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LEGISLATION Europe

21,000 signatories in support of Europe’s screenwriters and directors

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- EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel received a delegation handing over a petition to support the right to fair remuneration of Europe’s screenwriters and directors

21,000 signatories in support of Europe’s screenwriters and directors
(l-r): Screenwriter Jochen Greve, EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, writer-director Costa-Gavras and screenwriter Jean-Luc Goossens

Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, received a delegation handing over a petition (accessible here) signed by more than 21,000 supporters of Europe’s screenwriters and directors and their right to fair and proportionate remuneration.

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The Federation of European Film Directors (FERA), the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) and the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) launched the petition in early 2018 to bring attention to the needs of audiovisual authors in the proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. In September, they welcomed the adoption of the European Parliament’s position on the Copyright Directive, which provides a new Article establishing a principle of fair and proportionate remuneration for authors derived from the revenues generated by the exploitation of their works, including online (new Article -14).

The 21,000 authors and supporters from the EU and beyond (more than 100 countries) expect to be heard at this moment when the EU institutions negotiate the final text of the Copyright Directive. The new Article -14 proposed by the European Parliament is an essential addition to the Directive which will improve the situation of audiovisual authors in terms of their remuneration; an urgent measure to take as figures demonstrate declining unstable and modest incomes while the industry and prospects for the on market are flourishing. The inclusion of this new Article would help the Directive deliver results for the whole value chain of the cultural and creative industries. The petition was handed over to Commissioner Gabriel ahead of the 2nd trilogue meeting between the European Commission, the Parliament and the Council (Member States) on 25 October.

French director Costa-Gavras, German screenwriter Jochen Greve and Belgian screenwriter Jean-Luc Goossens, featured in the delegation, stated, “Commissioner Gabriel aspires to build a digital world that promotes cultural creativity by making European works available on digital platforms. Providing fair and proportionate remuneration to authors means that they would finally benefit from the success of their works when viewed online and ensure the creation of tomorrow. We are confident in the ability of the EU decision-makers to adopt a Copyright Directive that sets out this principle, which would be a real breakthrough for European authors. It is not only about economics; it is a question of dignity”.

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