European directors, screenwriters present SAA White Paper to Commissioner Vassiliou
01/06/2011 - Leading European directors and screenwriters Fred Breinersdorfer (Sophie Scholl [trailer]), Stijn Coninx (Sister Smile [trailer]), Bertrand Tavernier (The Princess of Montpensier [trailer]), Jaco Van Dormael (Mr. Nobody [trailer, film focus]), Virgina Yagüe (El Súper) and CEOs of SAA collective management societies met Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou to present the Society of Audiovisual Authors’ (SAA) White Paper on Audiovisual Authors’ Rights and Remuneration in Europe and discuss some of the key issues it raises.
SAA representatives welcomed the European Commission Communication on a Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights adopted on May 24, which clarifies that the Audiovisual Green Paper, due in the second half of 2011, will address “the status of audiovisual authors and their participation in the benefits of online revenue streams”. SAA’s proposal for new mechanisms to respect authors’ rights and remunerate authors for the online exploitation of their works should be central to the Green Paper.
In their conversation with Commissioner Vassiliou, SAA authors underlined the need for rules to ensure that market players who benefit from the exposure of films invest in cinema and television production. At a time when distribution channels are multiplying and European films face tough competition with US films, enhanced efforts in distribution are key to the visibility of European works and helping them find an audience both in- and outside their country of origin.
The Commissioner welcomed these fruitful exchanges with such a high-level and diverse group of authors and re-iterated her support for the MEDIA Programme, in particular its development and distribution trends. She highlighted the link between films and education, culture and multilingualism and underlined her efforts for more synergies between them.
According to SAA Executive Director Cécile Despringre, “This White Paper represents a real evaluation of the current state of play for audiovisual authors like those who attended yesterday’s meeting. The Commissioner’s interest in our issues is encouraging and we will continue to work with other stakeholders to try and build some industry consensus on how we can guarantee real returns for successful directors and screenwriters”.