On 21st November 2017, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee limited the scope of the European Commission’s “Proposal for a Regulation laying down rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions” to only news and current affairs programmes.
Peter Dinges, President of the European Film Agency Directors (EFADs) welcomes the vote: “By opposing and reducing the scope of the country of origin principle, the Legal Affairs committee showed its support for territorial exclusivity and remains faithful to its long-standing position in favour of a culturally diverse audiovisual sector and to EU citizens’ access to European culture. We therefore warmly thank the Legal Affairs committee to support such an objective and we strongly encourage all Members of the European Parliament and all Member States to support its position.”
The EFADs constantly defended territorial exclusivity, which is essential for the sustainability of the audiovisual sector and the circulation of European films across the EU. Without territorial licences we would see less investment in European films, fewer co-productions, less competition, and finally European audiences would have less access to a diversity of European audiovisual works in the Digital Single Market. Improving access to these works can only be achieved by an ambitious approach in other EU initiatives, such as the Audiovisual Media Services Directive and the Creative Europe Media Program, and not by undermining the financing model of European films.
Peter Dinges concluded: “One of the key objectives of the EFADs is to ensure the sustainability of the audiovisual sector and improve the circulation of European films across the EU. We welcome the EP Legal Affairs Committee position and we want to continue working with the European institutions to achieve this objective and adopt solutions which are in the interests of the European industry and audiences, and in the spirit of the EU Treaties.”