Exactly one year ago the European Parliament adopted the Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market. However, the first anniversary of this essential text for authors, strengthening their rights and remuneration, takes place in the context of the health crisis linked to COVID-19 and its dramatic effect on our everyday lives as well as the devastating effect on our cultural sector.

Across Europe and beyond, cinemas have closed, film festivals have been cancelled, production of films and TV programmes have either been severely delayed or put on standstill. Most audiovisual authors are freelancers and struggle to make ends meet in normal times (study). The COVID-19 outbreak has made their situation worse and has proved the point that royalties on the exploitation of their works, whatever the media but in particular online, are or should be an essential part of filmmakers’ income.

The SAA stands in solidarity with the thousands of film and TV directors and screenwriters affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Its 33 European collective management organisation members urge their national authorities and the EU to put in place the necessary emergency and long-term support plans for the creative and cultural sector and to implement measures needed to provide authors with security and remuneration as a priority.

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“Once the COVID-19 crisis is over, the Copyright Directive will have to be transposed to help authors to be able to continue to create in a better legal environment. At this stage, the SAA wishes to call for everyone’s solidarity with audiovisual authors and for a strong mobilisation of national and European public authorities”, said Cécile Despringre, SAA Executive Director.