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Copyright - European Commission Communication issued on 9 Dec. 2015

Full communication and related documents to be found here.

To respond to these proposals, the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) has co-signed several press releases and statements.

European Communication “Towards a modern, more European Copyright Framework”, a statement of the Authors' group, the prime EU Authors’ network representing more than 500 000 authors, including writers, literary translators, composers, songwriters, journalists, film directors and screenwriters in Europe.

European Copyright: Commission commits to action on authors’ remuneration: a press release issued by SAA, FSE and FERA.

Listening to Europe’s Creative & Cultural Sectors: a statement issued by Creativity Works!



Creators Conference

Save the date : Brussels, 31 May 2016

FSE is pleased to announce the Creators Conference in Brussels on 31 May 2016, organised by ECSA, the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance, in alliance with FSE (screenwriters), EFJ (journalists), EWC (writers) and FERA (directors). The initiative aims at creating a forum for authors, politicians, industry stakeholders and all interested parties to meet and discuss key issues related to author’s rights, freedom of expression and the EU digital single market.

More information to come soon...


Si las industrias culturales generan tantos beneficios, ¿por qué estos no llegan a los creadores?

FSE member guilds in Spain ALMA and FAGA have joined forces to translate the FSE/FERA document “Better Contracts” in Spanish. 

This document, part of the new FSE publication Somebody Wrote It, affirms the many assertions by the Parliament and the Commission that creators’ remuneration needs to be guaranteed and to make specific proposals for changes that would be of real practical benefit to Europe’s creators, in particular, in this document, its audiovisual authors – screenwriters and directors.

The English version is available here.


Adam Price's speech at FSE Award

" I am very, very grateful to accept this award, not least for BORGEN. I have a bit of a bad conscience, because some of you might know that the twelfth episode of BORGEN was actually called IN BRUSSELS NOBODY CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM. Well tonight, I hope they hear us scream from Brussels, saying: SOMEBODY WROTE IT”, said Adam Price after receiving his prize at the ceremony of the FSE European Screenwriters Award in Brussels on the 21th of September 2015. Read his speech HERE or listen to it HERE.

(Many thanks to Adam Price for sharing his speech).

New FSE Executive Committee

The member guilds of the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe met in Brussels on 22 and 23 September 2015 for their annual general assembly. The members elected a new board of directors for a two-year mandate :

Robert Taylor (President)
Carolin Otto (Vice-President)
Monica Boracco (Treasurer)
Jean-André Yerlès (Member)
Maciej Karpinski (Member)

Many thanks to Stanislav Semerdjiev and Sven Baldvinsson, who have both actively and successfully contributed to develop FSE for many years.


Danish Writer Adam Price wins inaugural at FSE European Screenwriters Award

On 21 September 2015 in Brussels, the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) awarded its inaugural European Screenwriters Award to the Danish writer Adam Price, creator and showrunner on the extraordinarily successful TV series “Borgen”.

“Borgen” had 3 series of 10 one-hour episodes each. The show sold to more than 30 countries and won a Prix Italia, BAFTA and Monte Carlo TV festival awards. Adam Price is currently working on a new series which centers on religion, “Rides Upon The Storm”, co-produced by DR-TV, ARTE and SAM Productions, scheduled for broadcast in 2017.

“Without a good script, there is no good film”, adds Carolin Otto, German screenwriter and FSE board member. The FSE European Screenwriters Award is intended to acknowledge exceptional writing by a European writer, whose work appeals to a national or local audience and to a wider European or international one. More generally, FSE wants to shine a light of recognition on those often invisible authors who create the stories which engage audiences in Europe. “Whether it is feature films, television series, or other audiovisual media, says Sveinbjörn Baldvinsson, president of the FSE, the whole production process starts with an idea, sculpted, nurtured and formed into a screenplay. The work of screenwriters is essential to the success of the European audiovisual market, in particular of the digital market, and to the very rich cultural diversity in Europe”.

However, most screenwriters have difficulties to make a living out of writing. “At any one time, says Sveinbjörn Baldvinsson president of the FSE , there are about 10,000 European Union citizens writing what you see in the cinemas and watch on your TV - and computer screens. It’s a tough calling. It’s not just that it pays pretty badly for most writers but also, that it is so completely unstable. You have to treat every contract as if it is your last one – and statistically speaking, it probably is. Every contract is for a new story. It’s not just a contract for an amount of work  - it’s also a contract for creation, creativity. Hence the importance for us of author’s rights or copyright. Copyright is our bread and butter. It’s how we earn our livelihood”. 

Held in the building that used be Louis Pasteur’s house and now hosts the Bavarian Representation in Brussels, the event was crowded with people from the European Parliament, the Commission, lobbyists from the creative industries in Europe and many from the film and television industries in Brussels. 

The FSE European Screenwriters Award was sponsored by several collective management organisations (CMOs) : ALCS (UK), VG Wort (Germany), DeAuteurs (Belgium) and Literar Mechana (Austria), as well as several screenwriters' guilds : Sunklo (Finland), Norske Dramatikeres Forbund (Norway) and Danske Dramatikere (Denmark).


Read full press release here.


FSE launches new publication
Somebody Wrote It

- Foreword by President Sven Baldvinsson

- Meet some screenwriters, with illustrated portraits by illustrator Titwane: Adam Price, Caroline Link, John Fay, Sergio G. Sànchez and Anne Landois

- Remuneration : A Problem at the Heart of Copyright
A document put together by the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) and the Federation of European Directors (FERA) to affirm the many assertions by the Parliament and the Commission that creators’ remuneration needs to be guaranteed and to make specific proposals for changes that would be of real practical benefit to Europe’s creators, in particular, in this document, its audiovisual authors – screenwriters and directors.

download HR version (17 Mo)
download LR version (3 Mo)

Putting Authors back at the Heart of Culture and Copyright
Europe's Screenwriters' and Directors' Organisations Expect

SAA, FERA and FSE put forward 7 areas where the new European Parliament can make concrete progress for screenwriters and directors over the next 5 years.
  1. Guarantee authors are remunerated for each use of their work
  2. Strengthen Europe’s audiovisual policy
  3. Consolidate the private copying levy system
  4. Preserve Europe’s cultural diversity in trade talks
  5. Refresh the e-commerce directive
  6. Put a stop to retransmission royalty evasion
  7. Rethink taxation for the digital internal market

Christina Kallas Unanimously Invited by General Assembly
to Become First Patron of FSE

> read press release

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Screenwriters’ Income

What is the median income after tax of a screenwriter in Europe? How many screenwriters can make a living out of screenwriting only? Is it more interesting in terms of remuneration to work for television productions? What is the real percentage of their income provided by collective management organisations? You will find the answers to these questions in the new study published by FSE (click on the picture to download the publication).

Conference 7 Nov. Brussels / A Trialogue between creators, employers and institutions on Remuneration for Creators in the Digital Environment

Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) and UNI-Mei announce the final seminar of a programme of workshops on “Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining in the Digital Economy: Fair Remuneration for Creators” which is supported by DG Employment.

This seminar offers an opportunity to discuss issues related to the European creators’ compensation for the use of their work online among stakeholders of all creative sectors and representatives of employers and European institutions. On this occasion Tony Segall General Counsel for the Writers Guild of America West will explain the US legal framework and practice and
FSE will launch its new publication on European Screenwriters' Income in 2012: An Overview, which presents the results of a survey conducted in 2013 among 700 writers in Europe.

More info:


Ms Francoise Castex MEP took the initiative of a motion for a European Parliament resolution on private copying levies. Several European organisations who give voice and visibility to the concerns of hundreds of thousands of professional authors and performers who make a living in the creative industries have issued a statement to welcome this draft report.

> read the statement here
> read the draft report here


At the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds meeting in Toronto, Canada on October 3, 2013 ((which FSE and some FSE member guilds attended), the member guilds unanimously passed the following resolution:
The International Affiliation of Writers Guilds condemns all practices in which screenwriters around the globe are pressured, coerced, or otherwise impelled to provide free work, whether prior to engagement, or in excess of contractual provisions.  This exploitation by producers and broadcasters undermines the writers’ right to fair payment for their creative labours.
Moved by Roger Williams, Chair, Writers Guild of Great Britain
Seconded by Lowell Peterson, Executive Director, Writers Guild of America East

Passed unanimously


SAA, FERA, FSE Joint Contribution to the European Commission Green Paper "Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Values" (Sept 2013): "Digital technology and the internet continue to rapidly change the way in which audiovisual works are produced, marketed and distributed to the audience, under the pressure of consumers increasingly expecting to be able to watch anything, anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
We would, however, also like to take this opportunity to express our regret that the European Commission has not followed up on its Green Paper on the Online Distribution of Audiovisual Works and that this current consultation fails to address any authors’ rights or copyright issues.


Last June FSE contributed to the public consultation on a draft Communication from the European Commission on State Aid for Films and other Audiovisual Works.
More details on the consultation here.
Read FSE contribution here.


The undersigned organisations (including FSE) express their deep concern and dismay at recent proposals made by EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht on the subject of audiovisual services and the negotiation mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the US (TTIP). > Press release

FSE also endorsed a letter from the European Platform on the Potential of Cultural and Creative Industries to the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso. > Read more

Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining in the Digital Economy: Fair Remuneration for Creators

Antonio Vitorino writes, on page 8 of his recommendations resulting from the Mediation on Private Copying and Reprography Levies: “I understand that such authors and performers sometimes suffer from a lack of bargaining power. I do not think, however, that private copying levies are the right way to address this imbalance. Mandatory rules in copyright contract law or labour law would, in my view, be a better manner to ensure that authors and performers receive an adequate share when their works and other protected subject matter are exploited. Another option would be to help them to organise themselves better in order to conduct negotiations more successfully.”
The Federation of Screenwriters in Europe and EURO-MEI (Media, Entertainment & Arts Global Union) considers this “other option” to be a priority and has co-organised a capacity building project on collective bargaining funded by the European Commission (DG Employment). The first workshop will bring together many representatives of screenwriters’ guilds and unions in Brussels on 17-19 April 2013 to discuss the parameters of collective bargaining for screenwriters’ organisations in Europe.
To prepare this workshop, the FSE is trying to build up a picture of the current economic situation for screenwriters in Europe. Hundreds of professional screenwriters from many European countries completed a short online survey available in several languages. The preliminary results will be presented at the first workshop.
The Guilds’ representatives of the writers guilds and unions will meet a second time in Brussels for a workshop on 3 and 4 July and a final seminar is scheduled on 6 and 7 November, which will involve  other union groupings and creators’ federations, the employers and people from the various EU institutions.

FSE Newsletter March 2013

A strong budget for ‘Creative Europe’

Ahead of the 7-8 February 2013 Special Summit on the EU’s Multi-Annual Financial Framework, the European Platform on the potential of Cultural and Creative Industries (‘The Platform’) - a group of more than 40 organisations representing a wide range of cultural and creative sectors – calls on EU Member States to adopt a strong budget for ‘Creative Europe’, the 2014-2020 programme for the cultural and creative sectors.

Barcelona Declaration, an Open letter from the General Assembly of FSE 

"Screenwriters are the storytellers of our time, able to comment on and illuminate the issues that face Europeans in these troubled times (...) FSE urges the governments of Europe, as well as the European Parliament, Commission and Council, to abandon the short-sighted and self-defeating downward spiral of cuts and instead recognise that cultural diversity and creativity require enlightened support now more than ever".
(Barcelona, 9-10 Nov. 2012)

REPORT Highlights the Need for Heightened Visibility of Screenwriters at Film Festivals

Written Into the Picture, Investigating Screenwriters’ Lack of Visibility at Film Festivals
Researched and written by Cathy John

The aim of this investigation was to scrutinise the role of screenwriters at film festivals. It was initiated by the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG) and Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE).This joint initiative arose from the 2009 World Conference of Screenwriters in Athens, where it was resolved that the vital contribution of screenwriters needs to be more fully acknowledged both within the film industry and in the public arena at large. Investigating how screenwriters were recognised at film festivals was the first step in this broader initiative.

Download Press release and Full Report with Appendices (WARNING: 104 pages; 3.2 MB) or Main Report (20 pages)/Appendix 1/Appendix 2/Appendix 3/Appendix 4/Appendix 5/Appendix 6/Appendix 7/Appendix 8

Second World Conference of Screenwriters
Barcelona, Spain, 9-10 Nov. 2012

Building on the success of its 2009 event in Athens, Greece, screenwriters from around the globe will meet in Barcelona, Spain on November 9 and 10, 2012 to discuss changes to their craft and the business of film and television.

Organized by the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE), in conjunction with the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG) and Foro de Asociaciones de Guionistas del Audiovisual (FAGA), the Second World Conference of Screenwriters will feature speakers on the cutting edge of new technologies and some of the most creative minds working in film and television, online and branded content, immersive and transmedia entertainment.

All the detailed information about the conference is to be found on the official blog.


Three important authors’ bodies are coming together to demand legislation for equitable rights payments for European film and television directors and screenwriters. They are calling for unwaivable enforceable rights, fair contracts and stronger resistance to arguments put out by the pirate lobby. 10 April 2012. > read the statement

FSE Newsletter April 2012

Online distribution of audiovisual works
Illegal streaming
VOD and new distribution platforms
On copyright and authors’ rights
On Culture and Creative industries
On Collective Bargaining
Brief news on European audiovisual policies
News from FSE members and screenwriting events

FSE Newsletter November 2011

In this issue:

Edito by Christina Kallas

Audiovisual Production for the net
Marseille Web Fest
• Digital challenge for movie theatres
• Why Discuss Network Neutrality?

European Audiovisual Policy
• Green Paper
• State Aid
• Film Heritage and Orphan Works
• Short news

Copyright / Collective Bargaining
Neelie Kroes’s speech at Avignon
• US : WGAE protests against ITV
• EU : the Greens’ position on buyout contracts
• Freelancers’ protest against unfair contracts

Screenwriting events
• Second Meeting of Spanish Scriptwriters
• Script Forum Poland
• Awards
• Cross-boarder screenwriting laboratory

FSE Newsletter September 2011

In this issue:

Edito by Christina Kallas

European Policy: Looking for Opportunities for TV and Film in the Online Age
  • Greenpaper on Online Distribution
  • of Audiovisual Works
  • Public Hearing at European Parliament
  • State aid for Film, an Evaluation
  • Creative Europe : What future for MEDIA?
  • Digital Age: Challenges for Film Heritage
Screenwriting Events
  • London Screenwriters Festival
  • 2nd Spanish Screenwriting Meeting
  • International Festival of Screenwriters in France
Droit d’Auteur and Copyright
  • Digital Uses : Who Pays for Private Copying?
  • EFJ publishes Handbook for Journalists

FSE Newsletter June 2011

In this issue:
  • Edito by Christina Kallas
  • Collective Bargaining for freelance screenwriters in
    the digital area
  • Journalists’ Campaign against right-grabbing
    contracts in Europe
  • No-pay policy for online contents
  • SACD study on remuneration
  • WIPO’s principles to adapt Copyright to the Digital
  • World Conference on Culture, Audiovisual and Copyright in
  • International Arts and Entertainment Alliance recalls
    the importance of online rights for creative workers
  • Google France Legal Case
  • Net Neutrality
> Read

FSE Newsletter February 2011

In this issue:
  • Edito by Christina Kallas
  • Campaign against 90 minutes of screenwriting in Turkey
  • Union Rights for Self-Employed Creative Workers
  • Spanish Copyright Manifesto
  • World Copyright Summit 2011
  • Flemish decision on Product Placement
  • Digital Dividend
  • Conference on Screenwriting Research in Belgium
  • Screenwriting conference in Australia
> Read

World Conference of Screenwriters, Athens 2009

Screenwriters met in Athens, Greece, on 6 & 7 November 2009, during a world conference organised by the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe and the IAWG.

European Screenwriters Manifesto

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  • FSE Newsletter Dec. 2010> Read
  • FSE Newsletter Oct.Nov. 2010> Read
  • FSE Newsletter Sept. 2010 > Read
  • FSE-IAWG Joint Communiqué Sept. 2010 > Read
  • FSE Newsletter Summer 2010 > Read
  • FSE/IAWG Joint Communiqué March 2010 > download
  • FSE Newsletter February 2009 > download
  • FSE Newsletter October 2009> download
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