A group of Italian film and TV actors assembled under the Artisti 7607 association has taken Netflix to court in order to increase the royalties given to performers from the 0.03 percent offered by Netflix to 0.4 percent of the streamer’s revenue. The verdict will be a test case for all the streamers operating in Italy. This takes into consideration that all streamers, except Netflix, will be reducing production investments in Italy (more on the subject below), and that international producers pay Italian artists 30 percent more than domestic ones.

In order to better understand the issues, VideoAge interviewed Cinzia Mascoli, president of the 3,150-member association, which includes both actors and dubbers.

The name “Artisti 7607” derives from June 7, 2007 (7/6/07), the birth date of the European Social Statute for the purpose of determining forms of protection for artists. According to Mascoli, “Artisti 7607 is financed from the fees collected for the Italian performers’ rights from various outlets. From those fees, Artisti 7607 deducts the costs of running the association,” she said.

“Since 2013,” Mascoli continued, “as the agency in Italy that collects and distributes the proceeds of the video/cinematographic sector, Artisti 7607 has established itself as an alternative to the 30-year-old malfunctioning market historically dominated by IMAIE [the Agency for rights collection and artists’ tutelage], a former monopoly that was shut down by the Italian authorities in 2009.”

Cristiana Tomei from IMAIE’s press office sent the following statement from Nuovo IMAIE’s president Andrea Miccichè:

“The old IMAIE managed the audiovisual monopoly of rights [collection] from 1998 to 2009, when it ceased to operate because it was placed in liquidation. Nuovo [New] IMAIE came into existence in 2010 and is managed by the artists who serve on its governing bodies. The monopoly of the Nuovo IMAIE came to an end in 2012, and since then Nuovo IMAIE has been in competition with other entities, including Artisti 7607.”

An additional collective management organization, SIAE (the Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) manages the copyrights owed to authors. (Artisti 7607 manages royalties related to copyrights owed to performers.)

VideoAge asked Mascoli how her agency determines streamers’ revenue for Italian content. “The European Copyright Directive,” she said, “has stated that the remuneration to artists must be ‘adequate and proportionate’ to the revenues, and that the same platforms must provide the collective management organizations (such as Artisti 7607) with the general revenues and data on the exploitation of the works (views/transactions/subscriptions). This data is the basis upon which Artisti 7607 applies its reference rate and claims the compensation to which it is entitled.”

Artisti 7607 then “distributes the fee collected according to a chart that takes into consideration the type of works used and the presence of primary and supporting artists.”

About the state of Italian original productions, it has been reported that investments from streaming platforms would be reduced to 150 million euro (U.S.$161 million) from the expected 250 million euro per year. In addition, tax credits will be lower, reaching 400 million euro (U.S.$429 million) in 2024 compared to 746 million euro in 2023. Italy’s main domestic production entity remains the Italian public broadcaster, RAI, which will continue to invest 180 million euro a year in TV drama and 80 million euro in films.

Audio Version (a DV Works service)

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