Polish Filmmakers Demand Fair Internet Royalties in Front of Parliament

    Polish Filmmakers Demand Fair Internet Royalties in Front of Parliament photo: Paweł Wodzyński, East News, SFP

    WARSAW: On 11 June 2024 the Polish film community gathered in front of the Sejm, rallying under the slogan Enough waiting for internet royalties! This protest coincided with the first reading of an amendment to the copyright law aimed at introducing internet royalties for Polish filmmakers.

    Organisations such as the Polish Screenwriters Guild, the Polish Directors Guild and the Polish Actors' Union participated. Prominent filmmakers, including Agnieszka Smoczyńska and Juliusz Machulski, voiced their demands for fair streaming service compensation.

    "We came here united as a film community, speaking with one voice. We call for the unaltered inclusion of Article 70, point 5, which states: 'appropriate remuneration for making a work publicly available in such a way that anyone can access it at a time and place chosen by them,' commonly known as 'internet royalties'," said director Agnieszka Smoczyńska.

    The amendment aims to implement an EU directive guaranteeing royalties for filmmakers on streaming platforms. Dominik Skoczek, director of SFP-ZAPA, highlighted, "Since the Cinematography Act, there hasn't been such an important law. It fulfills our longstanding demand for adapting the law to the changing reality."

    Elżbieta Benkowska, chairwoman of the Young Circle of the Polish Filmmakers Association, stressed the regulation's importance for young filmmakers: "The voice of young people is very important. Today, there are debutants whose films are exclusively online. The lack of this regulation update essentially denies them the right to royalties."

    The film community's united stance underscores the urgency of updating Polish copyright law to ensure fair compensation and support the future of Polish cinema.