Authors’Group open letter in support of the Copyright Directive

 

Brussels, 28 January 2019


Dear President Tusk,


Dear Prime Minister Dăncilă,


Dear Minister Ciamba,


Dear Minister,

The Authors’ Group is the primary Europe’s Authors’ network representing more than 500 000 authors, including journalists, film/TV directors, writers, literary translators, composers, songwriters, photographers, and screenwriters in Europe.

Together, we have determinedly supported the adoption of the Copyright Directive, which aims at improving the situation of European authors and strengthening the copyright intensive industries, which account for more than 7 million jobs in the EU. We welcome the significant progress achieved so far and call on the negotiators to reach an agreement without further delay.

Chapter 3 sets out essential provisions to partially rebalance the systemic weak bargaining situation of authors, whose creativity is at the very origin of the copyright value chain, in negotiating their contracts. Most of these provisions (Article 14, 15 and 16) have already been agreed and are the result of balanced compromises between the three institutions. Reopening them would only delay the negotiations further for the sole benefit of major international players who ignore the damage caused to the press and creative industries by their dominant position and refuse the harmonisation and inclusion of basic standards of transparency and fairness in EU copyright legislation.

On 12 September 2018, the European Parliament adopted two additional key provisions (Articles -14 and 16A) by an overwhelming majority. They establish a simple, yet historical, set of overarching principles ensuring that authors (i) receive fair and proportionate remuneration for the exploitation of their works and (ii) benefit from a right of revocation when their works are not exploited.

We strongly support those two provisions which offer authors and creators a remuneration they desperately need to continue to exist and uphold the value of the copyright licensing system. A few months before the EU elections, throwing the Directive away by postponing its adoption would be an appalling failure and a missed opportunity for our creative community and for the EU itself, signaling to citizens the EU’s inability to address these important questions.

It is now time to act: please adopt the Copyright Directive with its protective measures towards authors and creators and promote a sustainable future for Europe’s cultural diversity!

———————————————

CC: Permanent and Deputy Permanent Representatives of the Member States to the
European Union.

President of the European Parliament, Mr. Tajani.

Chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs in the European Parliament, Mr. Svoboda.

Rapporteur, Shadow Rapporteurs and Members of the European Parliament negotiating team.

President of the European Commission, Mr. Juncker.

Vice President of the European Commission, Mr. Ansip.

Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mrs. Gabriel.

Director-General, DG Communications, Networks, Content and Technology, Mr. Viola.

______________________________

The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) represents over 50,000 professional composers and songwriters in 27 European countries. With 56 member organizations across Europe, the Alliance speaks for the interests of music creators of art & classical music (contemporary), film & audiovisual music, as well as popular music.

Web: www.composeralliance.org / EU Transparency Register ID: 71423433087-91

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is the largest organization of journalists in Europe, representing over 320.000 journalists in 61 journalists’ organizations across 40 countries. The EFJ fights for social and professional rights of journalists working in all sectors of the media through strong trade unions. It strives to maintain or create environments in which quality, journalistic independence, pluralism, public service values and decent work in the media exist.

Web: www.europeanjournalists.org / EU Transparency Register ID: 27471236588-39

EWC, founded in 1977 in Germany and newly constituted in 2006 in Brussels as an international non-profit organisation, the European Writers’ Council is the federation of 45 European national organisations of professional writers and literary translators in all genres in 34 countries. EWC’s members represent more than 160,000 authors in the book sector.

Web: www.europeanwriterscouncil.eu / EU Transparency Register ID: 56788289570-24

The Federation of European Film Directors (FERA), founded in 1980, represents film and TV directors at European level, with 35 directors’ associations as members from 29 countries. We speak for more than 20,000 European screen directors, representing their cultural, creative and economic interests.

Web: www.filmdirectors.eu / EU Transparency Register ID: 29280842236-21

The Federation of Screenwriters Europe is a network of national and regional associations,guilds and unions of writers for the screen in Europe, created in June 2001. It comprises 25 organisations from 19 countries, representing more than 7,000 screenwriters in Europe.

Web: www.scenaristes.org / EU Transparency Register ID: 642670217507-74

You can download the PDF version here.

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