Archive for category Culture

Who are Europe’s audiovisual authors ?

Europe is in the process of changing legislation on authors’ rights / copyright in Europe. The texts refer to the need for sector specific solutions for authors in different sectors.

This is also the starting point for SAA’s infographic on audiovisual authors’ remuneration (available in English, French, German and Spanish with a video here). The infographic focuses on screenwriters and directors but, as is often the case in Europe, the situation is a little bit more complicated than that.

So who are the authors of an audiovisual work?


In the countries where SAA has members, this means that directors, screenwriters and music composers are always audiovisual authors. Given that composers have their rights managed by music societies, SAA focusses on the needs of:


But, as shown above, in some countries other contributors, e.g. the director of photography or the costume designer can be an audiovisual author too.

Together, SAA’s members manage rights for


Not only are these the people behind our favourite films, documentaries and TV series, but they are also at the source of Europe’s creativity as well as its cultural and linguistic diversity. Some examples:


See SAA’s infographic [FR, ES], and keep an eye on this blog to find out more about the working lives of audiovisual authors and the challenges they face.




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From creative gold dust to just dust

The new Commission, and Europe in general, must stop paying lip service to creation. There are more and more reports that underline the social and economic contribution of cultural and creative sectors.

Last month, another such study showed that the creative sector represents 6.8% of European GDP (€860b) and 6.5% of employment.

We also hear of the “spill-over effects” of these sectors.

Tourism to destinations made famous by films and books has been well known for some time. Films like Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey probably inspired as many scientists, engineers and astronauts as it did film-makers. Creative works can teach us about our history and the world around us as well as an understanding of other languages and cultures.

But despite these positive messages, the reality is that austerity driven European governments have cut back on spending on culture and continue to do so.

The new Belgian government has just announced massive cuts in its cultural support. Just a few weeks ago the Rome Opera sacked its orchestra. Spain’s cultural economy, whose industry has been massacred by unlicensed exploitation of works online, has seen over €100m taken out of the creative economy through private copying reform alongside cuts for cultural venues and production support.

Creativity should be the ultimate source of sustainable value creation. The wonder of creation is that it starts from the mind or minds of its creators. It creates value almost out of nothing.

Creators should not be considered as disposable. They are not mines, that once exploited are left empty, on one side. Poor remuneration can only be counterbalanced by a love for their profession for so long. The sector has proved resilient during the crisis, but how long can that last?

Treated properly, creators are renewable sources of works and ideas but also inspiration for other creators and innovators. Europe needs to promote and invest in its creative sectors not cut them back.

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