European Parliament back writers on buyout contracts
The European Parliament has called for ‘fair and proportional’ remuneration for writers working as screenwriters, directors, composers, songwriters and journalists.
The writing world congratulated European Parliament for adopting the report Online Distribution of Audiovisual Works which recommends that action needs to be taken to guarantee authors are remunerated in line with the success of their creative works. It has been determined in the recommendations that such a position would be incompatible with the current ‘buyout’ contracts that many authors reportedly sign under duress.
Buyout contracts have caused controversy in Europe because the creator is in effect ‘divorced’ from their work once it is bought for a lump sum, regardless of its success and how much money it goes on to make after. Such contracts were therefore said to be depriving the creator of legitimate income.
According to a joint statement released last year by The Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) with the Federation of European Film Directors (FERA) and Federation of Screenwriters Europe: "Buyout contracts force authors to accept payments that take little or no count of subsequent use".
Creators’ organisations are now waiting to see if the European Commission accept the proposals, which also recommend further funding and promoting of audio-visual works because of their crucial role in protacting in cultural diversity.
Cécile Despringre, Executive Director, SAA said of the news: “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.”
See the full list of organisations involved with the campaign by reading the full press release.
Back to news page