European collection society GESAC says it welcomes the European Parliament’s strong call to “tackle coercive buy-out contracts.”
Recently the Culture and Employment Committees of the European Parliament adopted a report with legislative recommendations on working conditions for artists in the EU. “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,” GESAC says in support of the report.
The report calls on the European Commission to propose necessary measures to address such coercive and harmful practices by global players attempting to bypass EU laws. “An important step has been reached 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,” adds Véronique Desbrosses, General Manager of GESAC.
“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,” Desbrosses continues. “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.”
Buy-out contracts force creators to waive their copyright or author’s rights in full or part—in perpetuity—eliminating the possibility of future royalties. They are imposed directly by giant non-EU based VOD platforms or through local producers to deprive composers of soundtracks of series, films, or other audiovisual works of appropriate remuneration.
Buy-out contracts can undermine an artists ability to earn a living through their artistic work, with many authors looking ownership of their work in the case of work-made-for-hire-contracts. Refusing buyout contract terms comes with a real risk of being blacklisted in the industry, leaving authors with the option to accept a damaging contract or lose the opportunity to work in the industry again.