Tuesday

25th Sep 2018

Ansip: EU will not change film release system

  • Filmmakers fear Brussels will meddle with the release window system. (Photo: m4tik)

The EU is not planning to change the current 'release window system' for films, or to forbid territorial licensing to pre-finance films, the bloc's digital commissioner Andrus Ansip told members of the European Parliament on Monday (27 April) in Strasbourg.

The system, by which a film is first screened in a cinema, followed by a release on DVD, and then on a video-on-demand service, has been around since the 1980s.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

But after commissioner Ansip announced he wanted to end geo-blocking - a technical restriction preventing online content being watched from a certain country – several European filmmakers expressed concern that the release window system would be affected.

But Ansip, who was appearing before the parliament's culture committee, said that he just wants consumers who have bought a film online to be able to access it if they travel within the EU.

He also said that if a film or other digital product is available in one EU member country it should in principle also be available to those in other EU countries.

MEPs, for their part, raised the concerns of creators and artists.

“European filmmakers argue that they need the existing pre-financing system … to make film financing sustainable by granting exclusive licenses”, said German Green MEP Helga Trupel Monday.

She said the Oscar-winning Polish film Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski would not have been financed without territorial licenses.

Trupel was one of the MEPs to receive a group of European filmmakers on 15 April in Brussels.

The directors and screenwriters came with a desperate message, handing out a manifesto signed by filmmakers such as Cédric Klapisch, Lucas Belvaux, and Borja Cobeaga.

“We are Europeans that are convinced that the European Commission’s will to challenge the copyright system and territoriality of rights, would undermine the remuneration of many authors who already live in difficult conditions, would endanger the funding of creation and would lead to the empowerment of giant, non-European Internet platforms, often the only ones able to acquire the rights for several territories”, the manifesto read.

But Ansip said that while the commission wants to reform copyright, it does not want to introduce mandatory “pan-European licenses”.

According to a leaked draft version of a commission strategy paper on the digital single market, which was published online by Politico Europe last week, the commission will “propose a reform of the copyright regime” in autumn 2015.

The new regime should be “fit for the digital age benefiting both the creators, innovators and consumers alike”, the draft read.

The draft identified a need for “a balanced copyright reform including measures that would benefit rights holders”.

Ansip will present a final version of the strategy on Wednesday 6 May.

EU court delivers transparency blow on MEP expenses

The General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg argued that disclosure of how MEPs use their monthly €4,400 expenses allowance risks violating an MEP's data protection rights. Journalists behind the case will appeal.

Investigation

Cyprus: Russia's EU weak link?

Five years and €10bn after its EU bailout, Cyprus is a weak link in Europe's banking system - amid renewed fears on Russia money-laundering.

Feature

Missing signature gaffe for Azerbaijan gas pipeline

A joint declaration on the Southern Gas Corridor project, which should deliver Azerbaijani gas to Europe by 2020, will remain secret - because the Turkish energy minister left before signing.

News in Brief

  1. Migrant rescue ship heading to French port
  2. EU angry at British tabloids on Brexit
  3. UK to allow EU flights in no-deal Brexit
  4. Greek reporters arrested after story on 'mishandled' EU funds
  5. Austrian minister urges police to out foreign sex offenders
  6. ECB's Draghi set to clarify role in secretive G30 group
  7. Half of EU states at risk of missing recycling target
  8. Commission refers Poland to EU top court over rule of law

Investigation

Cyprus: Russia's EU weak link?

Five years and €10bn after its EU bailout, Cyprus is a weak link in Europe's banking system - amid renewed fears on Russia money-laundering.

Agenda

Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK

The EU will be watching closely how the political dynamics of Theresa May's Conservative party conference starting next week will influence Brexit negotiations. MEPs might also be forced to release their office expenses.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. EU court delivers transparency blow on MEP expenses
  2. Russian with Malta passport in money-laundering probe
  3. Cyprus: Russia's EU weak link?
  4. Missing signature gaffe for Azerbaijan gas pipeline
  5. Every major city in Europe is getting warmer
  6. No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected
  7. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  8. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us