Royalty of streaming platforms Netflix list Ilona Łepkowska and Jacek Bromski Barbara Białowąs

Authors and audiovisual artists in Poland receive royalties only for showing their productions on TV stations, on DVD, with cable players or in cinemas. This is in accordance with Polish law, i.e. the law on copyright and related rights. At the same time, the industry has long sought to include streaming services on this list, What will happen as a result of the implementation of the EU directive in Poland, which the Ministry of Culture has been working on recently.

Now representatives of the film industry have written a letter to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, in which they indicate that they are waiting for a law that “guarantees fair royalties from the Internet for all filmmakers.” As they assure, “this is guaranteed by the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, the implementation of which in Poland has been extended for several months for reasons incomprehensible to us.”

The letter’s authors write that the new regulations will protect Polish culture. They noted that in Poland platform revenues amount to PLN 2.3 billion annually, “Meanwhile, Polish filmmakers receive exactly 0 PLN in royalties (…). You lose not only the entire Polish film industry, but also the Polish economy. We wonder why Polish filmmakers can get royalties from other European countries where Polish films or series are watched (from France, Italy, Spain or even Slovenia, Lithuania and Estonia), and still not be able to count them in their own country, where they are most popular.

As Jacek Bromski, President of the Association of Polish Filmmakers, said in January, on December 9 last year a letter signed by Deputy Minister Janusz Czyzyński, who is responsible for digitization, came from the Prime Minister’s Chancellery to the Ministry of Culture. He suggested that provisions relating to online royalties should be excluded from the law. According to the SFP chief, the message containing such content was to be sent as a result of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ visit to Poland (Netflix denies this).

The letter’s authors now comment: “It is also baffling to us that state officials put the interests of foreign companies above those of Polish creators and Polish citizens.”

“On behalf of all Polish filmmakers, we appeal to you and to the government of law and justice to implement the directive with provisions guaranteeing the right to fair remuneration from the Internet!” the authors concluded.

The letter is signed by: Jacek Bromski, President of the Polish Filmmakers Association. Andrzej Jakimowski, Chairman of the Polish Directors’ Association; Ilona Cipkowska, Chairperson of the Polish Screenwriters’ Union; Piotr Śliskowski, Chair of the PSC Association of Women Authors and Cinematographers; Witold Płóciennik, Chairman of the Filmmakers’ Guild; Jaroslav Barzan, President of the Polish Association of Editors; Dariusz Japonski, President of the Polish Film Academy; Krzysztof Zoster, President, Association of Polish Performing Artists ZASP; Maximilian Rojacki, President of the Main Council of the Polish Actors’ Union; Lidia Duda, Chairperson of the Polish Documentary Directors’ Union; Barbara Beaufus, President of the Association of Female Filmmakers and Dominique Skocek, Director of the Association of Audiovisual Authors and Producers.

The law implementing the directive will be handled by the government

Our information shows that The provision for VOD services to be included in the royalty system is still included in the bill. It has already been sent to the Governmental Committee on European Affairs, after which it will be transferred to the Standing Committee and finally to the Government Meeting. It is not yet known when the Council of Ministers will deal with the project.

Based on data on the mandatory payment of VoD platforms to the Polish Film Institute (35 million PLN per year), filmmakers have estimated that the annual revenue of streaming services in Poland is about PLN 2.3 billion.

The royalties do not go entirely to the creators, because a percentage of them is collected by CRM organizations that support the expansion of royalty provisions.

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