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European Independent producers share concerns on latest Dutch investment obligation law


The European Audiovisual Production association (CEPI) and the European Producers Club (EPC) and have serious concerns regarding the amendments brought to the Dutch bill (Mediawet 2008 36176[1]) on an investment obligation for video-on-demand services currently being discussed. These amendments will substantially undermine the purpose of this long awaited bill which is meant to support the Dutch audiovisual sector. In support of a strong independent audiovisual production sector in the Netherlands, we urge on the Dutch Parliament to embrace the recommendations by the Dutch independent audiovisual production sector:

  • Ensuring that the investment obligation of 4.5% remains fully dedicated to Dutch features, animation films, documentaries and drama, documentary and animation -series.

  • Ensuring that the law includes an ambitious quota dedicated to independent productions and their producers who maintain their share of the rights.

  • Lowering the turnover threshold to € 2 million, in line with the guideline of the European Commission in order to include the many A-vod, S-vod and T-vod services active at the Dutch market.

Over the past years, 14 European countries have seized the opportunity provided by the European Audiovisual Media Services Directive to introduce financial obligations instruments and 5 other EU Member States are currently envisaging to do the same. Financial obligations cover direct investment obligations and levies/contributions to funds based on a percentage of the annual turnover generated by video-on-demand services in the respective targeted countries. These measures highly contribute to the stimulation of national production of films and series and to support the role of independent production companies and the independent production sector, thus promoting cultural diversity in a highly competitive environment. The audiovisual and film production sector is going through substantial changes with the growing presence of large non-European companies and the different business models and practices they are bringing in Europe. In this context, it is essential to ensure that European independent production is equipped to sustain these changes and remain at the core of the discovery and development of new creative talents, of risk taking and of delivering innovative stories. For this reason, it is more important than ever to ensure thaT national legislations support and promote a vibrant and diverse local audiovisual industry. Investment obligations and levies, with clear protections in place for independent productions and their producers, are a necessary tool, already flourishing around Europe. Therefore, we urge the Dutch Parliament to level the playing field by embracing the original goal of the bill and to follow the recommendations by the Dutch independent audiovisual sector. ________________________________ [1] Wijziging van de Mediawet 2008 in verband met het invoeren van een investeringsverplichting ten behoeve van Nederlands cultureel audiovisueel product (36176) The European Producers Club (EPC) gathers 170 independent production companies representing 32 countries in Europe, and the European Audiovisual Production association (CEPI), represents a network of 2.400 independent producers through 19 national producers associations from 17 countries. www.europeanproducersclub.org & www.cepi-producers.eu

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