CISAC welcomes EU moves – but criticise MEP Reda’s review

May 2015

Film and TV, all areas


CISAC says that the statement from Germany’s Federal Minister For Justice And Consumer Protection Heiko Maas and France’s Minister For Culture And Communication Fleur Pellerin backs its position that protecting the rights of authors should be an integral part of the ‘digital single market’. CISAC said: “France and Germany’s joint position has further emphasised that the modernisation of authors’ rights/copyright in Europe should be examined within the wider context of the digital single market package, in which establishing fair rules and fair regulations for all stakeholders should be a priority. This stresses the two countries’ intention to bring their legislative success in the analogue world to the digital context”.
CISAC’s Director General Gadi Oron added: “Our 230 member societies around the world represent nearly four million creators who depend on effective protection for their works. The European territory is the largest market for royalty collections, accounting for 61% of the overall collections internationally. This figure not only shows the importance of the European market for creators, but also demonstrates the significant economic and cultural role played by creators” saying “It is vital to ensure that Europe continues to serve as a model for norm setting on authors’ rights/copyright. Clear legislative commitments on the protection of creators’ rights in Europe would go a long way in helping to strengthen the position of creators in other regions”.


More than twenty prominent European filmmakers including Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”), Wim Wenders (“Every Thing Will Be Fine”), Paolo Sorrentino (“La Grande Bellezza”), Ken Loach (“Jimmy’s Hall”) and Abderrahmane Sissako (“Timbuktu”) have rallied to “protect copyright laws” in the EU add ad their voice to move to reform copyright law across Europe – in particular rallying against proposed moves to remove traditional national exclusivity for film and TV licensing (and geo-blocking) and  allow audiovisual and film works to circulate freely across Europe using pan-European licenses. Saying the moves would undermine the way films are financed, The film makers argue that the E.U.’s proposal would harm right-holders, and solely benefit multi territory platforms like Netflix and Google saying ““We share the European Commission’s will to facilitate film availability to all… but let’s not go about it in a way that could be destructive for cinema.” The directors’ alternative proposals included bolstering existing support for Europe’s exhibition circuit,   and a new charter for the EU’s public broadcasters to aid the diffusion of more European films throughout the region.


And creators from all creative sectors and geographic regions have addressed the shortcomings in Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda’s draft report on the adaptation of the Copyright Directive. The Report that was published in January 2015, tackled a number of sensitive issues in copyright reform, several of which directly impact creators.
CISAC creators outlined their views on the Report in a letter addressed to Reda and copied to all Members of the European Parliament, on the eve of its discussion by the Parliament.  The letter was signed by CISAC’s President Jean Michel Jarre and Vice Presidents Angélique Kidjo, Javed Akhtar, Marcelo Piñeyro and Ousmane Sow on behalf of the nearly four million creators that the Confederation represents. The letter highlights the CISAC’s position that Report fails to address market realities for creators and underlines the need for a more balanced system that would take into account the rights of creators and provide fair remuneration for the use of their works.
“We agree that there needs to be a balance achieved between rights holders and the public. But this balance should not be struck at the expense of the increasingly fragile community of creators,” wrote the signatories.
The letter questions some of the key proposals, in particular the approach to copyright exceptions and limitations solely from the perspective of user benefits, without considering the impact of so-called “free access” on the economic and moral interests of creators. On the issue of the copyright term, CISAC rejects  Reda’s call for “a duration that does not exceed the current international standards,” effectively meaning a downward harmonisation to a term shorter than what is already available across Europe.
“We would be very interested in seeing the evidence upon which this policy recommendation is based,” says the letter.

“Now that digital technologies can help facilitate access to, and preserve our works, forever, an extension seems more justified than ever.”

In their conclusion, creators urged Ms. Reda “to do what’s right” by ensuring the future of creators in Europe and supporting “a fairer digital market for creators.”
The letter was sent to MEP Julia Reda and copied to all MEPs who participate in the JURI committee.
That committee is due to commence its discussions on the Report.

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