New Study Reports 7.7 Percent Growth in Global Royalty Collections for Audiovisual Creators
Issues in other repertoires and regions indicate that writers and directors still face challenges in achieving fair remunerationIn a new study released last week by CISAC (the world’s largest network of authors’ societies), royalty collections for audiovisual creators were reported as growing by nearly eight percent. Based upon figures from 2013, this positive news for writers and directors was however more than offset by a combined 10 percent fall in literary and dramatic rights collections. The total global royalty collections for Dramatic, Literary and Audiovisual (DLV) works within CISAC’s membership of three million creators amounted to €866 million in 2013. This represents a decrease of €10 million from the previous year and further analysis reveals a fragmented picture, both geographically and in terms of the three individual repertoires. The data demonstrates that as the industry is evolving, the most progressive distributors and regions are making great headway. But elsewhere the fight for creators in this sector to make a living from their work continues unabated.
The Specific Challenges for Writers and DirectorsCreators in DLV repertoires face specific challenges in the way that their work is commissioned and compensated that make them particular vulnerable to exploitation. Firstly, films, novels and theatre scripts require significant work up-front with projects often taking years to come to fruition. A professional creators’ only income during this period is from the use and re-use of their back catalogue but sadly, this is the area that is most commonly under threat from manipulative negotiation and unfair remuneration. Secondly, digital distribution via streaming, e-books, etc. is accelerating quickly and is widely welcomed by creators. Not only does it get their work to a wider audience than ever before but it can also remove one of the largest causes of piracy by making content available to those that are willing to pay. However, fair remuneration is not always keeping pace with this technology and with the overwhelming majority of creators in this sector being self-employed individuals, the impact on their livelihoods is felt immediately.
Creators and distributors are co-dependent today and any option to ignore each other’s perspective has long since passed. We need sustainable solutions that efficiently distribute our art to the public while simultaneously providing a livelihood for those at the very core of the industry. The next generation or writers and directors need to know that this is a viable career path if the world is to continue benefiting from their work.
Yves Nilly, Novelist, screenwriter and chairperson of Writers & Directors Worldwide
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