European Producers Club Issues Code of Fair Practices for VOD Services


    PARIS: The Paris-based European Producers Club (EPC) has issued a Code of Fair Practices for VOD services, aiming at establishing basic parameters to be applied to VOD Services’ contracts when commissioning feature films, TV series and other audiovisual works from independent production companies.

    There are four major sections in the Code: Fair and proportionate remuneration and economic participation for producers; Producers' contribution and right to participate in future derivative works; Transparency and Accountability; and Public Benefits and Fiscal Incentives.

    The EPC considers that the principle of appropriate and proportionate remuneration, which is already provided by the EU for authors, directors and other copyright or related rights owners, should be applied to independent producers, as well.

    When an independent production company has acquired, created or co-developed an IP, that underlying IP shall remain with the production company, including the rights to make sequels, prequels, remakes, and any other derivative audiovisual works based on the initial film or TV series. 

    The exploitation rights granted to the VOD Service should be limited to the rights in the film or TV series that the VOD Service needs in connection with the primary exploitation of the work on its service, while allowing for the production company to authorise the reasonable, additional exploitation of the remaining or unused rights of the work, e.g. a theatrical release, where appropriate, and free TV exploitation after a reasonable period of exclusivity.

    National benefits or subsidies, regional support funding and/or tax incentives aimed at national and European works in the Member States, should be accessed only through independent production companies. Such support should be recognised as part of the producer's financial contribution and allow for the production company to maintain ownership and control of exploitation rights that are of a value that is truly comparable to that contribution.

    Click HERE for the full text.