A Global Law for Screenwriters and Directors

A simple change in the law for screenwriters and directors can ensure fair pay and restore equality. By imposing an unassignable, unwaivable right to remuneration, we can bring their rights level with other players by guaranteeing them a fair share in the future success of their works.

Four Simple Provisions:

  • Creators Must be Listed as Authors

    The co-authors of an audiovisual work are the people that created it and must include the director and the authors of the screenplay, dialogue and adaptation

  • They Must Receive Remuneration

    Proportional to amount of revenue generated, for each use of their work and arrived at via equitable negotiation

  • That is Unwaivable and Unassignable

    Meaning that this right to remuneration may not be waived or transferred to a third party.

  • Paid For by End Users of Works

    The legal obligation for remuneration should be on the end users (TV channels, digital platforms, etc.) and be paid via organisations mandated by authors to collect and distribute it.

Some Countries Already Have this Law

This right to remuneration has already been introduced into the laws of Spain, Italy, Estonia, Poland, India and the Netherlands (for specific exploitations), and is in the process of being adopted into law in Chile. Legislation and practices comparable to the same right also already exist in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Argentina.

This lack of equality is a significant issue as it supports some authors and penalises others based upon their location. The digital world does not recognise national borders and so this law does not truly benefit the author unless it is applied internationally.

The Creators’ View

If you eat apples without watering the tree, soon you’ll eat no more apples.
Alejandro Jodorowsky, Chilean Screenwriter and Director(Santa Sangre)
Authors would sign anything to have a chance to shoot their films.
Roger Michell, UK Director(Notting Hill)
We need to broadcast our work but must renegotiate to balance the share and make a living from our art; otherwise we cannot create.
Angèle Diabang, Senegalese Director(Congo, Un Médecin Pour Sauver Les Femmes)
One single author has not the strength to demand his rights against television channels or other audiovisual media.
Silvio Caiozzi, Chilean Director(Coronation)
If we want new works to be created then creators are going to have to be paid and protected. It is up to us to be supportive and imaginative.
Denys Arcand, Canadian Screenwriter and Director(The Decline of the American Empire)
Authors around the world need new laws to receive a fair remuneration for the use and exploitation of their works – thus they can continue to create.
Marcelo Piñeyro, Argentinean Oscar Nominated Director(Las Viudas De Los Jueves)
The remuneration of authors rights for directors and screenwriters for cinema and audiovisual should be a legal obligation. We are the only creators of art and culture that are not being economically recognised as owners of our work.
Carlos Diegues, Brazilian Director(Bye Bye Brazil)
The operator’s economic scale is much larger and their political power much stronger than authors. For the good of creation, they should pay the royalties corresponding to economic scale with regard to the use of works through the internet.
Nobuaki Kishima, Japanese Screenwriter(Doraemon)
“Independent film-making is a high-risk R&D business in which writers and directors invest their time, money and creativity in discovering original and compelling stories, with very little hope of return.
Olivia Hetreed, UK Screenwriter(Girl with a Pearl Earring, Canterbury Tales)