We are an international not-for-profit organisation that works to protect the rights of writers and directors working in the audiovisual, literary and dramatic repertoires.
Our history stretches back almost 50 years to the formation of the International Councils of Dramatic Authors and Composers (CIAD) and of Literary Authors (CIADL) in 1966. These bodies went on to merge and form the group that in 2014, was renamed Writers & Directors Worldwide. Today we are active in all regions of the world to facilitate the sharing of ideas, information and best practice to defend authors’ rights in these important artistic repertoires.
Writers & Directors Worldwide is led by creators from dramatic, literary and audiovisual societies around the world and our president is French author and screenwriter, Yves Nilly. We act directly to support creators in all regions and in addition, act as an advisory body to the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC). We are also an official observer to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights.
As a result, we are able to bring our specific experience, expertise and the vital “voice of the creator” to the debate on authors’ rights via working groups, executive committee meetings and direct interaction with lawmakers.
What We Do
According to the European Commission, the audiovisual and film sector contributes 2.6% of the region’s GDP and supports 5.8 million jobs. The same pattern of contribution is true all across the globe because creators are the “engine room” for the industry. In addition, people in all regions benefit directly from the rich culture and diversity that dramatic, literary and audiovisual authors bring to their lives.
Writers & Directors Worldwide works to protect the rights of these creators.
This fight is especially important because in reality, blockbuster writers and directors make up only a tiny percentage of the creators working in the industry. The vast majority of us are independent individuals that need to live from our work. But with the unpredictability of the industry and the need for long periods of research and writing between projects, this flow of income is neither constant nor assured.
For the next generation of creators and for those struggling to launch new projects, this challenge is even greater. Our livelihoods and thus our ability to continue creating, depend upon receiving equitable payment for the use of our work.
AREAS OF FOCUS
Writers & Directors Worldwide leverages its small team to make a large amount of noise on behalf of creators around the world.
In the past 18 months for example, we rallied behind Australian authors in their battle with the national government for fair remuneration and met with the China Film Copyright Association to sign a memorandum of understanding. In Colombia, we supported the “Pepe Sanchez Act” in favour of audiovisual creator’s rights as it unanimously passed its first reading in the House of Representatives.
We also added our voice to the European Parliament’s call for expert input on its evaluation of the current EU copyright rules and saw the president of Chile publicly sign the bill we co-promoted to give directors and screenwriters inalienable right to remuneration.
The Audiovisual Campaign
Today, our primary objective is to grow The Audiovisual Campaign. Launched in December 2015, this international campaign aims to address the glaring omission in the laws of countries that do not include a right for audiovisual creators to receive equitable remuneration for the reuse or rebroadcast of their work.
The campaign aims to impose an unassignable, unwaivable right to remuneration for screenwriters and directors.
Our Executive Committee
The Writers & Directors Worldwide executive committee is made up of audiovisual creators that represent the organisation’s geographic and repertory breadth. Each member is elected biennially by the council based upon the insight, experience and expertise they can bring to our important cause. The executive committee is led by a president and a vice-president.
Our films, TV series, books and theatre plays contribute enormously to the world’s economy and culture. But as the overwhelming majority of us are self-employed individuals and new creators are especially at risk, we need an equitable wage to continue working. Authors’ rights provide this so their protection is vital.