Panorama exception: Adagp makes the voice of the authors heard in Brussels

06 Jul 2015

Faithful to its commitment to defend the authors, the ADAGP took part to the seminar of the 27th of May at Bussels, co-organised by Wikimedia and the President of the JURI Committee of the European Parliament, Pavel Svoboda.

Marie-Anne Ferry-Fall, executive director of the ADAGP, intervened among a panel of five experts: Giuseppe Mazziotti from the Trinity College of Dublin, Daniel Westman from the  Stockholm University, John Weitzmann from Creative Commons and Marco Giorello from the DG Connect of the European Commission.
In front of a public of fifty people, gathering European deputies, notably Julia Reda – representative of the Pirate Party and author of a report of evaluation about the copyright in Europe – jurists, members of the Wikipedia community, but also French and Belgian authors and artists of EVA (European Visual Artists) and GESAC (Groupement Européen des Sociétés D’auteurs et Compositeurs).
Each contributor explained its position.
It is no surprise that MM. Mazziotti, Westman and Weitzmann pleaded for a generalisation of the panorama exception in order to make it compulsory in the 28 Member States.
On the contrary, the ADAGP gave numerous arguments to oppose against any such expropriation of the artists that could be the cause of a loss evaluated from 10 to 19% of the royalties, being as many revenues that cannot be returned to the authors.
As for the argument regarding the legal insecurity upon the European citizens for the use of artworks located in the public space, it has not been proved. The ADAGP and its sister-societies conclude dozens of contracts every day, and this has no negative impact on the internal market either. On the contrary of those who invoke a blocking of the access to the cultural patrimony by copyright laws assure, it was reminded that all collective rights management societies daily issue authorisations for the exploitation of artworks. The amount of the royalties for those authorisations is evaluated case by case and in the most fairly way for authors and users.
Finally, the ADAGP pointed out that it had offered to Wikipedia to authorise the exploitation of the artworks of its repertory through a convention. However, the conditions that the Wikipedian community imposed (HD files, right to modify and to commercialise the works) are unacceptable for the artists.
The intervention of the European Commission was comforting.  According to Mr. Giorello, a new compulsory exception should avoid to lead to a stricter result than the substantive law, since the “three-step-test” is a flexible tool, responsible for the balance between copyright and individual liberties.
In conclusion, the ADAGP is pleased that two of its members who had come to the seminar could have expressed their point of view in their quality of artists, immediately concerned by some initiatives as the one of Wikipedia.
More than ever, artists have to remain alert and get together against this outright risk of expropriation.