Joint Press Release – Screenwriters and Directors demand fair payment for online use of their work
Strasbourg, 14th November 2017
As the European Parliament handed out its cinema award – the Lux Prize – Europe’s associations of screenwriters and directors and their collective management organisations congregated in Strasbourg to meet MEPs and new Digital Commissioner Mariya Gabriel with a clear message: despite the welcome benefits of awards ceremonies like the Lux prize, many screenwriters and directors are unable to sustain a career as an author.
They face income instability, weak bargaining power and high-risk during the unpaid development stage of new projects. On top of that, as more people pay to watch their favourite films and TV shows online, screenwriters and directors often find themselves unable to share in that economic success.
They are calling on Axel Voss, rapporteur for European Parliament report on the draft Copyright Directive, to strengthen the existing provisions on transparency and fair remuneration in contracts, and to include an unwaivable right to remuneration that will ensure that on-demand platforms have to negotiate royalty payments for screenwriters and directors with their collective management organisations.
A delegation of screenwriters and directors led by Oscar-nominated German screenwriter, Fred Breinersdorfer will meet Commissioner Gabriel on 15th November to discuss the Commission’s legislative proposals.
FERA, FSE and SAA congratulate director and screenwriter, Amanda Kernell for winning the LUX Prize with Sami Blood. Robin Campillo and Philippe Mangeot’s 120 BPM and Valeska Grisebach’s Western were the other finalists who received distribution support through the subtitling into all the languages of the European Union.
Cécile Despringre, Executive Director of SAA said: “The time for rhetoric on fair remuneration for authors is over. Draft legislation is on the table, Members of the Parliament must now show they have the political will to tackle this issue.”
Pauline Durand Vialle, CEO of FERA added: “The authors’ community in Europe must be empowered to make the best of its future: we call on the Members of the Parliament to give us the tools to build sustainable careers in the digital era.”
David Kavanagh, Executive Officer of FSE said: “The problems of authors’ remuneration cannot be solved by our marketplace. We need legislative and regulatory solutions from the European Union.”
Notes to Editors
FERA – Founded in 1980, the Federation of European Film Directors contains 39 directors’ associations from 29 countries. It speaks for approximately 20,000 European screen directors, representing their cultural, creative and economic interests both in Brussels and Member States.
Press: Pauline Durand- Vialle, firstname.lastname@example.org – +32 491 52 49 04. @Film_directors
FSE – The Federation of Screenwriters in Europe is a network of national and regional associations, guilds and unions of writers for the screen in Europe, created in June 2001. It comprises 25 members from 20 countries, representing more than 7,000 writers in Europe.
Press: David Kavanagh, email@example.com +353 86 837 1203. @ScreenwritersEU
SAA – Founded in 2010, the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) is the association of European collective management organisations representing audiovisual authors. Its 31 members in 23 countries manage rights for over 120,000 film, television and multimedia European screenwriters and directors.
Press: James Taylor, firstname.lastname@example.org – +32 495 73 42 90. @saabrussels
Download the Press Release PDF version here.