EUROPE SAYS ‘YES’ TO COPYRIGHT: DIRECTORS UK WELCOMES REFORM FOR THE DIGITAL AGE
26 March 2019
Today, the European Parliament took a major step towards fair remuneration for directors in the digital age, as MEPs voted in favour of the new Copyright Directive, 348 votes to 274. Following a long and hard-fought battle, the directive was approved in full and will – for the first time – provide the right to fair and proportionate remuneration for use of a director’s work online and also give directors the right to receive information about the uses of their work, a right to request negotiation of their contract if it turns out they do not receive proportionate remuneration and the right to access a disputes resolution process.
Speaking today, Andrew Chowns, CEO of Directors UK said: “Make no mistake, this is a momentous decision by the European Parliament. This Directive - when passed into UK law - will give Directors not only the right to fair and proportionate remuneration but it also equips us with the legal means to defend and protect this right, wherever and by whoever their work is used. The days of unfair buyouts are numbered.”
This news is timely, as a recent EU-wide survey from FERA, the FSE and SAA demonstrates how directors and other audiovisual authors are struggling to make ends meet and maintain sustainable careers. With 85% of respondents working freelance, they exhibit little contractual bargaining power and with median earnings of just €19,000 (£16,189) – the Directive will ensure directors will be guaranteed to receive the proportional remuneration they deserve for the exploitation of their works.
Steve Smith, Directors UK Chair, added: “I’d like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who has worked so hard over recent years to transform copyright for the digital age. The news today will be a game changer for authors, directors and all European creators. It will modernise copyright and, for the first time, enshrine the right for authors, directors and musicians to receive fair remuneration for the use of our work online. Like other directors, my work is uploaded and used all over the internet, for which I receive no additional payment. The implementation of the Copyright Directive will level the playing field between creators and the tech giants and help directors, for the first time, be rewarded fairly for the use of our work.”
You can find a link to the FERA, FSE and SAA survey “European Survey on the Remuneration of Audiovisual Authors: Their earnings and working life” here: http://www.filmdirectors.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/EU-AV-authors-remuneration-study_summary-leaflet-2019-FINAL.pdf