08-05-2020

Jacek Bromski Calls for Permanent Levy on VOD Providers in Poland

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WARSAW: Jacek Bromski has issued an open letter to the Polish Government, calling for a permanent change in the way streaming platforms and VOD service providers operate on the Polish market.

Jacek Bromski, President of the Polish Filmmakers Association, photo: Borys Skrzyński / SFPStreaming services and VoD providers operate in Poland on privileged terms. Unlike other participants of the media market, they are the only ones not obliged to pay royalties to creators and performers (e.g. actors). Jacek Bromski, President of the Polish Filmmakers Association appealed for a change of these circumstances in an open letter to Prof. Tomasz Grodzki, the Speaker of the Senate. 
 
The letter is a response to the COVID-19 "crisis bill" project, that includes many regulations designed to help the Polish economy in these hard times, several of which concern the audiovisual market, like the proposition of a levy on streaming giants. The proposed levy on VoD platforms and streaming services of 1.5% on local revenue from commercials and membership fees would include streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon. The government proposal must be passed by both chambers of the Parliament and signed by the president before becoming law. (Read more HERE
 
"This is an important gesture ensuring solidarity between the government and thousands of Polish filmmakers. The cinematographic industry has been particularly affected in recent weeks. (...) However, I would like to point out that regardless of the ongoing state of the epidemic, the introduction of this type of fee should not be justified solely by extraordinary circumstances. The proposed solution is the implementation of one of the provisions of Directive 2010/13 / EU on audiovisual media services, amended by Directive 2018/1808 of 14 November 14 2018, which must be adopted by Poland by 19 September this year." states Jacek Bromski.
 
Jacek Bromski points out that the EU Directive dictates that if the EU Member States oblige media service providers under their jurisdiction to make a financial contributions to the production of European film works, including through direct investment in content and financial contribution to national film funds, they may require that such financial contribution - proportionate and non-discriminatory - would also be made by media service providers that are established in another Member State but address their offer to recipients in their territory. 
 
"Television broadcasters, cable and satellite operators, DVD distributors, cinemas, hotels - all these entities transfer remuneration to authors and performers through collective management organisations. So far, websites have remained outside any such regulation - they don't pay any royalties." adds Bromski. 
 
The Polish Filmmakers Association's President also underlined that by introducing both the legislative solutions to the Polish legal order, both a fee for the Polish Film Institute and in the near future royalties for authors, Poland will be able to provide creators with stable working conditions.