Friday

23rd Feb 2018

Focus

Authors urge EU to protect rights against pirates

  • Collective copyrights in the EU are estimated to be worth €4.6 billion out of a global industry worth €7.5 billion. (Photo: European Commission)

Film directors and screenwriters should be guaranteed minimum intellectual property rights by EU law, according to a group of leading trade organisations representing authors.

In a joint statement issued Tuesday (10 April) by the Society of Audiovisual Authors, the Federation of European Film Directors and the Federation of Screenwriters Europe, the three groups called for EU legislation to provide equitable rights payments for authors, adding that this should come alongside "enforceable rights, fair contracts and stronger resistance to arguments put out by the pirate lobby."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The statement comes in advance of a hotly anticipated EU directive on collective rights.

The three organisations, which together represent almost 150,000 film and television screenwriters and directors, as well as royalty-collecting societies across Europe, want the EU to tighten legislation on authors' rights. In particular, they are demanding an EU-wide ban on "buyout contracts," in which authors receive a flat fee in exchange for giving up exploitation rights for their work, usually to film or TV producers.

The authors' groups also want a legally-binding "Right to Equitable Remuneration" payable to authors, to be negotiated by national collecting societies. They added that legislation should be put in place to allow collective bargaining by authors' groups to establish minimum rates and conditions in contracts arguing that the current rules mean that "most authors' contracts are signed under considerable pressure."

The ownership of exploitation rights has been a controversial issue in copyright law for many years.

However, in February a ruling by the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice judged that EU law guarantees exploitation rights to directors and writers who are also entitled to "fair compensation" from the revenue of their work.

The case, which was brought by the Commercial Court of Vienna, hinged on a dispute between a film director and a producer over the ownership of rights of a film dealing with German war photography during the Second World War in which the producer claimed exclusive intellectual property rights.

The co-ordinated move comes as the European Commission is set to propose legislation on collective rights management. Internal market commissioner Michel Barnier told MEPs at the Strasbourg plenary session in February to expect legislation within weeks, after the commission concluded a public consultation.

The commission proposal is expected to set out governance rules for copyright societies and develop new rules to allow multi-territory online music and video licensing. Collective copyrights in the EU are estimated to be worth €4.6 billion out of a global industry worth €7.5 billion.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament's culture committee is currently debating a report by French centre-right MEP Jean Marie Cavada on the commission's 2011 green paper on collective rights management and the status of audiovisual works.

Presenting his report in March, Cavada said that "the parliament unequivocally acknowledges the need to protect authors' rights" adding that "we must now focus our effort on providing legal certainty in the online environment in Europe and make sure that there is not inequality of treatment between the online and offline markets."

Let people download music by text message, says EP report

MEPs to focus on providing legal certainty in the online environment in Europe. The EU should allow people to pay for downloaded music by text message, according to a European Parliament report on the audiovisual sector.

Pressure mounts on EU cloud deal as deadline looms

The European Commission is under pressure to keep to its self-imposed September deadline to publish an EU cloud computing strategy, as new evidence revealed widespread public confusion about it.

News in Brief

  1. May to unveil EU departure strategy next week
  2. Pregnant workers may be dismissed, EU court rules
  3. Romanian minister demands anti-corruption prosecutor fired
  4. Luxembourg and Ireland pay highest minimum wages
  5. Freedom of expression under threat in Spain, warn MEPs
  6. Report: EU to increase sanctions on Myanmar
  7. Juncker 'worried' by Italian elections
  8. EU migration to UK at lowest since 2012

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  2. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  3. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  4. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  5. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  7. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  8. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  10. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  11. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name

Latest News

  1. EU leaders put 'Spitzenkandidat' on summit menu
  2. European far-right political party risks collapse
  3. The key budget issues on EU leaders' table
  4. EU leaders to kick off post-Brexit budget debate
  5. Greek government's steady steps to exit bailout programme
  6. Frontex: Europe's new law enforcement agency?
  7. Poland and Greece broke EU environment laws, rules court
  8. Dutch MPs vote on ending 'Ukraine-type' referendums