Joint Press Release on EU Copyright:
Commission commits to action on authors’ remuneration

FERA, FSE and SAA welcome the European Commission’s commitment to go beyond political declarations and take action on authors’ remuneration. Urgent action is needed to ensure creativity and authors’ rights are rewarded in financial terms and worth something online.

In addition to action on authors’ remuneration, the Commission’s communication Towards a modern, more European copyright framework rightly identifies other areas where it can make a difference:

– Effective enforcement: tackling commercial-scale piracy, which discourages new businesses based on the online exploitation of protected works that are essential to the development of the European online content market;

– Fostering accessibility, availability and circulation of European works through a range of measures using the review of the Satellite and Cable Directive, the Creative Europe programme and, although not mentioned in the Communication, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive review.

Furthermore, the Commission’s communication shows that copyright and authors’ rights are certainly not broken but can be adapted in specific areas to cope with the challenges of the online environment. FERA, FSE and SAA welcome the fact that the Commission does not directly question the territoriality principle and recognizes the flexibility of copyright and authors’ rights to adapt to any market structure and business model, whether territorial or pan-European.

However, some measures could still inadvertently question the territoriality principle and need to be reconsidered. While we can support portability of subscription-based online content services, poor drafting that would not limit the portability in time could allow cross-border access through the back door. The same applies to a unified copyright title, considered as the long-term goal by the Commission, and any review of the Satellite and Cable Directive that seeks to extend the country of origin mechanism of direct satellite broadcasting to online transmissions.

In addition, cross-border access still seems to be mistaken for the silver bullet to enhance accessibility of European works. While FERA, FSE and SAA support the objective of improved circulation of European works, we consider that only active promotion which brings European works to European citizens’ direct environment will make a difference in a highly competitive market dominated by Hollywood productions.

Finally, we are surprised by the inclusion of private copying levies in the communication and the negative approach.  This sits in stark contrast to the European Parliament’s 2014 resolution which underlined the continued relevance of the system to the digital age and its importance to Europe’s creators.  It also seems to contradict the Commission’s insistence that authors’ remuneration is one of its priorities. The levy system is a virtuous cycle, which provides freedom to copy for consumers, a contribution from manufacturers and importers who sell copy-making devices and fair compensation for creators.

Quotes

Barbara Hayes, Chair of the SAA board of directors said:“Action on authors’ remuneration is very much linked to the fostering of a sustainable online marketplace for European works by enabling screenwriters and directors to receive continued royalties for previous works while working on the development of future projects.”

Cécile Despringre, Executive Director of the SAA added:“We do not understand the Commission’s long-term vision of a unified copyright title as if it was in its DNA to harmonise everything. This simplistic and bureaucratic vision is in clear contradiction with the EU’s political motto “United in diversity” which acknowledges exactly what the EU is about.”

Pauline Durand-Vialle, CEO of FERA said: “Any actual improvement of authors’ remuneration will require a thorough approach by the Commission based on improved contractual practices as well as increased collective bargaining and collective management of rights”

Background

Following the Digital Single Market communication of May 2015, The Copyright communication sets the plan for the modernization of EU copyright rules. It includes among the set of proposals to be prepared in 2016 EU solutions to ensure authors receive fair remuneration for the use of their works, following further in depth discussion on the most appropriate mechanisms. In March 2015, SAA published the 2ndedition of its white paper  on Audiovisual Authors’ Rights and Remuneration in Europe which supports the development of a collectively managed, unwaivable remuneration right.

Cultural and creative sectors are very competitive market for authors who struggle to make a living out of their art. According to an ALCS study, 40% of professional authors were living on their writing in 2005 in the UK. By 2013 this figure was only 11.5% and income had dropped by 29%. According to an FSE survey, the annual median income of screenwriters was just €22,000 in 2012. The collections of SAA’s members in 2013, while not representing all payments due to authors, represented just 0.37% of Europe’s audiovisual industry revenues.  Authors need to be able to rely on the revenues from the exploitation of their works to continue to create independently and fund the development of future projects.

In September 2015, the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) and FERA have also put together a document to affirm the many assertions by the European Parliament and the Commission that creators’ remuneration needs to be guaranteed, and to make specific proposals for changes that would be of real practical benefit to European creators, particularly for audiovisual authors, screenwriters and directors : Authors’ remuneration: A Problem at the Heart of Copyright


FERA briefing paper

AVMS consultation

You will find below a summary of FERA's contribution to the latest stage of the Audiovisual Media Service Directive's review. Feel free to share it with your members. 

All the responses to the consultation will be published on the European Commission website shortly (here): you can look there for your Member State's, public authorities', film agencies' or other any audiovisual national stakeholders' replies if they have contributed. Any feedback on your country's position on this matter will be useful during the next steps of AVMSD's review (2016): we look forward to your input!

WHAT IS THE AVMSD ? 

The Audiovisual Media Service Directive (AVMSD) governs EU-wide coordination of national legislation on all audiovisual media, and therefore covers the promotion and distribution of European works.

AVMSD's following provisions are key to preserve cultural diversity in the EU audiovisual sector:

  • Article 13 provides that on-demand audiovisual media services will promote the production of and access to European works 
  • Article 16 requires broadcasters to reserve a majority proportion of their transmission time for European works 
  • Article 17 requires broadcasters to reserve a minimum proportion (at least 10%) of their transmission time for European works created by independent producers

WHY THIS REVIEW ? 

This consultation is part of the assessment of the AVMSD under the new Regulatory Fitness (REFIT) evaluation process. A REFIT is a trimming exercize: its general objective is to make EU law simpler. This must not been achieved at the European audiovisual sector's expense. 

The review of the AVMSD is part of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy. 

GENERAL ISSUES RAISED BY THE COMMISSION:

How well do you think the current audiovisual framework works? Should we improve it and how?

What roles and responsibilities should market players (like TV broadcasters, on-demand service providers, internet services, telecom operators, etc.) have?

How can we best protect viewers (particularly children), promote European works and access to information, regulate advertising in the audiovisual online world?

FERA’S CONTRIBUTION SUMMARY

The AVMS Directive is a key piece of EU legislation for the European audiovisual sector and is more relevant than ever, as the online demand for audiovisual content increases. Its revision should focus on :

  • Strengthening the promotion of European audiovisual works

Improve the implementation of the Directive’s key provisions in that area

Adjust the country of origin principle to prevent hindering Member states' audiovisual policies

  • Extending the scope of the Directive

To all services editorializing audiovisual content  

To all services targeting EU markets

  • Preserve authors’ moral rights and high quality viewing experiences for users

Full FERA memo available here


FERA Update 

September 2015

EP President Martin Schulz meets key author’s representatives

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From left to right: Dan Clifton (FERA), Mogens Blicher Bjerregard (EFJ), Martin Schulz (EP President), Alfons Karabuda (ECSA), Sveinbjorn Baldvinsson (FSE) and Nick Yapp (EWC) President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz received on September 2 a high-level delegation from Europe’s largest author’s organizations. Creators from the music, film and audio-visual, literature as well as journalism sector were represented by the Presidents of ECSA, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Writers Council (EWC), the Federation of European Film Directors (FERA) and the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE). The meeting was an opportunity to brief President Schulz on the authors' point of view regarding the ongoing discussion surrounding the Digital Single Market Strategy and the upcoming reform of the EU legislation on copyright.
 

European Commission study on remuneration of authors and performers finally released



The European Commission published the final reportRemuneration of authors and performers for the use of their works and the fixations of their performances’ on 24 July 2015. The study provides insight in a field which so far has not been explored by the European Commission and thereby supports evidence-based policy-making in the area of copyright. The issue of authors' and performers' rights, remuneration and related contracts, is largely governed by national laws of the Member States, and for this reason there are disparities between the situations of creators across Europe. 

The study provides some interesting insights on unfair contracts and concludes that the lack of transparency on the remuneration arrangements in the contracts of authors and performers in relation to the rights transferred, have an adverse effect on the functioning of the Internal Market and therefore necessitate an EU approach.
 

A very busy EU agenda for the audiovisual sector in the coming months

In its Digital Single Market strategy, the Commission stated its commitment to abolish geoblocking (which is the way online consumers realize that films and TV shows are sold on a country-by-country basis) through a EU copyright legislation reform; the first legislative proposal expected by the end of 2015. 

As this licensing system is the cornerstone of funding and distribution of audiovisual works in Europe, FERA decided to engage with other EU audiovisual professionals in an effort to provide industry solutions to the issues identified by the Commission:

FERA supports industry focus group aiming to improve the circulation of audiovisual works in Europe

Launched  last May, it includes the European Producers’ Club, Europa Distribution, Europa International and EuroVOD and is supported by the EFADs, FERA and SAA. It seeks to find industry solutions to the issue's raised by the European Commission in the frame of its Digital Single Market strategy and copyright reform. Conclusions are expected early October. 

More recently, the Commission challenged geoblocking once again, this time through competition law: 

European Commission opens antitrust case against Sky UK and six US Studios

After opening an investigation on suspicion of EU antitrust rules violations in their licensing practices in January 2014, the top EU antitrust authority, led by Danish competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, charged six American studios and a pay television company in Britain with unfairly blocking access to films and other content for European consumers on July 23. More details available here

And more is to be expected from the Commission, which has just lauched two consultations on two major pieces of legislation for our sector : 

Launch of public consultation on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD)

The AVMS Directive is the cornerstone piece of legislation for the audiovisual sector in Europe (promotion of European works and broadcasting quotas, investment obligations, etc). This consultation aims at assessing its relevance in the digital era in view of possible amendments, in the context of a "REFIT" exercize (Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme). FERA will respond before Sept 30 deadline. More details available here

Launch of public consultation on the Satellite and Cable Directive

Part of the DSM strategy, this review of the 1993 EU Satellite and Cable Directive aims at enhancing cross-border access to broadcasting and related online services across the EU. As the cable retransmission right of audiovisual authors (and subsequent payment through your collective management organizations) is already challenged in several EU countries, it is an important opportunity to address the issue: the EU audiovisual CMOs collections for cable, satellite and IPTV retransmission of your works represents around 19% of their total audiovisual collection. FERA will respond before Nov 16 deadline. More details available here

 

LATEST: European Commission plans cutbacks in 2016 MEDIA programme budget

Theatrical distribution and sales are particularly targeted.

Read more about it on Cineuropa and Film New Europe
 

IN SHORT: Overview of summer news

August 14 / Council of Europe declaration on gender equality in the audiovisual sector

The Council of Europe held a high-level conference “Women in today's European film industry: gender issues. Can we do better?” during the Sarajevo film festival. The Sarajevo Conference Declaration is available here. For more details, click here

August 9-10 / FERA at Locarno Film festival

FERA partnered with the Festival Del Film Locarno Industry Days for the second year on two events - the fourth edition of the StepIn Think Tank, where FERA directors took part in fruitful discussions about the dissemination of art-house content in Europe and abroad, and the "FOCAL Women in the Industry: Spotlight on Success Stories" panel, in partnership with our Swiss member ARF FDS and the EWA network, where FERA and ARF FDS gave an overview of their activities on the gender equality issue. 

July 24 / LUX Prize contenders announced 

Mediterranea  by Jonas Carpignano (Italy, United States, Germany, France, Qatar), Mustang  by Deniz Gamze Ergüven (France, Germany, Turkey, Qatar), and Urok (The Lesson)  by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov (Bulgaria, Greece). are competing for the European Parliament's 2015 LUX Film Prize. For more details, click here

July 13-17 / TTIP latest round

After the European Parliament vote on July 8 for the continuation of the trade negotiations with the US conducted by European Commission, the 10th round of negotiations took place in Brussels on July 13-17 (top level negotiations and stakeholders engagement event). More details on the topics addressed in July here. The next round is set to take place in Washington DC before the end of the year, while both sides have committed to accelerate the discussions and hope to conclude by the end of 2016. 

July 9 / EP Copyright resolution adopted (Reda report) 

The European Parliament final resolution on the implementation of the 2001 Copyright Directive  (aka Reda report) was adopted on July 9. Following successful hard work by MEPs, the final text bore little resemblance to the poor draft report prepared by Julia Reda, but overall fails to address authors' rights and remuneration in the digital environment in a concrete and forward-looking way. Many compromises in amending the text have left it very general and sometimes even contradictory in provisions related to authors' rights.

 

2015 FERA General Assembly Statement

Ljubljana, June 14th 2015

Delegates meeting at the General Assembly of the Federation of European Film Directors (FERA), held in Ljubljana and Bled, Slovenia on June 12th through 14th, called on Members of the European Commission and Parliament to enact FERA’s five point action plan as part of the Digital Single Market initiative.

FERA’s recent policy paper, “TO BUILD A SINGLE MARKET, INVEST IN DIRECTORS”, argues that the Digital Single Market and Copyright Reform initiative cannot be completed without action on the status and remuneration of directors.  It calls for:

  • Contractual terms that protect directors’ authorial rights throughout the value chain, allowing for fair contracts and fees.
  • Restoring balance to the employment of freelance directors by allowing freelancers to organise and represent themselves collectively, bringing an end to unfair employment contracts.
  • Fair remuneration for secondary use of our works.
  • A funding environment that promotes sustainable incomes and careers for directors.
  • Securing the range of voices and works across European film and television, with specific targets to end the under-representation of female directors.

FERA’s newly elected Chair, British Director Dan Clifton, said: “Directors across Europe welcome the recognition by the Commission that fair remuneration of creators is crucial to growing the Digital Single Market.”

As an example of why change is necessary, delegates were presented with the disturbing conclusions of a report by the Assembly’s hosts, the Slovenian Directors’ Guild, that some Slovenian Directors are working 16 hour days without additional remuneration, equivalent to a rate which is below the slovenian minimum wage. FERA’s newly-elected Executive Committee now looks forward to collaborating with the Commission and European Parliament to bring forward firm legislative proposals to make fair remuneration a concrete reality for European film and television directors. 

The Assembly voiced its strong concern about the future of the European audiovisual landscape, where large multinational players are threatening cultural diversity and Europe’s fragile funding ecology with their corporate agenda to end state funding for film and television.

Delegates also called for the implementation of targets across Europe to end the under-representation of female directors. Following successive reports highlighting inequality right across the Audiovisual industries, concerted action is long overdue.  FERA endorses the strong action taken by countries like Sweden, where the Swedish Film Institute have insisted on funding parity between men and women, and calls for the policy to be rolled out right across Europe.

All the guilds unanimously endorsed a statement  which expresses their deepest concern over the report of their Austrian colleague about a new law proposal by their Ministry of Justice which would unjustly take away authors rights and its remuneration from directors, other authors and performing artists.

Finally, the delegates saluted the outgoing chairman Håkan Bjerking, and members of the Executive Committee Dagmar Streicher and André F. Nebe for their commitment to FERA over the last years.

They also warmly thanked their Slovenian hosts, who made the Assembly possible.

FERA’s 2015 General Assembly was hosted this year by DSR and AIPA, in partnership with the Slovenian Film Center.


FERA Executive Committee 2015-2017

Sir Alan PARKER – Honorary President


Dan CLIFTON (UK) – Chairman

Sverre PEDERSEN (Norway) – Treasurer

Christophe ANDRÉI (France)

Peter CARPENTIER (Germany)

Klemen DVORNIK (Slovenia)

Adela PEEVA (Bulgaria)

Birgitte STÆRMOSE (Denmark)

Maurizio SCIARRA (Italy) – Co-opted

[2015/FERA_GA/T2.jpg][2015/FERA_GA/T1.jpg][2015/FERA_GA/T3.jpg]
[2015/FERA_GA/T4.jpg][2015/FERA_GA/T5.jpg][2015/FERA_GA/T6.jpg]
Valné hromady ve Slovinsku, které se zúčastníli za ARAS Vladimir Forst a Marek Dobeš, projednávala dvě klíčová témata. Prvním je postoj k problematice Jednotného digitálního trhu EU a navazujících aktivit. Postoj FERA vyjadřuje její závěrečné:

Prohlášení valné hromady FERA 2015

Delegáti valné hromady Federace evropských filmových režisérů (FERA), které se konalo ve slovinské Ljubljani a Bledu od 12. do 14. června 2015, vyzvalo členy Evropské komise a Evropského parlamentu, aby přijaly pětibodový akční plán FERA jako součást iniciativy k Jednotnému digitálnímu trhu (DSM). Nedávný politický dokument FERA, „Vybudování Jednotného digitálního trhu znamená investovat do režisérů“ tvrdí, že iniciativa k Jednotném digitálním trhu a reformě autorského práva nemůže být kompletní bez jednání o statutu a odměňování režisérů. Tento dokument požaduje:
  • Smluvní podmínky, které chrání autorská práva režisérů v celém tvůrčím hodnotovém řetězci, což umožní spravedlivé smlouvy a odměny.
  • Obnovení rovnováhy při zaměstnávání externích režisérů tak, že tomuto svobodnému povolání bude dovoleno organizovat se a reprezentovat kolektivně, což přinese konec nespravedlivých pracovních smluv.
  • Spravedlivé odměny za druhotné užití tvorby režisérů.
  • Financování prostředí, které podpoří udržitelné příjmy a profesní růst režisérů.
  • Zajištění palety hlasů a tvorby v rámci evropského filmu a televize, se specifickými cíli k ukončení nedostatečného zastoupení žen – režisérek.
Nově zvolený předseda FERA britský režisér Dan Clifton řekl: „Režiséři v celé Evropě vítají uznání ze strany Komise, že spravedlivé odměňování tvůrců má zásadní význam pro růst Jednotného digitálního trhu.“

Jako příklad, že je nutná změna, byli delegáti seznámeni se závěry zprávy hostitelů valné hromady, Slovinské asociace režisérů, že někteří slovinští režiséři pracují 16 hodin denně bez dodatečné odměny za práci, kdy tato odměna je nižší, než slovinská minimální mzda. Nově zvolený výkonný výbor FERA se nyní těší na spolupráci s Komisí a Evropským parlamentem, aby byly předloženy legislativní návrhy na zajištění spravedlivých odměn a konkrétní reality pro evropské filmové a televizní režiséry.

Shromáždění vyjádřilo také silné znepokojení nad budoucností evropského audiovizuálního prostředí, kde velcí nadnárodní hráči ohrožují kulturní rozmanitost a evropskou křehkou grantovou ekologii, kde jejich korporátní agenda chce ukončit státní podporu filmu a televize.
Delegáti rovněž vyzvali v celé Evropě k implementaci cílů, které skončí s nedostatečným zastoupením žen - režisérek. Podle několika zpráv, které prokázaly
nerovnost napříč audiovizuálním průmyslem, jsou společné akce zatím opožděné. FERA podporuje silná opatření přijatá zeměmi jako je Švédsko, kde Švédský filmový institut trvá na paritě financování mezi muži a ženami a vyzývá, aby tato politika byla rozvinuta v celé Evropě.
Všechny asociace sdružené ve FERA jednomyslně schválily prohlášení, které vyjadřuje jejich nejhlubší obavy nad zprávou rakouských kolegů o novém návrhu zákona rakouského ministerstva spravedlnosti, který by nespravedlivě odebral režisérům jejich práva a odměny, stejně jako dalším autorům a výkonným umělcům. 

Na konec valného hromady také delegáti vzdali hold odcházejícímu předsedovi Håkanovi Bjerkingovi a členům výkonného výboru Dagmar Streichel a Andéovi F. Nebe za jejich oddanost FERA v posledních letech.

Delegáti také poděkovali slovinským hostitelům, kteří shromáždění umožnili, tedy DSR a AIPA ve spolupráci se Slovinským filmovým centrem.

FERA výkonný výbor 2015-2017

Sir Alan PARKER – čestný president
Dan CLIFTON (UK) – předseda
Sverre PEDERSEN (Norway) – pokladník
Christophe ANDRÉI (France)
Peter CARPENTIER (Germany)
Klemen DVORNIK (Slovenia)
Adela PEEVA (Bulgaria)
Birgitte STÆRMOSE (Denmark)
Maurizio SCIARRA (Italy) – ko-optován

Druhým zásadním tématem bylo další financování FERA poplatky jednotlivých asociací. Nový klíč, který vypočítává jejich výši podle počtu členů a finančního obratu organizace, je spravedlivější především pro menší organizace (Za 150 členů organizace je 1 bod, za 10 000 euro obratu je také jeden bod - 1 bod = 300 euro ročního poplatku. Počítají se i části z těchto údajů s tím, že minimální poplatek je 900 euro a maximální 10 000 euro pro řádné členy. Přidružení členové - většinou kolektivní správci - platí podle zvláštního sazebníku). Pro ARAS tato změna, která by měla být odsouhlasena v září 2015 per rollam znamená snížení prozatimního ročního příspěvku o 200 euro.

TO BUILD A DIGITAL SINGLE MARKET, INVEST IN DIRECTORS

Brussels, June 3rd 2015

The Federation of European Film Directors today calls for a sea change in the rights and status of directors as part of the Commission’s review of the EU Copyright rules in the completion of a Digital Single Market.

The organisation, which represents film and television directors from 29 countries across Europe, is publishing a five point plan aimed at boosting the position of directors as creators at the heart of the value chain.

Welcoming the Commission’s proposal to build a Digital Single Market, FERA Chair Swedish Director Håkan Bjerking commented: « The digital era offers a lot opportunities for our works – but only if audiovisual authors and directors’ creativity is properly valued. Today we are calling for a sea change in the rights and status of directors, so that the value chain is rebalanced towards authors and creators, with an end to contractual abuses and proper recognition of the value of directors’ rights. Europe’s creative economy cannot grow to its full potential without rewarding the creativity and authorship of directors.

Europe's audiovisual content, generating revenues estimated at EUR 133 billion in 2013, is at the heart of a future Digital Single Market.

FERA welcomes the mention in the Commission DSM strategy of safeguarding fair remuneration of creators, the importance of the future generation of European content, and the need to ensure that the financing process and Europe’s cultural diversity are not undermined.  

In addition, as part of its five-point action plan, FERA is calling for specific targets on the representation of women directors, to end discrimination across Europe.

FERA is therefore calling for action on the following five key points:

  • Contractual terms that protect directors’ authorial rights throughout the value chain, allowing for fair contracts and fees.
  • Restoring balance to the employment of freelance directors by allowing freelancers to organise and represent themselves collectively, bringing an end to unfair employment contracts.
  • Fair remuneration for secondary use of our works.
  • A funding environment that promotes sustainable incomes and careers for directors.
  • Securing the range of voices and works across European film and television, with specific targets to end the under-representation of female directors.

FERA looks forward to discussing with the European Commission how to meet these essential requirements for European directors ahead of their upcoming legislative proposals. 

You can download FERA’s Position Paper here

FERA Update April 2015

FERA's Executive Committee gathered last month in Sofia and enjoyed the warm welcome of the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers and the SIFF Sofia Meetings. We met committed audiovisual professionals from Bulgaria and other European countries, prompting timely and interesting discussions about the future of our common European audiovisual culture, which in turn fueled our meeting talks about the upcoming reform of the European copyright legal framework, and its impact on the European audiovisual industry and authors.


The European Commission will publish its Digital Single Market strategy on May 6 : it will provide, at long last, the scope of this upcoming reform and how it will affect not only the audiovisual industry, but the authors' rights of European directors.

Before giving you a detailed rundown of FERA's activities and perspectives on that topic at our General Assembly in Slovenia mid-June (don't forget to register before May 5 !), you'll find below an overview of the latest news. 


Pauline Durand-Vialle
Chief Executive

 

Focus : latest news on EU copyright debate 

General overview

The EU Audiovisual industry reactions over the last month, as the Commission's stance on geoblocking/territoriality issue - one of the copyright debate main focus - seems to grow more flexible...
>>> March 5 : Brussels copyright plans meet resistance
>>> March 9 : Oetting under fire over copyright proposals
>>> March 25 : Brussels wants to end geo-blocking of online content
>>> March 30 : What's behind a Europe plan that would
>>> March 30 : EU commissioners at odds over geo-blocking
>>> April 9 : Hopeful signs for European copyright reform

Why the European Commission is so interested in achieving the Digital Single Market : not much to do with the audiovisual sector...
>>> EU spends millions to make the next Facebook European

The general lobbying landscape in Brussels, a not-so-bright picture
>>> EU transparency rules 'not truly effective'
 

FERA response to Julia Reda MEP
A month after releasing a very controversial draft report on the implementation of 2001
Copyright Directive (over , Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda called on creatives to give their
opinion on the upcoming copyright reform mid February. On March 2nd, FERA’s honorary
President Sir Alan Parker and FERA’s board members sent her the following letter. 
You can download FERA's letter here
Audiovisual sector joint letter on the Copyright Reform
FERA co-signed a joint letter with most of the organizations of the audiovisual sector
based in Brussels, addressed to the European Commission on "Making the Digital Single
Market Work : Key Principles for the Film and Audiovisual Sector". 
You can download the Joint Letter here  

SAA White Paper launch
FERA and FSE (Federation of European Screenwriters) endorsed the Society
of Audiovisual Authors (grouping of European Collective Management of Rights
Organisations) White Paper that was released on March 23rd in Brussels. 
You can download the SAA White Paper here  

The Film Agencies standpoint on the Copyright Reform
The Association of the European Film Agency Directors (EFADs) adopted in March 2015
a Resolution on the potential reforms to European Union copyright rules. This first paper
will be followed by an in depth assessment of the Commission proposals and concrete
suggestions for actions.
You can download the EFADs resolution here  

French-German Joint Declaration on Authors' Rights
The French and German government released on 31 March 2015 a joint declaration on
author’s rights. FERA welcomes this firm commitment for authors’ rights, as it highlights
that copyright is essential in stimulating creation, cultural diversity and innovation. 
You can download the Joint Letter in French or German  

Filmmakers voicing their concern over the territoriality issue
- April 9 : A Call From Europe's Filmmakers, hosted on French l'ARP website available here
- April 15 : Brussels Press conference of "concerned authors-directors" at the European
Parliament on April 15 chaired by French MEP Jean Marie Cavada, held by directors Lucas
Belvaux, Costa Gavras, Dariusz Jablonski, Fernando Trueba and Peter Webber

Meanwhile, Brussels-based organizations like ours, the Federation of Screenwriters in
Europe (FSE ) and the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) are also fighting to advance
audiovisual authors' rights and remuneration, both online and offline, in this copyright
reform context. 


April 20 : Julia Reda's MEP response to those initiatives, a one-sided panel
at the European Parliament 'Meet the New Authors'  



 

FERA partners up with European Film Music Days in Cannes for the
second year

FERA is happy to announce its partnership with European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA), Soundtrack Cologne and the renowned Directors' Fortnight for its next event in Cannes.

The European Film Music Day will offer a platform for film directors and composers to meet and present their creative work to the audience and audiovisual stakeholders. It will also be the opportunity to address key issues in light of the upcoming copyright review.

More information to follow !
 

In short 

Switzerland : ARF/FDS tackles the gender issue at Solothurner Filmtage fest
More about it here   

Poland : the Film Academy demands the release of Ukranian Director Oleg Sentsov
More about it here  

UK : Directors, producers and writers sign new revenue sharing deal
Learn more about this 'locked box' agreement here  

European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity : a reinforced presence in Brussels
More about it here  

Launch of Wider Spectrum Group calling for a shared vision on spectrum as part of Europe's industrial strategy for the Creative and Cultural sector
Launched on April 13 to mark the end of the European Commission’s consultation on the Lamy Report, the Group is composed of European employers and employee representatives. More about it here  
 

FERA Update February 2015

Full speed

Not a dull moment in 2015 so far : in a dark current events atmosphere from Paris to Ukraine, Brussels is very much alive with discussions challenging the audiovisual sector. 
This number one priority of the new Commission - achieving the Digital Single Market - will question the way the audiovisual professionals work, on topics ranging from authors' rights to investment and distribution of audiovisual works. And the trade negociations engaged between the EU the US might end up questioning even more... 
Such an opportunity to actually state what it is that you want doesn't come that often, and we will make sure that European film directors' voices are heard. In the meantime, enjoying the warmest welcome from our Slovenian members hosting FERA workshop on collective management of rights was a treat and a very welcome boost of spirits! And the best is yet to come in June for FERA's GA.Not a dull moment to expect in 2015, that's for sure. 

Pauline Durand-Vialle
Chief Executive 


Hosted in style by the Slovenian Directors Guild and AIPA, the FERA workshop on collective management of rights was held on January 29 in Ljubljana. Over 40 participants attended the case studies, presentation of the 2014 European CRM Directive and discussion to assess what directors want from their collective management organizations in this new context.
Reports and videos of the day's presentations will be available on FERA's website shortly.

SAVE THE DATE - FERA GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2015!

We'll be happy go back to Slovenia for FERA' next GA in Bled, on June 12-14.


"Pirate in the European Parliament" submits draft report on copyright

The latest development on the EU copyright reform already mentioned in our December update is the release of draft report in European Parliament.
 
Mid January, the Pirate party MEP Julia Reda (Germany) released her "draft report on the implementation of Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society".
 
As it happens, this draft report is not what you could call an evaluation of the 2001 Directive : it does not mention its implementation or its positive or negative results. FERA, with other organizations representing authors and performers in Brussels, considers it is actually meant to influence the Commission’s process to reform copyright at an early stage. As such, it advocates for a profound reform of the EU copyright legal framework in response to the alleged demands of Internet users, which would result in weakening the rights and standpoint of directors as audiovisual authors.

What's next?

MEPs will be tabling amendments on this draft report until early March. Our objective is to have them reshape the report completely, so that this first publication from the newly elected Parliament on the subject is balanced and evidence-based as it should. The EP Legal Affairs committee will vote on amendements mid April, before the final report is put to the vote during the EP plenary session in May.
 
FERA and some of its members have already started to get in touch with MEPs : if you have the opportunity to raise the issue with your local MEP, don't hesitate to reach our office for more details.
 

2015 Berlinale: 
Will digital Commissionner Oettinger really engage with European audiovisual professionals?

Reading his Feb 5 blogpost, we surely hope so : it looks like there is a lot to discuss, from the part audiovisual works and their creators have to play in the digital society, to the new Creative Europe programme, sustainable investment and smart distribution of films... Let's hope the independant European audiovisual professionals will be heard during the Creative Europe MEDIA Info Day on Feb 9! 

FERA's CEO will be attending the Berlinale from Sun 8th to Tue 10th
 

A never ending story of TTIP and culture

The European Commission published two documents early January to clarify the scope of the TTIP negotiations. The first document focuses on Intellectual Property. It confirms that copyright is part of the negotiation, in particular public performance and broadcasting rights. The second document focuses on culture, and gives additional indications with respect to the position defended by European negotiators: “TTIP might include a limited but important number of issues that would benefit European artists and producers...

If the conditional tense is still in order, monitoring is very much necessary and we will update you on any developments.
 

Did you know?

In recent years, there has been a significant acceleration in the number of fiscal incentive schemes operating in Europe : between 2010 and 2014, European countries introduced 12 new fiscal incentives to support film, television, and video game production, bringing the total to 26 fiscal incentive schemes operated in 17 European countries as of December 31, 2014.

Source : Impact Analysis of Fiscal Incentive Schemes Supporting Film and Audiovisual Production in Europe 
© European Audiovisual Observatory (Council of Europe), Strasbourg, 2014

 

FERA Update December 2014

2015 is around the corner: best wishes for a creative, successful and spirited year! 

Let us also wish for FERA a strong fighting spirit, as crucial issues for film directors and their authors’ rights will be raised by our new EU institutions this year.
 
As knowledge is power, we must not let FERA’s funding challenges get in the way: in 2015, our office will do its best to keep you updated on these developments through this shorter, as regular as possible, newsletter.
 
So, to start the year with proper FERA spirit, don’t forget to register for our workshop on collective rights management below, and get ready to sign up for one more year of FERA, as the membership renewal campaign will begin shortly!
 
Kind regards, 
Pauline Durand-Vialle, Chief Executive
 

The EU agenda for a copyright reform

The new President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker (Luxembourg) announced during his campaign that the new Commission’s number one priority would be the creation of a Digital Single Market, that would call for a reform of EU copyright.
 
The new Commission therefore has a Vice President leading the Project Team « Digital Single Market », Andrus Ansip (Estonia), and a Commissioner to the Digital Economy & Society, Günther Oettinger (Germany). This Commissioner now handles all the current affairs linked to the audiovisual sector, including the MEDIA Programme, which has been transferred from the Culture portfolio.
 
On Dec 16, the 2015 Work Programme of the European Commission was released and included as expected the modernisation of copyright as a key priority for 2015, as part of the Digital Single Market Package, to “ensure that consumers enjoy cross border access to digital services, create a level playing field for companies and create the conditions for a vibrant digital economy and society.”
 
For its part, the European Parliament has launched several reports on this upcoming reform of copyright and the audiovisual sector, among which Julia Reda MEP (Germany-Greens/European Pirate Party)’s evaluation of the 2001 Copyright directive.  
The EP’s Legal Affairs committee (JURI) launched a copyright and intellectual property working group on Dec 17 to help the Parliament prepare its position on the planned reform.
Some FERA members have already started to get in touch with their local MEPs to raise their awareness of the issue.
 
This process will raise key questions for the future of audiovisual authors and the European audiovisual sector, and will be a crucial first test of these new EU institutions’ working methods for us. 
 

This month's good news

The 2014 LUX Prize was awarded to Pawel Pawlikowski's IDA on Dec 17 in Strasbourg. IDA was among the three finalists films, with Céline Sciamma's GIRLHOOD and Rok Biček's CLASS ENEMY, which have been travelling across Europe since early October as part of the LUX Film Days. They have been subtitled in the 23 official languages of the European Union, and more than 165 screenings have been arranged in all of the Member States. Fun fact : among the 3 finalists' directors, at least 2 are involved in FERA member organizations ! 
 

Did you know? 

In 2013, the European Audiovisual Observatory estimates that 1 542 theatrical feature films (fiction and documentary) were produced in the 28 Member States. 
They were / will be / could have been shown on 29 965 cinema screens in the same countries. 
Source : EAO 2013 Yearbook Vol. 2
 

In short

EY study on the Cultural and Creative Industries in the EU
CCI are one of the bigger European employers with 7 million jobs, and experiences consistent growth even in difficult times for the EU economy - food for thought for our EU decision makers ! More about this EY study here

Flashback on FERA General Assembly in Malmö
Just click to get to a sum up of the panel held on our GA's 2nd day showcasing the gender issue, and the GA closing statement

UK : No Private Copying Exception without Compensation
More about our UK member call for a judicial review of the recently implemented exception for private copying here

FERA in EU events
Find out about the European Audiovisual Observatory conference about fiscal incentives on Oct 20, the CW! Audiovisual Workshop at the European Parliament on Nov 18, and in Strasbourg for LUX Prize events and an audiovisual authors' dinner with MEPs on D