parliament, the Legal Affairs Committee, to support and adopt ITRE’s unwaivable right to remuneration.

The Legal Affairs committee, will discuss the Copyright Directive tomorrow and vote after the summer. The Council Intellectual Property Working Party held a meeting on this issue on June 10th.

“The Culture and Industry opinions sends a clear and powerful message to the European Parliament’s lead committee and the Council,” commented Cécile Destringed, SAA (Society of Audiovisual Authors) Executive Director. “They have recognised that Europe’s screenwriters and directors must be financially rewarded when their works are successful online and have adopted the appropriate provisions to make sure that happens.”

“The unwaivable right to fair remuneration received support from across the political spectrum this morning,” noted Pauline Durand-Vialle, FERA (Federation of European Film Directors) Chief Executive. “It’s great to see the European Parliament stepping up in support of the audiovisual creative community.”

David Kavanagh, FSE (Federation of Screenwriters Europe) Executive Officer said: “This Directive is a unique opportunity to bring fairness to audiovisual authors by allowing them to share in the economic success of their works online: let’s hope this step forward in the EU Parliament paves the way for positive discussions in the Council.”

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