‘Local content a national asset’: Global producers unite in call for streaming regulation

‘Local content a national asset’: Global producers unite in call for streaming regulation

Screen producing organisations have joined fores to call on Streaming platforms to contribute to local content in the territories they screen and to ensure independent producers retain intellectual property rights.

Screen bodies from Europe, Australia + New Zealand, Canada and Latin America, issued the unprecedented statement overnight.

They also want governments to address market failure and any imbalance in commercial bargaining power.

The organisations, including Screen Producers Australia and NZ’s Screen Production and Development Association, cite the cultural and economic importance of local storytelling, and emphasise the cultural responsibility of digital platforms to make fair and proportional contributions to the creation of new local content in the markets in which they receive revenue.

“Central to these principles is the need for a healthy screen independent sector, encompassing development, production, distribution, and post-production. Governments are urged to address market failures and imbalances in commercial bargaining power, with a particular emphasis on recognising the critical role of independent screen businesses,” they stated.

“Most importantly, the joint statement calls for governments to recognise the growth opportunities tied to intellectual property (IP) protection. Independent screen businesses should own and / or retain control of their IP, ensuring financial participation in the success generated by their work on platforms—a crucial aspect of preserving a nation’s unique cultural heritage.

“This isn’t just about regulations; it’s about safeguarding the heart and soul of our cultural narratives.”

SPA CEO Matthew Deaner said, “Our members have been telling us for some time that without intervention their financial viability and future existence cannot be taken for granted.

“As this global statement shows, Australian producers are not alone in this fight for survival. We welcome this expression of solidarity from around the world.

“With the Australian Government shortly to bring forward legislation to ensure streamers invest some small percentage of their Australian-derived revenue into making Australian stories, there has never been a better time also to address this critical issue brought about by the abuse of market power by streamers.

“Screen producers are increasingly unable to do business deals on fair terms with powerful digital platforms and therefore, cannot solve this problem on their own.”

Global Screen Producers Statement on Streaming Platform
Regulation & Intellectual Property Protections.

Together we represent thousands of screen industry businesses and share a commitment to securing regulation from our respective governments that will ensure that our industry continues to both be sustainable and maintains our nation’s cultural sovereignty.

To help achieve this, government regulation of digital streaming platforms should be guided by the following principles:

● Local content has both significant cultural and economic importance and is a strategic national asset.
● Local audiences should have access to a broad range of new local stories across all the platforms they are using.
● All platforms that derive financial benefit from conducting business in the local market should financially contribute, proportionally, to the creation of new local content for the benefit of local audiences.
● To meet audience expectations, there is a need to maintain and support a healthy screen sector (development, production (including post-production), distribution), that delivers employment, economic activity, industry upskilling, exports, and growth opportunities.
● Government has a role to address market failure and any imbalance in commercial bargaining power in the creation and delivery of quality new local screen content.
● Independent screen businesses (SMEs) are critical to achieving this cultural and economic objective.
● There is significant scope for growth in existing levels of production, investment, employment, commissioned content hours and exports, provided fit for purpose regulation, that protects local cultural assets, is in place.
● Independent screen businesses should own and / or retain control of the intellectual property (IP), and rights in their work, including the right to financially participate in the success generated by their work on a platform, created as part of a nation’s own unique cultural heritage.
● Any government regulated investment framework should specify that the majority of this investment should be fulfilled through projects where IP is under the control of independent screen businesses. This principle will assist businesses to remain strong and sustainable, thereby enhancing their capacity to invest in the development and production of new IP.

This statement is supported by:

• AECINE – Asociación de productoras de Cine Independiente (Spain)
• Animation in Europe (Europe)
• AnimFrance (France)
• APA – Associazione Produttori Audiovisivi (Italy)
• APCA – Associação Producers Cinema Audiovisual (Portugal)
• APFC – Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada (Canada)
• APIT – Associação de Produtores Independentes de Televisão (Portugal)
• AQPM – Association québécoise de la production médiatique (Canada)
• CEPI – European Audiovisual Production Association (EU)
• CMPA – Canadian Media Producers Association (Canada)
• EPC – The European Producers Club (EU)
• FIPCA – Ibero-American Federation of Film and Audiovisual Producers (LatAM)
• FPS – Association of Slovene Film Producers (Slovenia)
• PATE – Asociación de Productores Audiovisual Independientes (Spain)
• Produzentenverband (Germany)
• SPA – Screen Producers Australia (AU)
• SPADA – The Screen Production and Development Association (NZ)
• SPI – Screen Producers Ireland (Ireland)
• UPFF+ – Union of Francophone Producers of Films & Series (Belgium)
• USPA – Union Syndicale de la Production Audiovisuelle (EU)