PRESS RELEASE: GESAC welcomes the European Parliament’s strong call for EU action to tackle coercive buy-out contracts imposed on European authors and composers by non-EU based VOD platforms
GESAC has issued a press release on today’s vote by the Culture and Employment Committees of the European Parliament regarding the working conditions of artists.
Read our full reaction below.
Vote by CULT and EMPL on the working conditions of artists: GESAC welcomes the European Parliament’s strong call for EU action to tackle coercive buy-out contracts imposed on European authors and composers by non-EU based VOD platforms.
Brussels, 24 October 2023 – The Culture and Employment Committees of the European Parliament have adopted today a report with legislative recommendations on the various pressing issues on the working conditions of artists at EU level. The growing problem of buy-out contracts that prevents authors and composers’ fair remuneration and threatens their livelihood is rightly flagged as one of the main issues to be addressed at EU level. The report calls on the European Commission to propose the necessary measures to address such coercive and harmful practices of global players that try to bypass EU laws through choice of law and jurisdiction clauses.
This clear call for EU level action adds to the the previous Resolutions of the European Parliament over the last three years, the recent Open Method of Cooperation Report of the Member States, the French Presidency’s Report in 2022, Commission’s future media policy papers and Commissioner Breton’s personal commitment to address the issue of buy-out for creators, as he expressed several times publicly.
Véronique Desbrosses, the General Manager of GESAC said: “An important step has been reached today with this strong call for a European action against buy-outs from the two technical Committees of the European Parliament involved in the matter and we are thankful to them. The creators’ community relies on the European legislator to take the necessary measures to stop the unfairness in the market and ensure that global streamers comply with the EU rules and principles when they operate in Europe. Retention of copyright and authors right within Europe is essential for the future of European creativity and economy and we look forward to the confirmation of this strong position of the European Parliament in the Plenary vote”.
Background info on buy-out:
The buy-out contracts force creators to waive their copyright/authors’ rights in full or in part, and in perpetuity, effectively eliminating the possibility of receiving any future royalties from the use of their work. They are typically imposed directly by giant non-EU based VOD platforms or through their local producers and deprive composers of soundtracks of series, films or other audiovisual works of appropriate and proportionate remuneration, as well as the exercise of their moral rights, against the provisions of EU and national laws. They severely undermine creators’ ability to earn a living through their artistic work and authors even lose ownership of their work in the case of work-made-for-hire contracts. Refusing such buy-outs comes with a real risk of being blacklisted. The options for authors are either accepting the terms of a contract no matter how damaging they are, or losing the opportunity to ever work again with those most popular US-based VOD platforms.
Please contact for further information:
Véronique Desbrosses – General Manager