The place of audiovisual authors in the digital revolution
by Aurore Engelen
In Brussels yesterday, the Society of Audiovisual Authors held a conference on the place of audiovisual authors in the digital revolution, and more specifically on the ways to achieve greater distribution and better remuneration of their work. Last February, while the European Commission was preparing to launch a major consultation on the subject, the SAA published a White Paper on the rights and remuneration of audiovisual authors in Europe (read the news). While this report looked at all the aspects of the rise in earnings, it highlighted that the arrival of the digital market and the development of new technologies was changing the situation, and that the necessary reinforcement of the work carried out by copyright companies in some countries should be an opportunity for a Europe-wide coordination of the management of income generated by the online exhibition of productions. At the centre of discussions was the notion of fair remuneration, and the right of authors to access income from takings generated by the distribution of their previous works when they are in the stage of writing (read the éditorial by Cécile Despringe, director of the SAA).
A few weeks after the publication of the Commission’s Green Paper – the result of a consultation on television and cinema in the digital era, whose particular aim was to gauge the pace of changes in the audiovisual sector as well as the best way to approach certain challenges like the question of better remuneration for rights-holders – the SAA thus brought together authors as well as political representatives to examine these issues. While it is clear that we cannot rely on the introduction of a single model for accessing works, we must contribute to the setting up of legal downloading platforms for users, but above all, continue to support the production, and even more so the promotion of European works. In view of the reduction in the number of works on offer, it’s by actively highlighting quality productions that we will manage to reach out to audiences. As for the fair remuneration of authors, the effectiveness of systems set up by collective copyright management companies in certain countries (like Spain and France) opens up a path that could certainly be developed in Europe.
(Translated from French)