Authors' and performers' organisations welcome Castex report on Private Copying

Authors’ and performers’ organisations congratulate Legal Affairs committee on forward-looking report that looks at how to sustainably modernise the implementation of the private copying levy system to cater for permanently evolving consumption patterns of copyrighted works and to ensure its efficient functioning within the single market. 

The organisations, that represent the interests of screenwriters, directors, composers, journalists, visual art authors, writers, actors and musicians, welcome the balanced report at a time when the European Commission is consulting on copyright.  

Mrs Castex’s report includes a number of detailed clarifications on different elements of the virtuous system that provides legal certainty for booming device manufacturers and importers, freedom to copy for consumers and fair compensation for creators.  The report correctly identifies where the implementation of the current system needs to evolve to match modern consumers’ expectations (through updated lists of leviable devices) and the demands of the single market (improved levy setting and cross border declaration systems).

Presented as the European Parliament’s response to private copying “mediator”, Antonio Vitorino’s report from last year, the committee has countered a number of Vitorino’s suggestions. Phasing out the system is completely unrealistic as consumers will still seek a freedom to copy that would be untenable in the absence of the exception.  Shifting the levy payments to retailers has also been demonstrated as excessively burdensome. 

The report also casts a shadow over the UK’s attempts to introduce the private copying exception without any fair compensation for rightholders and the Spanish government’s inexplicable decision to give a 115m€ discount to device manufacturers and importers while further challenging an already stretched public purse and failing to guarantee a drop in prices to consumers.

We would like to place on record our thanks to all the MEPs and particularly Mrs Castex for their tenacity in bringing this report to such a successful conclusion.

Press contact: James Taylor j.taylor@saa-authors.eu +32 495 73 42 90

About us

AEPO ARTIS - The Association of European Performers' Organisations, AEPO, was founded in Brussels on 20 May 1994. AEPO-ARTIS represents 30 European performers’ collective rights management societies from 23 countries. Combined, these societies have in excess of 350,000 performing artists (such as musicians, singers, dancers, actors) as members and manage the rights of some 400.000 performers in Europe.  http://www.aepo-artis.org/

ECA – Founded in 1995 the European Council of Artists represents the joint bodies of artists’ associations in 28 European nation states and autonomous territories. ECA is an interdisciplinary and democratic forum with clear representative structures and works for the interests of the professional artists in Europe – visual authors (writers, composers etc) and performers from all disciplines – and for cooperation between them. The purpose of ECA is to help professional artists influence European strategies concerning European artists/creators, particularly their social and economic situation. For more information: www.eca.dk 

ECSA – ECSA is a professional alliance formed by over 40 associations of composers and songwriters from all over Europe. The main objective of the alliance is to defend and promote the rights of authors of music at the national, European and international level by any legal means. ECSA advocates for equitable commercial conditions for composers and songwriters and strives to improve social and economic development of music creation in Europe. www.composeralliance.org 

EFJ – The European Federation of Journalists gathers 55 journalists’ unions and associations in Europe representing 320,000 journalists in forty one countries. The EFJ supports its affiliates to foster trade unions and to maintain or create environments in which quality, journalistic independence, pluralism, public service values and decent work in the media exist. http://europe.ifj.org/en

EVA – EVA represents 24 European collective management organisations for fine arts, photography, illustration, design and other visual works for close to 100,000 authors. They manage for authors primary uses, the resale right and they collect and distribute remuneration rights. For more information: www.evartists.org 

EWC – Founded in 1977 in Germany and newly constituted in 2006 in Belgium, the European Writers’ Council is the federation of 50 national and transnational organisations of professional writers and literary translators in all genres in 34 countries including the EU as well as Belarus, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Montenegro. EWC’s members represent 433,000 individual creators of which 150,200 are authors in the text-sector. 

FERA – Founded in 1980, the Federation of European Film Directors represents 37 directors’ associations from 29 countries. FERA speaks for approximately 20,000 European screen directors, who work in all formats and genres, promoting and defending their cultural, creative and economic interests both at the European and at the national level. www.filmdirectors.eu 

EuroFIA - The European group of the International Federation of Actors represents performers' trade unions, guilds and associations in the EU. It voices the professional concerns and interests of actors (in film, television, radio, theatre and live performance), broadcast professionals, dancers, singers, variety and circus artists and others, with the exception of musicians and visual artists.  

FIM – The International Federation of Musicians (FIM) is the international NGO representing musicians’ trade unions, guilds and associations globally, with members in about 70 countries covering all regions of the world. In the European Union, FIM counts 26 member unions in 21 EU Member States. 

FSE – The Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) is the voice in Europe for more than 6,000 professional screenwriters working mainly in the film and television industry. It is a federation of currently 25 associations, guilds and unions of screenwriters in 20 countries. 

GESAC – Founded in 1990, the European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers (GESAC) represents 33 of the main copyright management societies (authors ‘societies) in the European Union, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, administering the rights and remuneration of almost 800,000 authors, composers and writers in a variety of sectors (music, audiovisual, literary and visual and graphic arts) and music publishers. More information www.authorsocieties.eu and www.gesac.org 

SAA – The Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) is the grouping of European collective management organisations representing audiovisual authors. Its members (25 societies in 18 countries) manage the authors’ rights of over 120,000 film, television and multimedia screenwriters and directors. More information www.saa-authors.eu Follow us on Twitter @saabrussels 

UNI MEI Global Union represents 170 national unions & guilds affiliating more than 375 000 creators, technicians and other workers in the media, entertainment and arts world-wide. http://www.uniglobalunion.org/sectors/media-entertainment-arts - twitter: @unimei