Well intentioned – but really well done? Member States have had every opportunity to decisively side with authors and thus to ensure the sustainability of the resource for education, literature and knowledge. But the “opportunity of the century” is being missed.
Brussels, 22 June 2022
On the occasion of the Creators Conference by the Authors’ Group members ECSA, EWC, FERA and FSE, the European Writers’ Council publishes its survey results: (1) on the status of the national implementation of the Directive (EU) 2019/790 on Copyright in the Digital Single Market: Title 4 Chapter 3 (Articles 18 to 23), and (2) on the contractual situation of authors in the non-EU-Countries Iceland and United Kingdom.
The EWC survey aimed at evaluating to what extent the flexibility granted by the Directive (EU) 2019/790 to the Member States is used positively, negatively or neutrally.
In parallel, a survey on collective bargaining and the current contractual situation was conducted among EWC organisations, which will be published soon and is already available to interested parties by request via email.
The data evaluation comprises the following six core areas:
- Involvement of authors’ associations in the legislative process
- Contract law and contract (re-)negotiation (including collective agreements)
- Rights revocation
- Right of associations to sue, mediation bodies
- EXTRA: The future challenges for writers and translators
The EWC core findings in brief
- The authors’ associations were not always included in the stakeholder dialogues (up to 23.08%). Not even half have been frequently integrated (46.15%) and the other half, when consulted, was only partially involved (30.77%).
- 90 and 100 per cent of the organisations surveyed stated that there is no agreement between writers and publishers on what “appropriate” and “proportional” mean in practice.
- Too often the laws will install exceptions on transparency obligations, so that publishers and / or third parties do not have the mandatory duty to deliver all data, although this is especially needed in digital usage. This also means that the basis for an appropriate and proportionate remuneration practice is not sufficiently provided.
- Most of the responding organisations give recommendations confidentially or individually and without harming competition laws. Very few have a binding agreement with publishers, and if they have one, it is in fact, more a voluntary agreement.
- The respondents hope to reach an easier recall of rights when a single transferred right is not exercised (“use it or lose it principle”). In most cases (90.91%), there is no mediation body in the book and publishing sector. Most of the respondents believe that there will be no impact with this new legislation.
- Future challenges: The topics of non-transparency in audio book streaming and e-lending of the distribution monopolies were raised repeatedly. The respondents also see the need to negotiate standard contracts or other binding agreements as an urgent matter.
To the full report (pdf, 31 pages)
The event will take place on Thursday, 23rd June 2022 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM (CEST), at Maison européenne des Auteurs et des Autrices- MEDAA, in Brussels! LINK TO THE REGISTRATION
The Authors’ Group is pleased to invite you to our joint conference to address the question:
One year after the deadline for implementation:
what does the Directive deliver for authors’ contracts?
23 June 2022, 15:00-18:00 CEST, Welcome Reception.
The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA)
The European Writers’ Council (EWC)
The Federation of European Film and TV Directors (FERA)
The Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE)
and in Cooperation with the Cultural and Creators Friendship Group (CCFG).
15:00-15:10: Welcoming remarks by Marc du Moulin (Secretary General of the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance, ECSA)
15:10-15:20: Opening Keynote by Nina George (President of the European Writers’ Council, EWC)
15:20-16:20: First panel: Implementing the 2019 EU Copyright Directive.
Presentation of Dr Ula Furgal’s report on the implementation of Articles 18 to 23.
What is the implementation’s state of play?
Panelists: Ula Furgal (Lecturer in Intellectual Property and Information Law at the University of Glasgow Law School) and Marco Giorello (Head of the Copyright Unit, DG CNECT, European Commission)
Moderator: Pauline Durand-Vialle (CEO of the Federation of European Screen Directors, FERA)
16:30-16:45: Keynotes by Tomasz Frankowski (Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Poland) and Ibán García del Blanco (Member of the European Parliament, S&D, Spain)
16:45-17:45: Second panel: Identifying and sharing best practices to improve authors’ contracts and remuneration. What are buyout contracts and how can Europe prevent them? How can collective bargaining agreements deliver concrete benefits to authors?
Panelists: Aurélie Champagne (Permanent Representation of France to the EU), Anselm Kreuzer (Composer, ECSA Board Member) and Janine Lorente (Expert in Copyright and Authors’ Rights Legislation, JLorente Consulting)
Moderator: David Kavanagh (CEO of the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe, FSE)
17:45-18:00: Closing Keynote by Helienne Lindvall (President of ECSA)