×

European Filmmakers Rally to Protect Copyright Law

PARIS — European filmmakers including Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”), Wim Wenders (“Every Thing Will Be Fine”), Paolo Sorrentino (“La Grande Bellezza”), Ken Loach (“Jimmy’s Hall”) and Abderrahmane Sissako (“Timbuktu,” pictured above) have rallied to protect copyright laws, which the European Commission is now considering replacing with a Digital Single Market (DSM) measure.

During the Rome Rendez-Vous with New French Cinema, about 20 directors got together to protest the European Commission’s proposal to swap existing copyright laws with the so-called Digital Single Market, a measure allowing for audiovisual and film works to circulate freely across Europe via pan-European licenses.

The filmmakers argue that the E.U.’s proposal would scrap the notion of territorial exclusivity, strip right-holders and solely benefit multiterritory platforms, like Netflix and Google. Abolishing existing copyright laws would also threaten the entire financing system that has allowed film industries and culture across Europe to flourish.

“Our films are a form of hope, and they humbly but surely contribute to the construction of a European identity. At a time when a number of our countries have to face new obscurantist trends that reek of hate, a glimmer of hope can come from cinema,” stated the document.

Popular on Variety

In an open letter addressed to Europe’s public authorities, national film orgs and EFAD (the European Film Directors Agency), the industryites pointed out several ways to improve the circulation of works in theaters, on digital services and on TV in Europe.

The letter called for the protection of arthouse theaters and the need to fund these theaters’ switch to digital. It also underscored the pressing need to put “global Internet giants” (like Netflix) on an equal footing with local players in terms of fiscal obligations and investment/programming quotas. Lastly, it highlighted the important role of pubcasters in financing a diversity of European movies and possibly launch a pan-European digital platform dedicated to arthouse films.

More Film

  • Bong Joon Ho, Jane Rosenthal, David

    Netflix Praised by 'The Irishman,' 'Marriage Story' Filmmakers at Producers Guild Panel

    Streaming giant Netflix received strong support from filmmakers behind “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story” at the Producers Guild of America’s nominees panel on Saturday at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Jane Rosenthal, one of “The Irishman” producers, said Netflix embraced the vision that she and Martin Scorsese had for the $170 million film. [...]

  • Gabriel Harel on MyFFF ‘The Night

    Gabriel Harel Discusses Dystopic Parable ‘The Night of the Plastic Bags’

    With his first short film, the animated “Yùl and the Snake,” Gabriel Harel won Europe’s Cartoon d’Or for the continent’s best animated short film, given at the 2016 Cartoon Forum in Toulouse. Now, Harel’s awaited sophomore effort, the animated “The Night of the Plastic Bags,” competes at UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, and is available on a swathe [...]

  • MyFrenchFilmFestival: Profiling Benjamin Crotty’s Short ‘Nicolas

    ‘The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin’: Nationalism Wrapped in Charisma

    Winner of Locarno’s Signs of Life section, Benjamin Crotty’s “The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin” has enjoyed more than 12 months of festival success and critical acclaim as it reaches the end of its festival run at UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival. A modern take on one of France’s most influential yet widely unknown characters, the film headlines [...]

  • Alexander Ludwig

    Alexander Ludwig on Sharing his Recovery Journey, Playing the 'Bad Boys' Tech Guy

    With his towering height and stature, Alexander Ludwig looks every bit the action star, first appearing as Cato in “The Hunger Games,” and more recently as fierce Norse Viking chief Bjorn Ironside on History Channel’s “Vikings” and in “Bad Boys for Life,” the third installment of the “Bad Boys” franchise, with Will Smith and Martin [...]

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Scores Big With $66 Million Launch

    “Bad Boys for Life” is showing plenty of power at the North American box office with an impressive  launch of around $66 million at 3,740 venues over the four-day holiday weekend. Sony’s sequel to 1995’s “Bad Boys” and 2003’s “Bad Boys II” far exceeded the studio’s pre-release forecasts of a $38 million weekend. The film, [...]

  • A Bump Along the Way Movie

    'A Bump Along the Way': Film Review

    While “Derry Girls” continues to be the last word in young, raucous female rebellion on the Emerald Isle, “A Bump Along the Way” has a little something to add. Sin the same Northern Irish city as the hit Netflix sitcom, but shedding the ’90s nostalgia for the Snapchat age, Shelly Love’s appealing, unassuming debut feature [...]

  • Tresor Plots $72 Million 'Asterix &

    Tresor Films Plots $72 Million 'Asterix & Obelix: The Silk Road,' New Projects (EXCLUSIVE)

    After delivering two of the highest-grossing French films of last year, Alain Attal’s Paris-based production company Tresor Films (“Sink or Swim,” “Little White Lies 2”) is kicking off 2020 with its most ambitious project yet, Guillaume Canet’s “Asterix & Obelix: The Silk Road.” Co-produced and financed by Jerome Seydoux’s Pathé, “Asterix & Obelix” is budgeted [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content