Writers & Directors Worldwide joined screenwriters from throughout the world for the World Conference of Screenwriters (WCOS) in Berlin on October 10th and 11th. Hosted by the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE), the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG) and the Screenwriters’ Guild of Germany, the fourth conference focused on how writers, guilds and collective management societies are adapting to the changes in today’s sector climate, particularly regarding new media and geo-politics.
During the panel “Copyright Law and Beyond: The Role of Guilds & CMOs in Ensuring Writers Get Paid”, screenwriter and W&DW Vice-President Yves Nilly commented on the contributions and experiences of W&DW in working towards providing fair remuneration for audiovisual authors. CISAC data has shown that only 6% of all royalties collected around the world comes from audiovisual repertoire.
To help put money in the authors’ pockets, Yves Nilly explained the Audiovisual Campaign. It seeks to establish an unwaivable right to proportionate remuneration for the exploitation of works. This is needed because authors are at the very early part of the creative process, but are forgotten at the end of the value chain, underlined moderator and FSE President Robert Taylor. Legal mechanisms are the only key to securing this equitable remuneration. Therefore, in many regions and countries, a global solution and legislation is needed to support the audiovisual sector.
Yves Nilly stated that cooperation among CMOs, guilds and associations is essential in winning these battles for authors. He underscored case studies in India, Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Japan to reinforce this necessity. To further support creators, he drew attention to the regional alliances within W&DW that have been established, notably in Latin America with ADAL and in Africa with APASER.
In Europe and with the EU Copyright Directive, SAA Executive Director Cécile Despringre and awarded Dutch screenwriter Robert Alberdingk Thijm pointed out how the recognition of the right to remuneration is essential for Europe to combine “power and freedom of creators”.
For authors, international cooperation and coordination are key to provide equitable remuneration for the use of works. No single organisation can do everything itself. Sharing experiences and resources across CMOs, guilds and associations can help, as Yves Nilly pointed out, in achieving this common equitable remuneration goal.
Thanks to screenwriter and head of programming, FSE Vice President Carolin Otto, and all the outstanding speakers and moderators who made WCOS 04 a success.