Creators welcome European Parliament call for end to buyout contracts

11/9/12, Brussels

Groupings of screenwriters, directors, composers,

songwriters and journalists welcome adopted European Parliament report that

calls for "fair and proportional" remuneration.


FSE,SAA, and UNI MEI jointly congratulated the European Parliament on its

adoption of the report "Online

Distribution of Audiovisual Works" that recognises that action needs to be

taken to strengthen the position of authors in guaranteeing that they are

remunerated in line with the success of their creative works.

The report, prepared

by French MEP Jean-Marie Cavada (EPP), underlined that it was "essential" that

authors and performers remuneration was "fair and proportional to all forms of

exploitation of their works".  It went on

to highlight that such remuneration was incompatible with the commonly

practised system of buyout contracts, whereby an author receives a lump sum fee

up front and no further remuneration.

The creators'

organisations were also pleased to see the report go further, calling for the

negotiating position of authors with respect to producers to be rebalanced

through an unwaivable right to remuneration for all forms of exploitation of

their work.

Also of vital

importance is the urgent call for Member States to implement funding and promotion commitments for on-demand

audiovisual media services, as they too play a crucial role in the promotion

and protection of cultural diversity.

The organisations

are now keenly waiting to see if the European Commission takes these

recommendations on board in its follow-up report on its Green Paper

consultation on the same subject.


Patrick Ager, Secretary General ECSA: "This is a step in the right direction and I

hope that policymakers now act promptly to ensure that composers and

songwriters are granted an unwaivable right of fair remuneration for the

exploitation of their works."

Arne König,

President of the EFJ added: "This

vote is a very positive move for journalists. The widespread use of buy-out

contracts and unfair contractual practices seriously challenge job growth in

the audiovisual sector and beyond.  The report acknowledges this fact and

shows that talks over authors' rights in the EU can no longer ignore those

behind the creation."

Elisabeth Sjaastad, FERA: "Producers play an essential role and are the

directors' closest partners, but the widespread practice of unfair buyout

contracts has to stop".

David Kavanagh of the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe

said: "The Parliaments' support for the principle of ‘collective bargaining

agreements, including agreed standard contracts' is particularly welcome."

Johannes Studinger, Head of UNI MEI underlined: "The Parliament says protection and reward

of creators and legally watertight access to the cultural heritage for users

are perquisites for sustainable creation and cultural diversity. This needs now

to be mainstreamed into EU regulation."

Cécile Despringre, Executive Director, SAA

added: "I hope the European Commission

will hear these very clear recommendations. 

Screenwriters and directors need a properly enforceable unwaivable

remuneration right for all uses of their works."

Press contacts

ECSA - - +32 2 544 0333
FERA - - +32 489 30 37

FSE - - + 353 86 837

EFJ - - +32

2 235 22 16
SAA - - +32 2 894 93 30
UNI-MEI - - +32

2 234 56 58


The European Parliament report followed the

European Commission's "Green Paper on the Online Distribution of Audiovisual

Works".  The Green Paper was also a

consultation and included a number of questions on the remuneration of authors

and performers.  The Green Paper received

225 responses from a variety of stakeholders.

The European Commission is expected to

publish its follow-up report on the Green Paper before the end of 2012.


ECSA is the European Composer and Songwriter

Alliance comprising 43 composers' associations from 29 countries and speaks for

approximately 14.000 composers and songwriters. Contact: - +32 2 544 0333.

FERA - the Federation of European

Film Directors - contains 39 directors' associations from 29 countries. It

speaks for approximately 20,000 European screen directors, representing their

cultural, creative and economic interests both in Brussels and at the national

level. Contact: - +32 489 30 37 03.

FSE - The Federation of Screenwriters in Europe

- is a network of national and regional associations, guilds and unions of

writers for the screen in Europe. It comprises 25 members from 19 countries,

representing more than 7,000 writers in Europe.  Contact: - + 353 86 837 1203.

EFJ is Europe's largest organisation of

journalists, representing about 260,000 journalists in over thirty countries.

It defends press freedom and social justice through strong, free and

independent trade unions. Contact: - 32-2-235

22 08

SAA is the association of European collective

management societies representing audiovisual authors. Through its 25 members

in 18 countries, the SAA represents over 120,000 film and television European

screenwriters and directors.  Contact: - +32 2 894 93 30.


MEI is a global union bringing together 140 national unions and guilds representing

more than 300 000 creators, technicians and other workers in the media and

entertainment industries worldwide. Over 70 unions and guilds are affiliated to

its European region, EURO-MEI.  Contact: - +32 2 234 56 58