On April 2nd, the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (i.e. Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD)) announced the creation of a new audiovisual, cinema, animation & web emergency fund, backed by the financial support of the National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image (i.e. Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC)).
This fund appears to be a response to the €1 billion government endowment set up to benefit individuals and legal entities involved in any economic activity satisfying specific eligibility criteria, including artist-authors, who may be granted financial assistance up to €1,500. However, the conditions required to prove a reduced level of activity, and so obtain financial support from the government fund, are in fact unsuitable for the specific situation of a number of authors.
For this reason the SACD and the CNC set up this new emergency fund, offering more flexible criteria tailored for author’s needs, with the aim of allocating aid of up to €1,500 to those authors operating in the film, audiovisual and web industry who have not been eligible neither for the Solidarity Fund created by the Government nor for a short-time activity.
This new reservoir follows the implementation of an initial SACD emergency fund for authors effective March 18th, 2020, the endowment of which will be adjusted over time according to the available funding possibilities as well as the number of requests for financial support.
These funds are already operational and will be boosted through Order No. 2020-353 of March 27th, 2020, authorizing management societies to reassign to copyright and all related rights owners the portion of proceeds collected in the context of private copying or that are non-distributable, usually earmarked for creative projects, the promotion of live performances, the development of artistic and cultural training and education.
This Order deals with the SACD's request to soften the provisions contained in Decree 2017-924 of May 6th, 2017 defining the list of all authorized disbursements in the context of the 25%of private copying.
The SACD also agreed with France Télévisions to provide for the continuity or resumption, in the event that they have been stopped, of the different steps and writing phases for dramas and series, whether produced by France TV Studio or commissioned to independent producers engaged with France Télévisions, and to confirm all writing agreements already in place and all payments owed to authors.
In addition, on March 27, Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers (i.e. Société des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique (SACEM)) announced the establishment of a €6 million fund that will enable the payment of grants ranging from €1500 to €5,000 for the benefit of the authors, plus its support to the National Center of Music’s (i.e. Centre National de la Musique (CNM)) €10 million relief fund. Furthermore SACEM provided for the payment of exceptional advances on royalties, for a total amount that could reach 36 million euros, together with a 1 million euros increase in the aid program for music publishers, the maintenance of funds allocated to cancelled events (as the CNC also managed to do), and the temporary suspension of all contracts relating to the permanent exploitation of sound or background music broadcasting and those concluded with music establishments.
Finally, Decree n°2020-343 dated March 26, 2020 requires that ¼ of authors’ contribution to the supplementary retirement scheme (RAAP) be paid by audiovisual and cinema producers, as of 1 April. This request was originally included in the French retirement reform and the SACD hopes it will be maintained in the long term.