New European Study on Remuneration for Authors and Performers

Working Conditions Intellectual Property EuroFIA

The European Commission has just made public an eagerly anticipated study entitled “Remuneration of authors and performers for the use of their works and the fixations of their performances” . The study was commission by the European Commission’s DG Communications Networks, Content and technology and carried out by the University of Amsterdam and Europe Economics. It aims to offer a snapshot of the current situation regarding the level of remuneration paid to authors and performers in the music and audiovisual sector, in order to compare the existing national systems of remuneration and identify their relative advantages and disadvantages. It also aims to assess the need to harmonise mechanisms affecting the remuneration of authors and performers, and to identify which ones are the best suited to achieve this. Their potential impact on distribution models and on the functioning of the Internal Market is also examined.

There are many areas of particular interest in this study for FIA and its members, given that it offers a detailed overview of how performers are remunerated in various EU countries and which factors impact on the level of remuneration. For example: regarding contractual buyouts in relation to actors, which include all future forms of exploitation, the authors of the study note that these do effectively reduce the income of performers and should be limited:

“Analysing the impact of specific elements of the legal framework on the remuneration of actors we find that their total income per unit of work is higher where there are limitations on future forms of exploitation. Such limitations target developments that are outside of the control of the creator that would enable their work to be used in a new way and so are designed to help creators to earn remuneration for their works following technological developments, for example. Our results suggest that such limitations are effective in increasing the remuneration of actors, although it should again be borne in mind that the results reflect restrictions on future works as well as those on future forms.” (P.212)

The study also explores in detail the role trade unions and of collective bargaining in delivering better remuneration for performers. Indeed, one of the policy directions proposed by the study is “to create a more conducive environment to support the role of trade unions” (pg 149) and thereby allow them to reinforce the position of authors and performers and reduce asymmetries in the bargaining position. The report also briefly reviews the problematic clash of competition rules with bargaining for certain categories of worker (p54) and suggests that sectoral exemptions such as that in Germany might provide a helpful way forward in this regard (pg 151).

While the authors regret that an insufficient response rate has meant that the statistical analysis included in the report is weak and not a solid basis for recommendations, the detailed review of the legislation and contractual practices in the ten selected member states and the outcomes which they produce have rather formed the basis for the policy options set out in the report.

FIA and its members will take the time to prepare a full review and analysis of the 5 policy directions proposed in the report and the possible benefits offered by the different options. We hope to make this analysis available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can:

Read the Executive Summary here (English and French)

Download the Full Report here (English only).

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