Fair pay, fair share.
Know your rights under Irish law.
European and Irish legislation ensures Screen Directors get a fair share of remuneration from their work and includes new rights to: fair pay; transparent information; possible additional remuneration and a way to revoke a licence. If you are asked to waive your rights or agree to a buy-out, don’t!
Know your rights
You have a right to Fair Pay
When you license or transfer your exclusive rights to a producer, you are entitled to receive appropriate and proportionate pay and a fair balance of rights and interests.
And you have a right to Additional Pay
If your original agreed pay turns out to be disproportionately low compared to the relevant revenue the TV Show/Film later generates, you can claim additional pay. This additional pay has to take account of all revenues made by the project.
You have a right to Information
Screen Directors are often in a weaker contractual position when granting licences or transferring rights. You need information to properly assess the continued value of these rights. You now have a right to audited information at least once a year. You are entitled to get from a producer a detailed description of how your work has been exploited, and an itemised list of the euro value of all copyright revenues generated worldwide.
You have a right to Take Back a Licence
You can revoke the licence of rights after a reasonable time if the work has not been exploited. You must notify the person/producer to whom the rights have been licensed or transferred, and set an appropriate deadline for the transfer to take place.
Know when to say no
Don’t sign agreements featuring buy-out/lump sum terms.
Don’t sign a clause which waives your right to ‘fair and proportionate’ remuneration.
Don’t sign a waiver of your right to a contractual adjustment mechanism.
Don’t sign a waiver to your right of revocation.
What you can do
To request clear, transparent audited information, write to the producer(s), one year after the contract has ended, using this text (or your own equivalent):
Dear [Producer Name], as the director and first contractual counterpart of the project [insert title] please can you send me a description of how [title] has been exploited and an itemised euro value of any additional revenues that have been generated as defined in Regulation 27 of Statutory Instrument 567 of 2021.
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If when you receive the information, you believe you have not received fair remunerations, this is how to put in a ‘Regulation 28 claim’: First, gather the itemised statements.
You can EITHER calculate an estimate of the total additional fees owed to you for exploitation of your work, OR put in a claim stating the fees are not fair and proportionate, in which case the producer must assess the total additional fees owed. Whichever you choose to do, you must have evidence from statements, and, if necessary, financial expertise to support your claim.
Send your claim. Our suggested wording is: “
Dear [Producer Name], I have reviewed the annual statements of [Project Name]. I wish to make a claim for additional revenue in my capacity as Director, as set out in Regulation 28 of Statutory Instrument 567 of 2021.
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The word of law
Fair pay “The Director’s remuneration shall be appropriate and proportionate, taking into account the Director’s contribution to the overall work, as set out in Regulation 26 of S.I. No. 567/2021, and within the framework of that legislation, this contract does not constitute a full buyout of the rights. The Director cannot yet legally agree that payment herein for this work is ‘fair and proportionate’ as required by Regulation 26 of S.I. No. 567 of 2021.”
Revoke rights “Where an author or a performer has licensed or transferred his or her rights in a work or other protected subject matter on an exclusive basis, the author or performer may revoke in whole or in part the licence or the transfer of rights where there is no exploitation of that work or other protected subject matter.” Regulation 29 of S.I. No. 567/2021
Additional pay “The Director’s remuneration shall be adjusted, as foreseen under Regulation 28 of S.I. No. 567/2021, when the remuneration originally agreed herein becomes be disproportionately low compared to all the subsequent relevant revenues derived from the exploitation of the work.”
Transparency “The Producer shall provide the Director, at least once a year, with a clear and detailed description (set of accounts/ gross audit report) of how the work has been exploited worldwide, as set out in Regulation 27 of S.I. No. 567/2021”
Everyone has the right to
the protection of the moral
and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which s/he is the author.