Joint Declaration from Europe's Authors and Producers on the New Broadcasting Regulation and Direct Injection
We authors, writers, producers, film and TV directors and their collective management organizations write to you today on a vital issue for creators in the Draft Broadcasting Regulation – Direct Injection.
Direct Injection is a technology used by broadcasters to transmit their signals directly to distributors without those signals being accessible to the public until they have been supplied by the distributor to its subscriber base. The use of Direct Injection technology in the broadcasting sector is leading to a de facto resource transfer from Europe's creators on the one hand to distributors and broadcasters on the other.
This is because Direct Injection is used by some broadcasters and distributors to take advantage of a new loophole in Europe's copyright framework. They argue that when a signal is directly injected there is no copyright relevant act (i.e. communication to the public) to be licensed under the EU copyright acquis. This is unacceptable.
Cable Europe members (distributors) generated some €11 billion in 2015 from the audiovisual content services they offer, whereas retransmission services generate approximately €120 million annually for independent producers and €128 million for audiovisual authors in 2015. Broadcasting and retransmission together constitute 37% of authors' total revenues and are essential sources of revenue for creators.
Broadcasters generate revenues based on advertising, as well as being paid by distributors for the right to use their signals, and distributors are paid by their subscribers for the TV packages they offer. However, both broadcasters and/or distributors are increasingly refusing to pay creators because of the Direct Injection loophole. This cannot continue.
To restore the legal certainty in the market for the benefit of creative sector and consumers, the law must recognise that in the case of Direct Injection broadcasters and distributors carry out a joint communication to the public for which they are both liable and for which they must remunerate creators fairly. This is an urgent issue for Europe's creators and has to be fixed now or the output of quality European content is going to be seriously jeopardised.
Published on 20 June 2017