Polish Film Community Resumes Protest for Internet Royalties Implementation

    14 June 2023 Screenwriters protest 14 June 2023 Screenwriters protest credit: Guild of Polish Screenwriters

    WARSAW: In an open letter sent to the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, representatives of the Polish film community are protesting against the statements of Minister of Digitalisation Janusz Cieszyński, who denied in two interviews that his ministry has blocked the adoption of the amendment to the Act on Copyright and Related Rights, which introduces royalties from the Internet for filmmakers.

    “The scandalous blocking of the act by the Minister of Digitalisation is a fact. This is all the more outrageous as the amendment implements the EU directive on copyright in the digital single market, which Poland had committed to adopt by June 2021”, reads the open letter.

    The Polish film community considers that “with his actions, Minister Cieszyński calls for breaking the law in force in Poland” as he “persistently repeats that his actions are caused by ‘the fear of an increase in the prices of digital cultural goods’ (…)” although “the analysis of subscription prices for streaming services in Europe and worldwide clearly shows that in countries where statutory guaranteed royalties for creators are in force or have recently been introduced, there have been no increases in subscription prices for this reason.”

    Moreover, “Minister Cieszyński is silent about the fact that due to the over two-year delay in the implementation of the directive, Poland will have to pay very high penalties”.

    On 14 June 2023, Polish film screenwriters including the Guild of Polish Screenwriters and the Screenwriters Circle of the Polish Filmmakers Association, staged a united protest, demanding the implementation of internet royalties as a fair compensation standard for creative contributions to online film distribution.

    The demonstration, which garnered support from various film professionals, including directors and representatives from the Polish Filmmakers Association and the Union of Authors and Producers of Audiovisual Works (SFP ZAPA), aimed to push for the implementation of the internet royalty directive and highlight the ongoing struggle for fair compensation for creative contributions to films distributed online.

    Click HERE to read the letter of the Polish film community.