Licensing, Choice And New Players: Keys To Fostering Local Film Production 17/10/2016 by Alexandra Nightingale for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Audiovisual producers at a side event to the recent World Intellectual Property Organization General Assemblies shared experiences and exchanged best practices in the use of copyright and related rights’ frameworks. Speakers said they seek an enabling environment, where makers of audiovisual works can achieve economic sustainability and contribute to local employment and growth through the creation and supply of local audiovisual works. from left: Benoist, Osayemi, Mackey, Moullier The International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) organised a panel discussion on 7 October under the title, “Rights, Camera, Action – Using Copyright and Related Rights to Foster Sustainable Local Audiovisual Content Industries.” FIAPF is a global organisation of film and television producers, representing the economic, legal and regulatory interests of the film and TV production industries. Bertrand Moullier, FIAPF’s senior advisor for international affairs, said at the event that one of the problems found across the world and a difficulty involved in building a local industry is that broadcasters have access to cheaper imports already advertised as audiovisual products elsewhere rather than to invest in local content. Moullier emphasised the overall need for legal security and contractual freedom to choose to whom to licence and on what terms. In addition, freedom extends to allowing distributors to become licensees of rights on an exclusive basis and thereby creating an economic incentive for them to bring audiovisual works to the public, he said. According to Moullier, creative producers cooperate between countries to use the IP assets, protected by the copyright framework, in strategic ways, so as to enable a sharing of risk and to also increase quality of the end product that is offered to citizens and consumers. A TV series made in the United Kingdom but targeting the Nigerian diasporic market by featuring a migrant family from Africa presents an example of a show that went from being ‘basically homemade’ to being a licensing business. Andrew Osayemi, managing director of MTA Sitcom LTD, a company which focuses on creating entertainment based on the experiences of African families living in the diaspora as well as Pan African audiences, and executive director of the TV series called Meet The Adebanjos, described how his company was able to sell the series to broadcasters across Africa, as it appealed to the mass demographic. With regards to licensing, Osayemi said that his company tries to licence per territory. The capital raised from licensing fees for pieces of content for exclusive rights for the territory is then used to make the TV series. In South Africa for example, separate licences were made with the public broadcaster and the pay-TV broadcaster. Licences for the internet rights with online broadcasters can now be made as well, Osayemi pointed out. As content producers, Osayemi also referred to the constant search for more avenues to recoup investments and produce new content. More opportunities to license content with mobiles have arisen too, he said. For example, a telecommunications company that wished to target diaspora could subsequently launch a platform on a mobile app and gain exclusive rights for the show, Osayemi explained. Nicole Mackey, consultant for International Film Distribution in the UK, pointed to creative and cultural diversity as a means for people to have a broader choice, beyond mainstream the commercial film industry to include independent and foreign films. According to Mackey, challenges to the film industry have arisen in the last years, such as illegal online streaming and piracy of films and the significant decline of cinemagoers. State film agencies can help support the production and releases of films all over the world, Mackey said, but at the same time she emphasised the importance of choice. Raphaël Benoist, director of legal and business affairs at Multimédia France Productions, presented The Collection, a Franco-British television series, co-produced and partly funded by Amazon Services. The series is an example of how rights are distributed and licensed out amongst investors to create value in productions and find sufficient funding. In return for its investment, Amazon gains premiere rights and exclusivity in the territories in which it looks to make revenue, outlined Benoist. At the same time, Benoist pointed out that French national subsidies to support creation from the Centre National du Cinéma (CNC) are available to the French producers and similarly tax credits are available in the UK. Financiers attain intellectual property rights and shares of the revenue for their investment, said Benoist. Key is also pre-licensing to distributors such as the BBC to secure advancements on the budget he added. Also highlighted by Moullier and Benoist were the differences between traditional broadcasters and the “new players” such as Amazon and Netflix in their approaches to rights acquisition and negotiations. Benoist noted that it is easier to determine rights and prices with Amazon, which is content to invest in and deliver the product, than with traditional broadcasters, where discussions are much tougher as they wish to have more rights, pay less and be more involved in the creative aspect. Benoist highlighted the need to evolve as producers in the construction of production business models by taking into account the new players and in the licensing of rights to create value. Alexandra Nightingale is a researcher at Intellectual Property Watch. She completed her Bachelors in Law at the University of Sussex and holds an LLM degree in International Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. During her Masters, she developed a strong interest in Intellectual Property, particularly patents and the aspects relating to global health. Her research interests now also include geographical indications and trademarks. Image Credits: Alexandra Nightingale Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Alexandra Nightingale may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."Licensing, Choice And New Players: Keys To Fostering Local Film Production" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.