An initiative to introduce a “fair remuneration” to directors and screenwriters of audiovisual works was discussed in Moscow

March 26-27, the International Congress “Writers and Directors Worldwide Annual Congress” on issues of the copyright of directors and screenwriters took place in Moscow, organized by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), the international organization “Writers & Directors Worldwide – W & DW” and the Russian Union of Rights Holders (RUR).

The congress was attended by representatives of collective management organizations from Argentina, Spain, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Poland, Italy, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Russia; over 80 international delegates, directors, scriptwriters and dramatists took part in it.

Within the framework of the business program of the first day of the congress, the representatives of foreign societies for collective management of rights presented their reports on the results of the work of W & DW in the countries of Latin America, Europe and Africa. A round table discussion was held on the role of the APASER, ESF, FESAAL and FERA federations in their territories.

Erik Valdes-Martinez, Deputy Director General and Head of the International Department of RUR, presented a report on the current status of copyright in Russia“The struggle of Russian scriptwriters and directors for their rights, which has recently begun, in terms of mechanism for amending the law, is the first precedent in modern Russian history, when such an initiative comes from authors to legislators. This initiative may be absolutely viable in the existing legal system, but it will require a number of amendments to the current legislation. However, we already have such a legislative experience in the sphere of rights protection of authors of musical works”.

One of the most important events of the congress was the election of a new president of the international organization Writers & Directors Worldwide. According to the results of the vote, Yves Niyi changed Horacio Maldonado on duty of the head of W & DW. In addition, according to the official protocol, some public organizations were elected in the W & DW Executive Committee. They are: AIPA (Slovenia), ARGENTORES (Argentina), DAMA (Spain), SCAM (France), SOGEM (Mexico), SIAE (Italy), ZAIKS (Poland), DHFR (Croatia), DAC (Argentina).

Among other topical issues, the delegates were actively discussing intellectual property issues on the Internet, and Horacio Maldonado, the ex-president of the international organization Writers & Directors Worldwide, proudly shared with colleagues the news about a new copyright directive in the common digital market approved by the European Parliament: “The Digital Single Market directive adopted by deputies is intended to protect the interests of rights holders and provides for compensation for the use of fragments of other people’s content”.

Andrei Krichevsky, Director General of the Russian Union of Rights Holders, took part in the congress. He shared his opinion on the importance of holding the congress in Moscow and identified the existing problems in the field of intellectual property: “I believe the conference has become absolutely useful, both for the participants and for the whole field of intellectual property. The big advantage was that at the conference a lot of attention was paid to the opportunities provided by digital platforms and services. We live in a world that is getting more and more digitized every day. One of the main problems in the field of rights management is a crisis of confidence. Therefore, we must make the most of technologies that help create a transparent market and promote the cultivation of trust”.

On the second day of the Moscow Congress, round tables and discussions were held on creation an alliance of Russia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. Dmitry Kolesov, Director of Television and Content, J’son & Partners Consulting, presented an analytical study of perspective online video and analytics on their monetization, and Valeria Pankratova presented a report on trends in the digital technology market in Russia and the activities of the Association “The Russian National Intellectual Property Transactions Coordination Center” (IPChain).

At the final discussion panel, Vladimir Khotinenko, the film director, screenwriter, head of the department of cinema directing at VGIK, a member of the Public Council of the Committee on Culture of the State Duma, in his speech supported the appeal to make amendments to the current legislation, which the guilds of directors and scriptwriters sent to the Union of filmmakers. Responding to a question from Aleksei Aleshkovsky, a member of the Board of the Screenwriters Guild of the Cinematographers’ Union of Russia, he, in particular, indicated that he was ready to provide every assistance in covering the issue of introducing “fair remuneration” to directors and screenwriters of audiovisual works and stressed the particular importance of the initiative discussed today: “I myself am interested in doing this, this is an acute problem. I teach a lot, therefore, if I will not have enough knowledge regarding modern development of legal regulation, I will not be able to prepare my students for existence in this new world and commit a crime. I am ready to support this initiative in all my activities”.

Svetlana Tsyganova, the Chairman of the Russian Union of Cultural Workers: “Our experience in copyright protection is much more modest than that of our foreign colleagues who are present here, because the current state of copyright in Russia requires a lot of work, but we, along with Elena Drapeko, a State Duma deputy and a member of the Committee on Culture, are ready to perform this work”.

Yves Niyi, President, Writers & Directors Worldwide, proposed to provide legal advice and technical support to Russian authors on the creation and development of collective management societies in Russia: “We are ready to exchange experience, information materials, calculations, analytical and statistical data with friends and colleagues from Russia, Azerbaijan and Belarus”.