Institutions / Legislation - Europe
Industry Report: Market Trends
EU filmmakers call on global streamers to commit to fair negotiating conditions on remuneration
FERA has published a letter specifying the essential points the professionals and the platforms need to agree on in order to build healthy creative relationships
As global streamers are on the rise in the European audiovisual online distribution and production markets, European filmmakers look forward to new opportunities for creative endeavors. The ongoing implementation of key European Directives touching to media regulation (AVMS Directive 2018/1808) and authors’ rights (Copyright Directive 2019/790) should ensure that these collaborations develop in fair and sustainable conditions for European audiovisual creation. In order to build healthy creative relationships, European filmmakers and their representative organisations need global streaming platforms to commit to three essential principles, as specified by a letter published today by FERA (Federation of European Screen Directors).
The first principle is transparency, in order to provide verified viewership figures to allow for fair negotiations. According to the organisation, "the communication of verified viewership data and statistics is essential for all parties involved to be able to assess the value of the rights and remuneration models being negotiated. Article 19 of the 2019 Copyright Directive seeks to correct information asymmetry in contracts’ negotiation: without information on their works’ actual performance, authors and their representatives are negotiating blindfolded."
The second principle is to ensure that filmmakers get fair and proportionate remuneration for their works’ use and success. According to the organisation, "European audiovisual authors, and singularly directors, are freelance in their vast majority with little to no job security or access to social benefits. They also face significant periods without income as they develop new projects and promote finished works. In the wake of COVID-19, we need more than ever to fairly share in the commercial use and success of our works across the board – as authors from other Cultural and Creative sectors traditionally do in Europe."
The third point is to define fair and proportionate remuneration models. According to the organisation, "in doing so, two aspects of the value of authors’ economic rights should be considered: assignment (fair and proportionate value for our Making Available Right’s assignment, based on its global scope and the subscriber base of the service) and success (a remuneration model based on our works’ actual audience performance e.g. through payment thresholds consistent with their performance potential). Production costs covering most – if not all – authors’ remuneration does not qualify as a fair remuneration model and does not fit European audiovisual filmmakers’ socio-economic reality. The introduction of unfair so-called success-based remuneration mechanisms in Europe would risk undermining existing models and the implementation of the 2019 Copyright Directive which sets out essential new safeguards – at a time when the European audiovisual creative community needs them most."
This call on global streamers is launched on a very specific situation, defined by the new EU framework for filmmakers’ remuneration and, as well as the rise of viewers on VOD platforms partly cause by the COVID-19 crisis. Read about it in detail here.
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