WELCOME TO THE AUSTRALIAN SCREEN DIRECTORS AUTHORSHIP COLLECTING SOCIETY
ASDACS represents directors – film, television and all audiovisual media directors of works in public release – in collecting the rights and entitlements that arise from the success of their work around the world.
Joining ASDACS is free for all ADG and DEGNZ members. Film and television directors who are not Guild members can also join. Join here.
ASDACS supports its director members and the industry. Find out more.
ASDACS seeks to distribute all the royalties it collects. If you are a member but haven't heard from us lately, we may be trying to find you. If we have collected money for you but have failed to find you or lost contact, you will find your name on the list here.
NEWS FROM THE CHAIR
Friday, 20 May 2016
ASDACS ANNUAL REPORT FROM THE CHAIR, STEPHEN WALLACE
AGM May 2016
It has been a busy and productive year for ASDACS with increases in revenue and partnerships and a new structure to the organisation.
Apart from Debra Jackson as Executive Officer and Kingston Anderson as the CEO we have employed a new staff member Belinda Button as full time assistant to Debra in the main office and Courtney Rawlings as a part time share employee with the ADG. The office is now organised with a closer alignment to the ADG through an ASDACS /ADG yearly contract where the ADG manages ASDACS administration and business under the control of the board.
Eight new overseas partnerships have been confirmed and signed since the last AGM: Switzerland/SSA, Estonia/EAU, Slovak Republic/LITA, Italy/SIAE, Latvia/AKK-LAA, Czech Republic/DILIA, Portugal/SPAUTORES and Moldova/asDac. ASDACS now has a total of twenty two partnerships.
There has been an increase in royalty collection from $598,657 in 2014 to $958,824 (includes Screenrights payments) in 2015 for which much of the credit must go to Debra and her persistence in getting new partnerships and in following up existing partnerships.
Screenrights and copyright
ASDACS has also rolled out Screenrights registration for many, many members for domestic retransmission royalties. As we all know, Screenrights has paid very little to directors over the years, such are their rules and conditions, and we are watching the AWG legal case with Screenrights very closely.
Last year we commenced a full campaign for director’s copyright ie fair remuneration for directors. This campaign was led by copyright lawyer Sabiene Heindl, Kingston Anderson, Canberra lobbyist Michael Salmon and myself, supported by the whole board of ASDACS and the ADG. The copyright campaign costs directors nothing as it is funded from the development fund of undistributable monies.
Debra Jackson and Kingston Anderson represented ASDACS at the CISAC General Assembly in Brussels last year (June 2015) and created a great deal of attention and goodwill for our copyright campaign as well as making great connections with new overseas territories. In October 2015, I, as chair, and Sabiene Heindl, as legal advisor attended the meeting of Directors and Writers Worldwide in Bejing where world director’s copyright was discussed at great length.
Debra Jackson will represent ASDACS in June at the CISAC General Assembly in Paris where she will meet with more new territories, especially those from South America, report on our copyright campaign and cement present relationships,
Administrative fees have not been reduced this year as I had hoped, mainly because of the appointment of new staff and the extra work needed in getting new territories, but we are confident we’ll be able to reduce the admin fees next year, especially of we continue the increase in revenue. This year we will also have a NZ representative on the ASDACS board in recognition of the strong NZ representation in our membership.
Chair ASDACS 2016
The Australian Copyright Act was amended in 2005 to recognise directors as copyright owners for the purposes of the statutory retransmission scheme which collects royalties when a free to air television broadcast is retransmitted across a different network. However, directors are not entitled to a share of these royalties if they have not retained their right to receive royalty income in their contracts. ASDACS has drafted a clause you can use in your next contract to reserve these rights, and the ADG or your lawyer can advise you on this.If you have already reserved your right to a share of Australian retransmission income, the ASDACS Voluntary Rightsholder Scheme will allow ASDACS members to claim and receive this income through ASDACS.
Despite past victories which have returned a small stream of retransmission royalty payments, Australian directors continue to face strong opposition for fair pay for their creative work. They often receive no benefit from the growing digital market and have no body of work to derive future incomes from in contrast to directors from other parts of the world including the United Kingdom. A simple amendment to Australia’s Copyright Act so the definition of “maker” of a film specifically refers to directors. As a result, directors will share copyright in films and TV productions with producers.
This change will ensure a sustainable future for directors with improved recognition of their creative contribution in film and television in line with producers, screen writers and composers. This campaign is supported worldwide through the international authors’ body, Writers and Directors Worldwide. Click here for more information on our 'Fair deal for directors' campaign.