European Parliament delays the adoption of proposed Copyright Directive

European screenwriters and directors could be set to miss out on fair remuneration for their work after the European Parliament's plenary decide against fast tracking a new Copyright Directive.

On 5 July, the European Parliament’s plenary rejected proposed changes to the Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market, meaning the amendments will go to a full debate and vote in the European Parliament in September.

The vote not only undermines months of intense work and negotiations by the members of the Legal Affairs Committee, but it also suggests Europe’s inability to define an appropriate legal framework for authors’ rights in the digital era before the election of a new European Parliament.

More than 18,000 people signed the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) petition to support the introduction of a new article that would establish a principle of fair and proportionate remuneration for authors and performers, and have them better financially benefit from the exploitation of their works, including digitally (new Article 13c). It is therefore crucial that the European Parliament’s plenary confirms this proposal when looking into the report by the Legal Affairs’ Committee in September.

As many studies have shown, European screenwriters and directors are today the weakest link in terms of remuneration. The European Parliament should not miss the opportunity to reverse this trend and ensure future creators are protected. Without this Copyright Directive, writers would miss out on the benefits from the ever growing digital reuse of their works.

Cécile Despringre, SAA Executive Director said: “It is very disappointing that a majority of Members of the European Parliament gave in to the aggressive pressure put on them by digital platforms and the opponents to copyright instead of listening to European authors. This will only delay much needed rules for authors whose earnings are weakened in the digital era.”

ALCS is an active member of the SAA, which works to represent the interests of collective management societies and their audiovisual authors’ members at a European level. Their main objective is to defend and strengthen the economic and moral rights of audiovisual authors across Europe.

To keep up to date with the SAA’s campaign, follow them on twitter: @saabrussels