Leading screen producing organisations from around the world have issued a joint statement that emphasises the need for regulation of streaming platforms.

The statement is signed by an array of international producer organisations including European bodies CEPI, EPC, USPA and Animation in Europe as well as Italy’s APA, Germany’s AECINE and Produzentenverband, Australia’s SPI, France’s USPA, Canada’s CMPA, Ireland’s SPI and Spain’s PATE. 

The joint statement – printed in full below – sets out what it calls “key principles needed to ensure a sustainable future screen industry through the regulation of powerful digital streaming platforms.”

The statement says that all platforms that financially benefit from conducting business in a local market should financially contribute to creating local content.

It also stresses the need for a healthy screen independent sector and says that governments should address market failures and imbalances in commercial bargaining power. In particular, it stresses that independent screen businesses should own and/or retain control of their IP, ensuring financial participation in the success generated by their work on platforms.

The statement comes at a time when many countries are stepping up regulation of streamers to ensure they invest more in local content.

Global screen producers statement in full:

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.

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