Ref. Ares(2016)5472933 - 21/09/2016
Meeting between European Producers Club and Commissioner
to discuss film industry on 6 of September 2016
I. Scene setter
For European Producers Club:
The list of participating stakeholders (see Background for photos and short bios+
- Article 4(1)(b)
Constantin Film AG
For DG CONNECT: TBD
For the Cabinet: Anna Herold
Estimated duration: 1h (15:30 – 16:30)
Reiterate that one of the main political objectives of the Commission, as set out in the
Communication on a "modern and more European" copyright framework, adopted on
9 December, is allowing wider online availability of content across the EU.
Confirm the Commission's commitment with the promotion of an efficient and
competitive European copyright-based economy in the Digital Single Market and
discuss how the Commission can help the film industry to make the most of the
opportunities offered by the DSM.
Reassure EPC that we are aware and we have taken into account the specificities of
the European audiovisual sector, in particular as regards the financing of audiovisual
works, in our legislative proposals.
On copyright modernisation:
In the letter sent to you in March 2015 and when you have met EPC, notably in
Cannes and Berlinale, the organisation has expressed its concerns, mainly about i) the
continuity of the licensing of AV works on a national and/or linguistic basis, ii) the
new legal framework will not help to create new jobs and to foster creative diversity in
Europe, but will make the financing of independent European productions almost
impossible instead, iii) the need to assess thoroughly the consequences of any change
Granting portability on content should be neither a limitation from nor an exemption
to the exercise of author’s rights. Even if the proposed EC Regulation is forcing the
providers to propose portability to their users, it must be subject to contract between
the parties. The EPC is in favour of applying portability to content under conditions
(through copyright contract conditions, for identified users that are paying for a
service and only traveling for a short period of time).
On the AVMSD review (2015 public consultation):
EPC supports reinforcing rules for video sharing platforms via the eCommerce
Directive as well as in the AVMSD review and would like to see the geographical
scope of the AVMSD extended to audio-visual media services established outside the
EU that are targeting EU audiences. They support maintaining the status quo of
country of origin principle (revising the criteria to establish jurisdiction). As regards
the promotion of European works, EPC supports the reinforcement of rules for on-
demand services, including those on prominence of European works in catalogues and
On copyright modernisation:
Highlight the importance of the principle of territoriality of licensing of rights for the
financing of the European AV sector and at the same time need to improve the cross-
border distribution of television and radio programmes online and to facilitate the
granting of licences for cross-border access to content
The reform of the audiovisual framework fits perfectly in the Digital Single Market
philosophy. On the one hand, it confirms, reinforces and improves what works well,
i.e. the country of origin principle and, on the other hand, the reform brings the
Directive in line with the new realities.
II. Speaking points
The DSM is not only about the telecom and digital infrastructures; it is also about
making available high quality creative content to a maximum number of Europeans,
through all possible means and platforms.
With our new proposals we will facilitate legal access to content across borders. We
will work on a better enforcement of rights and on measures to combat piracy. We
also aim for a fairer remuneration of rights with the participation of all players in the
value chain. We will also review our audiovisual rules, laid down in the Audiovisual
Media Services Directive, which already support the promotion of European works.
We need to find the most appropriate way to promote European works, particularly
online. We are in particular looking into efficient ways to promote European
audiovisual works in video-on-demand services.
The new copyright legislative proposals, in particular the extension of the principles of
the Satellite and Cable Directive to some online services, will facilitate the clearing of
rights so more TV and radio programmes are available online and cross borders. To do
so the Commission is considering extending the country of origin principle to certain
online transmissions of broadcasters as well as extending the mandatory collective
management to certain types of digital retransmissions (notably IPTV).
Extending the country of origin principle of the SatCab directive to certain
broadcasting activities online (e.g. catch up TV and simultaneous screening) does not
jeopardise the territoriality principle of copyright, of which the financing of movies
and TV series often depends.
We are aware of the importance of cultural diversity, diverse distribution channels and
the need to embrace the diverse audiences in a linguistically and culturally relevant
manner. [There is no intention to affect the contractual freedom of broadcasters and
The Commission's proposal will be supported by an Impact Assessment which
carefully examines the impacts of different policy options, including on right holders
and AV producers. In addition, the Commission relies on the results of the public
consultation carried out last autumn, together with a study on the application of the
SatCab Directive (which will be published at the time of the legislative proposal).
I am convinced that the measures that we will propose will contribute to a more
efficient and competitive European copyright-related market and will help our
industry to better profit the DSM.
On the AVMSD review
The Commission presented its legislative proposal for updating EU audiovisual rules
(AVMSD) on May 25 2016.
The proposal addresses some of the concerns of EPC: i) the CoC principle is retained
and simplified; ii) the provisions on the promotion of European works in on-demand
services are reinforced (20% share of catalogues should be devoted to European works
and these works need to be given adequate prominence) and MS will be able to
impose financial contributions on on-demand services established in other MS but
targeting their audiences; iii) on findability the proposal maintains the status quo
clarifying that Member States are allowed to ensure discoverability and accessibility
of content of general interest
On Media and Creative Europe:
A strong, innovative and creative European film sector is important for the
competitiveness of our economy but equally for the preservation and promotion of our
shared European values and cultural diversity.
To enable the European sector to seize these opportunities, the Commission supports
actions aimed at fostering attractive legal offers of European films, increasing their
discoverability and findability.
The EU is investing more than €100 million in the European film and audiovisual
industries per year through Creative Europe MEDIA, which runs from 2014-2020.
Based on a thorough ex-ante assessment, the European Commission proposed in 2014
to launch along with the EIF a €121m guarantee facility for the cultural and creative
sector, equipped with a capacity building scheme to help banks understanding the
specificities of the sectors – and therefore helping them to overcome their prejudices.
Creative Europe will generate some €600 million in loans and reach out to thousands
of SMEs in Europe.
Creation is essential but is more valuable and rewarded only if it reaches an audience.
This is the cornerstone of our copyright legislations in Europe, whether they originate
from the tradition of copyright or from the tradition of right of author (droit d’auteur).
Would the Commission maintain the contractual freedom and the right to encrypt TV/radio
programmes as provided in the SatCab Directive if the country of origin principle were to
be extended to online transmissions?
The existing rules under the Satellite and Cable Directive are indeed our starting point.
It is important to note, however, that any intervention will need to respect the Treaty rules,
including the competition provisions and the rules on the free movement of services. Also,
one should accept that any new provisions will be subject to interpretation by the EU Court
How will the 'SatCab' proposal be linked to other initiatives (e.g. portability, geoblocking)?
The other recent proposals have a different scope / purpose:
- the geo-blocking proposal will not affect audiovisual services (excluded from the
scope of the regulation);
- the portability proposal is about cross-border portability of online content services by
consumers who subscribed to such service in their Member State of residence and not
about cross-border access to content. There are safeguards in the proposal – in
particular the residence condition and verification mechanism – to prevent misuse of
2. Value Gap
What will be the added value of your intervention given that many services already use
technologies for identifying content?
Even if a number of major user-uploaded content services have in the last years put in place,
on a voluntary basis, content identification technologies, they have done so on a voluntary
basis and under their own conditions. These measures will now become obligatory for the
services which would also need to be more transparent towards right holders on how these
Will the proposal affect the liability regime for intermediaries set in the e-commerce Directive
This proposal will be specific to copyright and does not affect the application of the rules
relating to liability that are established in the ECD meaning that hosting service providers
which meet the conditions set out in Article 14 ECD, will remain covered by the safe
harbour provision. They would still need to put in place the appropriate measures in
cooperation with right holders to ensure the functioning of their agreements with right
holders and to prevent content not covered by the agreements.
Isn't the obligation on service providers set out in the proposal a general monitoring
obligation which is prohibited under Article 15 ECD?
Already today MS can under the ECD require service providers who host information
provided by recipients of their services to apply duties of care which can be "reasonably
expected from them". The obligation provided for in the proposal is one which can
reasonably be expected from the covered services given the specific nature of these
services and their importance on the content market.
Additionally, the measures are to be applied in cooperation with right holders, which
means that the services would need to have in place the effective measures, for example
content recognition technologies, but they would be applied to the content that is identified
by the right holders in advance. The services would therefore not be faced with an abstract
obligation to monitor all the content on their servers to detect potentially unauthorised
Isn't there a risk that the proposal would stifle innovation and have a negative impact on
The proposal targets services that host and give access to the public to large amounts of
copyright-protected content which means it would above all impact well established services
which have reached a certain scale in terms of both content and audience. It does not create
any barriers for innovative services and start-ups as such, (which may already today face
difficulties to enter the complex market of online content services). It rather aims at creating
more level playing field for services operating on the online content market.
Why have the provisions on promotion of European works not been fully aligned for TV
and on-demand services?
We have strengthened the rules for on-demand service providers. This will lead to
consumers of on-demand services being more exposed to European works than they are
Applying exactly the same rules as for TV broadcasting does not make sense because the
nature of both services is different. For example, imposing only a quota on VOD
catalogues does not ensure that viewers will watch more European content. The reason is
that viewers chose the film they want to see. This is why the 20% share is combined with
an obligation to promote (make more visible) such works.
Also, the fact that the share is 20 % and not 50 % (like for linear) takes into account the
fact that this market, while quickly growing, is not at the same stage of development as the
Why are rules on promotion of European works not extended also to video-sharing
The very nature of video-sharing platforms makes the extension of promotion of European
works obligations technically challenging.
A video sharing platform is a commercial service, that does not have editorial
responsibility over the large amount of audiovisual content (programmes or UGC) that it
stores. However, it organises it, including by automatic means or algorithms, in particular
by hosting, displaying, tagging and sequencing the videos. Its principal purpose must be
the provision of programmes or user-generated videos to the public.
It would therefore be difficult to establish quota or prominence obligations to platforms
sharing user generated content on which providers have no editorial responsibility. In
addition, determining the European origin of these works would be extremely complicated.
Finally, applying these rules to video-sharing platforms may risk undermining freedom of
Why is a 20% quota of European works in on-demand catalogues considered appropriate to
According to the study on-demand Audiovisual Markets in the European Union (2014 and
2015 developments), the average share of EU films in 75 big EU VoD catalogues was 27
% in 2015 and 30% in 16 big SVoD catalogues. However, there are great disparities
among catalogues of pan-European VOD providers (from almost 0% to to 70%) and
among Member States (from an average of less than 10% to an average of almost 60%).
By setting a 20% share of European works in on-demand services catalogues, the AVMSD
will secure a minimum level of diversity across Europe and a safety net below which share
of EU works in catalogues should not fall. At the same time it will ensure that providers
established in Member States with smaller or developing audiovisual markets will still be
able to grow.
In any case, it is important to note that Member States will preserve the opportunity to set
higher standards if they wish.
Can we not expect providers to fill their catalogues with cheap/low quality content just to
fulfil the 20% quota obligation?
Since the share obligation is combined with an obligation to give prominence to European
works, we expect it would be in the interest of providers to have and promote works that
are attractive to their audience which would reduce any potential risk of trying to
circumvent the new requirements.
Authors: Article 4(1)(b)
, DG CONNECT.I.2, tel: Article 4(1)(b)
, DG CONNECT I.3, tel. Article 4(1)(b)
, DG CONNECT I.1, tel. Article 4(1)(b)
1. On Territoriality/SatCab
Even though widely referred as the "review" of the SatCab Directive, the ongoing
reflection concerns possible application of the mechanisms contained in the Directive to
certain types of online transmissions by broadcasters and certain digital retransmissions but
not the review of the existing Directive.
On 22 July the RSB gave a positive opinion on the draft impact assessment, covering among
others the following measures:
Application of the country of origin principle to the clearing of rights for
broadcasters' online services ancillary to their initial broadcast (e.g. simulcasting,
Application of mandatory collective management of rights to retransmission of
TV / radio broadcasts by means of IPTV and other retransmission services
provided over "closed" electronic communications networks (the preferred option
excludes OTT). As in the case of cable retransmission, broadcasters would be able
to directly license to the retransmission operators the rights in respect of their own
broadcasts (both broadcasters' own rights and the rights which have been
transferred to them by right holders).
Prior to preparing the impact assessment, in August 2015 the Commission launched a
public consultation on a possible extension of the SatCab rules to cross-border online
(re)transmissions of TV and radio programmes. The public consultation gathered a total of
Concerning an extension of the country of origin principle to online transmissions: while
consumers, public service broadcasters, commercial radios and ISPs favour such an
extension, the rest of stakeholders (right holders, CMOs, most commercial broadcasters,
the majority of service providers other than broadcasters) are against it or call for a
cautious and well-measured approach. Commercial TV broadcasters and right holders are
generally against the extension of the country of origin principle due to the fear that,
considered together with the application of the free movement of services principle and
competition law, it may lead to the weakening of territorial licensing or even to mandatory
Concerning an extension of the mandatory collective management regime to simultaneous
retransmissions on platforms other than cable: many stakeholders are in favour of such
extension. Nevertheless, most right holders as well as commercial broadcasters are against
such extension arguing that this may lead to potential disruptive effects on the markets.
2. On accompanying measures
Accompanying measures to foster cross-border access to content: progress and options
The Copyright Communication of December 2015 presented a series of new support
measures, mostly funded by the MEDIA programme, accompanying the regulatory proposals.
This note describes these measures, progress made so far and next steps.
Progress so far
We are implementing the measures and expect the first results by the end of the year. The
measures are grouped below according to their objectives, with a technical annex providing
I) Making films available in unsold territories
i) Ready to offer catalogues of European films.
Films from many small producers are being
aggregated into catalogues for VOD platforms online. Good progress is being made in
delivering innovative and diverse catalogues. In 2015 with a budget of € 0.65 million 34
films were included in catalogues whilst in 2016 with a budget of 1.3 million, about 70
additional films will be included in VOD catalogues (as part of the MEDIA Online
distribution scheme). However the main challenge is for Member States and industry to scale
up their collaboration and support more catalogues.
ii) Develop licencing hubs.
The purpose is to develop online tools allowing legal access to
content by viewers across borders. However, progress of this pilot project has been slower
than expected due to difficulties in raising agile seed funding. We are monitoring closely the
progress and considering the use of the H2020 fast track instrument to increase funding for
II) Promote a common system of identification of films
iii) Develop standard identifiers of works.
The envisaged action is to promote either the use of
a common identifier or interoperability between existing ones at European level. Good
progress is being made as on 7 June industry stakeholders agreed an action plan which aims to
find a solution by the end of 2016. The two standard identifiers have agreed to work together.
The solution would be based on self-regulation and result in an industry code of conduct.
Incentives could be increased by making MEDIA funding and national funding of content
subject to use of the standard identifiers.
III) Make European films more findable and prominent
iv) Support the development of a European search tool.
The search tool would enable
viewers to find legal offers for films online at European level. Good progress is being made.
CNECT is collaborating on the prototyping which is led by the Office for Harmonization in
the Internal Market (OHIM), with a view to deployment by Q2 2017. Discussions with
Member States continue on how to federate existing national tools.
v) Promotion of legal offers, discoverability and findability.
Investment needs to shift from
over-production of new works to promotion and marketing of online works and services, in
order to build audiences. Progress is uneven. One the one hand, a new Online distribution
scheme will be set up under MEDIA as part of the 2017 Work Programme with an increased
budget of € 9.5 million from €5.7 million. However, discussions with EFADs (the national
films funds) have been inconclusive and overall industry has been unable so far to develop
collaborative models and pool resources for promotion activities.
IV) Smart subtitling and dubbing
vi) More efficient funding and use of subtitling and dubbing.
New tools and processes are
being developed, through two preparatory actions, for funding and sharing subtitling and
dubbing. Projects are exploring the use of digital platforms and crowdfunding for
production of subtitles, an online repository and supporting cross-border distribution
through subtitling. Good progress is being made as a number of innovative projects have
been selected from which we expect new insights This is an area where EU intervention
can clearly add value and trigger changes in industry and national funding. The European
Parliament clearly supports action in this policy area.
V) Promote new models for exploiting and financing films
(vii) Find ways for a more sustained exploitation of existing European films.
European films are often not available and new business models need to be found to create
a sustainable market for them. This action is at an early stage. In 2016 policy evidence is
being gathered through an in depth study by the European Audiovisual Observatory, due
in July 2016. The conclusions could feed into the copyright legislative proposals and into
collaboration with industry on concrete measures.
viii) Develop alternative models of financing, production and distribution.
Good progress is
being made with the launch of the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility.
Discussions have started with the EIF on possible frontloading and topping up with EFSI
funds. The Guarantee Facility could then be used as the main platform for gathering other
sources of financing. In particular the animation sector could be a good test bed for new
investment vehicles because it is more entrepreneurial and open towards structured
Overall, six months after the launching of the accompanying measures, the implementation
process is on track. First concrete and/or interim results will be delivered by the end of the
year, notably on the common standard identifier(s), the EU aggregator, ready-to-offer
catalogues of European films and subtitling. The Guarantee Facility is ready to be launched
and could be front loaded and topped up with EFSI funds.
The accompanying measures also aim to trigger changes in business practices by funding
development of new technical tools as well as business models. Given the budgetary
constraints our focus has been on supporting pioneering, innovative projects (e.g. Licencing
hubs, aggregators). These need to be implemented efficiently and the results need to be
showcased widely. In parallel, the collaboration with Member States and the industry is
essential for these innovations to be scaled up and deployed at European level.
The overall success of the package depends on the engagement of the Member States and
industry. Their active participation and financial contribution will be important in moving
from pilot projects and other actions to deploying innovations at scale.
The co-operation with the EFADs has proved to be particularly valuable and helped to bring
industry on board. It is worth noting that the UK, FR and DE film funds are taking the lead
and strengthening coordination amongst themselves.
We now need to maintain momentum. As such, the Copyright package in September is a
valuable opportunity to increase the visibility of these measures and build support for them.
On this occasion, a joint statement from the Commission, EFADs and industry about the
progress made thus far and prospects for future collaboration could give a strong positive
signal. We could also announce at that moment a reinforced collaboration with the EIF and
the EIB to financially support the cultural and creative sectors, building on the Guarantee
3. Background on European Film Forum
The European Film Forum (EFF) was proposed by the Commission in its 2014
Communication on European Film in the digital era. The EFF was formally launched in
February 2015 in Berlin. Its aim is to develop a strategic policy agenda for the film sector
with respect to challenges and opportunities brought about by the digital revolution. The
Commission's Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy aims to improve access to digital and
audiovisual content. It is essential to discuss how to enhance the competitiveness, visibility
and innovation in European audio-visual works and how to ensure a sustainable financing of
There are various EU initiatives and rules for the film industry covered by copyright
legislation, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, competition law and the Creative
Europe programme. However public financing and a number of regulatory aspects are
essentially governed by Member States. They provide 30 times more public funding than the
EU for the audiovisual sector.
The European Film Forum's dialogue with stakeholders and Member States provides
opportunities to enhance synergies between public actions and enables the exchange of
expertise and best practice. This dialogue is taken forward by the European Commission in
different venues, notably during Film Festivals and TV markets where different formats are
employed such as conferences, roundtable discussions and workshops. The process involves a
wide variety of players including Member State authorities, the European Parliament, the
European Audiovisual Observatory, the EFADs as well as national and European wide
organisations supporting the film, TV and games industries.
Our aim is that through the conclusions of the above-mentioned events, the Forum will
facilitate concrete adaptations in European funding systems and provide clear
recommendations for the Member-States and the audiovisual industries, thus adding value of
the upcoming review of the MEDIA sub-programme of Creative Europe.
10 European Film Forum editions are scheduled for 2016, peaking in December with the
celebration of the 25 years of the MEDIA programme in Brussels.
What are the issues tackled by the European Film Forum?
Modern film financing
: Current business models see distribution and financing as
interrelated through presales and co-production and the exclusivity of rights. The EFF
is a place to discuss the use of other forms of financing like private investment by
third parties or crowd-funding, which develops with digital technology.
Smart public support
: Film, especially production, is publicly supported at national
and local level through various means like loans, subsidies and tax rebates. The EU
focuses more on development, distribution, promotion and training activities; new
forms of support aiming to boost entrepreneurship such as guarantee facilities are also
emerging. In this context, exploring the complementarity between film support
policies at national, local and EU level with the aim to increase overall efficiencies
The EFF works on increasing the complementary and optimization of different sources of
public funding (local, national and European). A structured dialogue with the EFADs is one
of the steps planned to accomplish this purpose.
The Cannes 2016 edition of the European Film Forum explored new modes of financing for
audiovisual works, in the presence European filmmakers.
4. Background on the European Producers Club (EPC)
The European Producers Club (EPC)
is an association of 100 influential independent film
producers, coming from 20 countries around Europe.
Founded in 1993 within the framework of the GATS negotiations, EPC acts as a network, a
think tank and as a lobby. The EPC mission is to keep their members up to date with the latest
developments in the film industry in Europe and across the world; they encourage
collaboration, joint financing and coproduction across countries; they also lobby on a political
level to protect and further the interests of the European industry and European producers.
To this end, EPC has become expert in the organization of events that bring together film
professionals from around the world, whether for conferences, networking events within or
outside Europe, and workshops.
In addition to the individual companies which are members of the EPC, the EPC coordinates
an alliance of national Producer Associations across Europe through the EPAA (European
Producer Associations Alliance) and thus boasts a network of over 3000 industry
professionals. The European Producers Associations Alliance (EPAA) was launched at the
Cannes Film Festival in 2005. It unites the most prominent national producers associations
across Europe and is coordinated by the European Producers Club.
The EPC opened a representation office in China in 2013.
EPC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:
President: Marco Chimenz CATTLEYA Italy
Vice-Presidents: Dariusz Jablonski APPLE FILMS Poland
Johannes Rexin HEIMATFILM Germany
Nina Laurio SOLAR FILMS France
Yves Marmion UGC France
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dariusz Jablonski APPLE FILMS Poland
Alexander Rodnyanski AR FILMS Russia
Marco Chimenz CATTLEYA Italy
Hans de Weers FATT PRODUCTIONS Netherlands
Marc Missonier FIDELITE France
Johannes Rexin HEIMATFILM Germany
Alvaro Longoria MORENA FILMS Spain
Romain Le Grand PATHE France
Paula Vaccaro PINBALL UK
Nina Laurio SOLAR FILMS Finland
Yves Marmion UGC France
Chris Curling ZEPHYR FILMS UK
IV. CV of participants