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Screenwriters urge: All creators must be included in new EU copyright framework

Written by Mark Reed on 06 September 2018

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The International Film Festival was the setting for some 165 directors and screenwriters to club together and share their frustration that the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive has still not been adopted.

The Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive have had a lot of controversy around its detail and is still floating around the decision makers desks. There are two main pushers of within the on-screen circuit; namely Mike Leigh and Jacques Audiard who are both directors. They put forward that need to pass the modernised EU copyright framework that includes all creators.  It was submitted on behalf of all creative industries that the EU Parliament must begin to allow the collection from on demand platforms by management organisations as an “unwaivable right to proportionate remuneration for all authors.”

It was also said that “as audiovisual authors, we absolutely need this directive to be adopted on time, to ensure freedom of expression and independence of creators as well as authors’ rights.” The principle of fair and proportionate remuneration, improved measures on the transparency of the exploitation and contract adjustment mechanism will make a big difference. With these provisions, the directive will improve our position in the industry.” All reports, suggestions and frustration are in preparation to the decision which is expected by the 12th September

Other points that have been raised are around article 11 regarding the right for press publications to enforce their copyright and article 13 which sets out that platforms that host large amounts of user generated content must take measures to prevent infringing materials being available. Both provisions are not an easy task to implement and have caused some discussion that may be amended or even removed being completion of the directive. This is partly due to difficulties around how content could be effectively monitored in a digital platform that usually has immunity from liability of such content. As long as it doesn’t cause a repeat of previous considerations that resulted in over 300 Ministers of European Parliament voting for change to the copyright reforms before further consideration would be given.

This is why the signatures from the screenwriters have amassed over 160, because they are saying enough is enough. They have proclaimed that “This new provision acknowledges that authors cannot be left to individual contracts with producers only and that complementary mechanisms providing additional remuneration to the authors for the use of the works are necessary (as it already exists in several countries who have statutory remuneration mechanisms using collective management). However, this achievement is in danger of being wiped out if the European Parliament does not adopt its position.”

Only 6 days to go and we shall keep an eye on whether all will be signed sealed and delivered
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