On May 17, 18, and 19 the second edition of the International Congress of AVACI – Audiovisual Authors International Confederation - was carried out at the Novotel Ambassador Hotel in Seoul, South Korea. DGK - Directors Guild of Korea - was the host society of a unique and historical encounter, which gathered Directors, Screenwriters, technicians, producers, legislators, and lawyers who specialized in authors’ rights for the first time in person, on behalf of societies and federations from the five continents. Yoon Jung Lee, Vice-president of DGK, thanked for the support granted by AVACI to conduct the Congress: “for the movement in Korea to succeed, we will need more support from all of you”.
“The holding of this Congress is an act of support and encouragement for Korean audiovisual creators”, expressed Director Park Chan-Wook, concerning the encounter that marks the return to community discussion and debate on authors’ rights issues in the audiovisual media. The event is organized in a country whose cinematographic industry is in full expansion and growth, while its Authors have no right to remuneration for the exhibition of their works.
During the days before the Congress, representatives from several management societies of the world met with representatives from the Korean Government and made public statements on the lack of fair remuneration in the audiovisual media, besides providing technical and economic support to achieve the right it already exists in so many parts of the world. During the Congress, a video sent by Yoo Jungju, an attendee of the 21st National Assembly of South Korea, was shown, in which the recent presentation of a draft bill to protect the rights of Korean Audiovisual Creators was announced: “It is really important to protect and compensate our Authors”, she declared and expressed the intention to “create an equitable remuneration system in Korea”.
Members of the legal and technical committee of FESAAL recommended Korea seek a right to remuneration law: “we are here present today to provide global support to that law”. “With no right to compensation, the Screenwriter receives remuneration when he/she delivers the work to the producer, and retains no link or additional rights with such work”, Sylvia Palma added, GEDAR General Secretary. Alexandra Cardona Restrepo, a member of the Executive Committee of AVACI and President of REDES Colombia, congratulated DGK colleagues: “they are about to give an extraordinary twist to the meaning of the authors’ right in Korea”. Janine Lorente, an independent consultant, added that Audiovisual Authors “often assign their rights to production companies, and it is really hard for them to retain their rights so that then, after the production of the cinematographic work, they can get royalties or some sort of remuneration”.
The President of the Pan African Alliance APASER, Laza Razanajatovo, talked about the audiovisual authors’ right situation in Africa, the beginning of his society, and the project to become a federation. On behalf of European Societies, Hrvoje Hribar, from DHFR Croatia, talked about the difficult task to make platforms respect the remuneration rights of the creators of the contents they transmit.
Yoon Jung Lee presented the DGK campaign for fair remuneration for Korean Audiovisual Authors. “We need to have a cultural policy that may protect the rights of creators”, she said.
Daniel Di Napoli, IT Director of DAC, presented and made a live demonstration of AVSYS, the open code Operating System distributed without charge for every member of AVACI, created for joint management of audiovisual authors’ rights among management societies.
In the round table “AVACI Gender”, on gender inequality in the audiovisual industry, Sylvia Palma explained the situation in Brazil, where between 1995 and 2018, 92% of the production was developed by men in leading roles. “We signed the parity letter in 2001 but we are very far from parity”, Anja Unger stated before mentioning other French initiatives in the struggle for gender equality that have not altered the privileged situation of the male wing in the industry. Dong Ryung-Kim, Director and member of the Board of DGK, showed through figures the gender differences in the audiovisual industry in Korea nowadays.
The meeting concluded with the announcement of an alliance between REDES and APASER, and with the approval of the creation of an AVACI office in Slovenia, a regional AVACI office for Asia located in DGK, and a regional Latin American center based in Colombia. The union of Audiovisual Authors from around the world and their joint work for their rights was realized in a Congress of uncontested success.