FERA, the Federation of European Film Directors, were this week extremely pleased to announce the results of recent negotiations concerning the promotion and financing of European audiovisual works.
The EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) coordinates national legislation as it relates to all audiovisual media. As digital and on-demand services continue to grow, this directive needs to be updated and has been the subject of much negotiation between the European Parliament, Council and Commission.
The most recent round of negotiations have resulted in two important provisions that will help secure a sound legislative framework for European audiovisual works in the digital age:
- Online services will be required to ensure the prominence of EU works and to secure a quota of at least 30% of European audiovisual works in on-demand catalogues
- Member States will be allowed to require financial contributions (directly through investment obligation in new audiovisual works, or indirectly through levies/taxes to finance local film funds) from online services and broadcasters, including when they are based outside their borders, but target their national audience
Negotiations will come to an official end in June when the European Parliament, Council and Commission finalise the last remaining technical details of the proposal. There are also still important questions remaining that relate to the unwaivable right to remuneration for the online use of audiovisual work. The authors’ remuneration provisions in the Copyright Directive proposal are still being discussed, and FERA and Directors UK will continue to focus our efforts on making sure these provisions are included in the final text.
While this is extremely good news for directors and other creatives across Europe, as Directors UK CEO Andrew Chowns notes, “concerns remain that once out of the EU, UK films and television programmes could be subject to the same quota restrictions as apply currently to US and other non-EU content. Thus, to avoid these restrictions, we will need any future UK-EU agreement to ensure that UK content counts towards EU quotas”.