Published on: 07 May 2015 in Industry

SAA ready to help make Digital Single Market work for audiovisual authors

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The Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) have released a press release giving their reaction to the new European Commission plans for a Europe-wide digital single market. We've previously raised our concerns about implementing a digital single market without adequate consideration of how to remunerate creators. Director Roger Michell also gave a speech on this subject at the recent SAA white paper launch.

You can see the European Commission plans here, and read the SAA response below:

Broad European Commission Digital Single Market Strategy leaves room for positive action for Europe’s screenwriters and directors with authors’ remuneration and promotion of European works among multiple issues to be developed in coming years.

Cécile Despringre, SAA Executive Director, said: “The remuneration of creators should be part of any European work on authors’ rights and copyright. We are pleased to see it mentioned in the strategy. SAA’s members can play a constructive role in making the digital single market work for Europe’s audiovisual authors, the creators behind the works that are driving the development of new online markets. We look forward to working with the Commission ahead of the legislative proposal”.

SAA published its white paper on audiovisual authors’ rights and remuneration in Europe in March demonstrating the current situation of screenwriters and directors and making concrete practical suggestions to improve royalty flows to screenwriters and directors for the online use of their work.

SAA welcomes a number of other aspects of the Commission’s strategy notably its proposal to support the promotion of European productions online. This pro-active action seems much more appropriate to really help European works travel across borders. Enforcement of copyright and intermediary responsibility are also important areas for Europe’s screenwriters and directors but should not be seen in isolation from the need for authors to secure a fair return for the exploitation of their works. Many of these issues were put forward in July 2014 in the SAA, FERA, FSE wish-list for the new European Parliament.

The issue of geoblocking and facilitating cross-border access is an area where SAA will remain vigilant to ensure that any initiative does not have a negative impact on the financing of Europe’s diverse range of audiovisual productions. 

You can download the 2nd edition white paper on Audiovisual Authors’ Rights and Remuneration here. SAA has also produced detailed documents on private copying compensation, royalty distribution rules and practices as well as a joint wish list with FERA and FSE for how Europe can help its screenwriters and directors help the European audiovisual sector thrive.

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