French actors get DVD, VOD royalties increase

Retroactive deal gives talent 4% of producers' cut

PARIS — French library rights-holders and performers guilds have inked a pact to allow French thesps to seek royalties from DVD and VOD revenues of films theatrically released from 1961 and 1990.

The agreement ends two years of full-on discussions moderated by the Adami, Gaul’s society for the collective administration of artists and performers’ rights. But it’s been in the pipeline since 2006, according to Isabelle Feldman, head of legal and international affairs at Adami.

It will allow French talent who have starred in the approximately 4,500 Gallic films released between 1961 and 1990 to earn 4% of producers’ shares from net earnings from DVD and VOD.

No figure has been set on how much this might cost producers and, possibly, library rights holders.

“Actors are often the leading force behind the commercial success of a film and it was unfair and absurd for them not to be able to benefit from that success and not earn a penny from DVD and VOD sales,” said Feldman, adding that she has been discussing the issue with performers’ guilds in other European countries who aim to reach a similar agreement.

Since 1990, French thesps’ royalties from secondary exploitation have been regulated by the Lang Law, which allows performers to seek 2% of the producer’ share from net earnings, once a film is amortized.

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