Strengthening the rights and bargaining position of creators
by Thierry Leclercq
- The Authors’ Group calls for the establishment of a stable and fair European copyright framework, with a particular emphasis on remuneration and contracts
“The European copyright framework must assert the role of authors as the source of the creative industries, which provide 7 million jobs in the EU, by strengthening the bargaining position of authors when dealing with the first intermediaries of the value chain”, according to the main authors and creators associations within the Authors’ Group (the European Composer & Songwriter Alliance, the European Federation of Journalists, the European Writers’ Council, the Federation of Film Directors in Europe and the Federation of Screenwriters Europe – see declaration). These were the concerns at the heart of the Creators’ Conference held on Monday in Brussels, with the Commissioner for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, in attendance.
Representing some 500,000 authors, journalists, musicians, directors and screenwriters, the Authors’ Group is calling for the establishment of a stable and fair European copyright framework, with a particular emphasis on remuneration and contracts. Indeed, creators have noticed a glaring imbalance between parties during negotiations over remuneration and the modes of exploitation of their works, pointing to an absence of revision clauses and a lack of transparency in receipts and financial flows.
Creators are therefore calling on the European Commission to put transparent, fair and harmonised remuneration mechanisms in place at European level, as recommended by the study (pdf) published last July.
In his speech, Commissioner Ansip sought to reassure them, saying “we need to look closer at the conditions for remunerating creators and getting a fair share of the value generated (by their works)”. But he also called upon businesses, creators and artists to innovate and experiment with new business models.
According to the Commissioner, it is by raising “the exposure and circulation of artistic work: to make it more available online – legally – and to a wider audience across Europe” that we will be able to tackle the root of the problem: piracy and the use of VPNs (virtual private networks). This is the reasoning behind his proposals against unjustified geo-blocking, with a view to increasing the portability of online content and modernising the copyright exceptions system. That said, the principle of territoriality of rights will not be challenged, he reiterated.
(Translated from French)