With an open letter of July 11, numerous organisations, companies, and individuals representing film and television producers, publishers, sports event organisers, distributors, broadcasters, screenwriters, cinemas, film agencies, platforms, media, and entertainment trade unions throughout Europe and across the world have addressed the European Commission. In the letter they ask the Commission to respect the value of rights in the audiovisual sector by preserving the integrity of territorial exclusivity when executing its Digital Single Market strategy. Producing, distributing, and marketing film and television content requires substantial upfront investment and involves significant financial risk. Therefore, film and television is licensed and distributed on an exclusive country-by-country basis to enable sustainably financed productions and to tailor projects to specific national audiences. The letter contends that an erosion of territorial rights licensing would undermine the value of audiovisual rights as well as the diversity of offers, and thus damage growth, employment and investment, and harm consumers. The signatories claim that the most problematic proposal currently under consideration is the possible extension to online services of the principles enshrined in the Satellite and Cable Directive, including the Country of Origin principle for satellite broadcasts. This would force right-holders into pan-European licensing models and undermine the functioning of the market for production and distribution of audiovisual content in the EU. The letter therefore asks the Commission to "maintain the indispensable market incentives for the film, TV, and sports industries to finance, produce and distribute audiovisual content in Europe for the benefit of all audiences."
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Audiovisual Industry Calls on European Commission President Juncker to Preserve Territorial Rights Licensing
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