Making the Digital Single Market Work: Key Principles for the Film and Audiovisual Sector
As the European Commission defines its priorities for the Digital Single Market in order to foster economic growth and job creation in Europe, the undersigned organisations of film makers, producers, screenwriters, authors, technical crews, actors, publishers, broadcasters, distributors, and exhibitors active in the European film and audiovisual landscape are ready to contribute further to achieving those fundamental objectives, in full respect for the diversity of European cultures.
To do so, we need a policy framework that encourages creativity, promotes investment in the production and distribution of creative content in Europe and guarantees a fair and adequate reward to all relevant right holders and parties involved. We must consolidate the strength and success of the current EU copyright system, a cornerstone of the European digital economy that generates 7 million jobs and contributes approximately EUR 509 billion to EU GDP1 insofar as the copyright sectors are concerned. This also forms the basis of the offer of more than 3,000 audiovisual online services across Europe.
One of the foundations of this success is the commercial freedom to “go local” and to choose from territorial, multi-territorial or pan European options for the production, financing and dissemination of films and audiovisual content across Europe. The freedom to licence works with a mix of different licensing models and to partner with platforms of different sizes, scope and geographical footprint, depending on diverse consumer tastes and preferences, enables a virtuous circle of investment in high skilled jobs and cultural diversity. Proof of the indispensable value of that freedom is the unparalleled success of European films and TV drama in various festivals and competitions around the globe. Most of those films and audiovisual content were at least partially financed through territorial pre-sales agreements with a wide diversity of local players.
Bearing in mind the overarching goal of promoting jobs and economic growth in Europe, any changes to the successful models described above must be backed by evidence that such changes will add jobs and economic growth in Europe rather than taking them away. Mandating cross-border access by law would just do the opposite, transferring value from European creators and their business partners to big global Internet platforms.