Almost 14-years old EU parliament position on recommendation for film heritage

This recommendation aims at fostering better exploitation of the industrial and cultural potential of European film heritage by encouraging policies of innovation, research and technological development in the field of conservation and restoration of cinematographic works. The hereinafter recommended actions aim to ensure that the conditions necessary for the competitiveness of the Community’s film industry exist and accelerate the development of its competitiveness.

Film heritage is an important component of the film industry and encouraging its conservation, restoration and exploitation can contribute to improving the competitiveness of this industry. The development of the European film industry is of vital importance for Europe in view of its significant potential in the fields of access to culture, economic development and job creation.

Full achievement of this potential requires the existence of a successful and innovative film industry in the Community. This can be facilitated by improving the conditions of conservation, restoration and exploitation of film heritage and by removing obstacles to the development and full competitiveness of the industry, in particular by the collection, cataloguing, preservation and restoration of the film heritage and by making it accessible for educational, cultural, research or other non-commercial use of similar natures, in all cases in compliance with copyright and related rights.

The general competitiveness of the film industry will improve through the development of an environment that favours cooperation between designated bodies, which could be European, national or regional archives, film institutes or similar institutions, on matters concerning the conservation and protection of film heritage.

All Member States already have systems in place for collecting and preserving cinematographic works forming part of their audiovisual heritage. Four-fifths of these systems are based on a legal or contractual obligation to deposit all films, or at least those films that have received public support. “Cinematographic works forming part of their audiovisual heritage” means film productions including co-productions with other Member States and/or third countries, qualified as such by Member States or bodies designated by them, on the basis of objective, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria. The audiovisual heritages of the Member States taken together constitute the European audiovisual heritage.

In order to ensure that the European film heritage is passed down to future generations, it has to be systematically collected, catalogued, preserved and restored in all cases in compliance with copyright and related rights. European film heritage should be made more accessible for educational, cultural, research or other non-commercial use of similar nature, in all cases in compliance with copyright and related rights. Transferring the possession of cinematographic works to archiving bodies does not imply transferring copyright and related rights to them.

The parliament recommended to encourage adopting the necessary legislation or administrative measures to allow designated bodies to make deposited cinematographic works accessible for educational, cultural, research or other non-commercial use of similar nature, in all cases in compliance with copyright and related rights and taking appropriate measures to ensure access for people with disabilities to deposited cinematographic works, in all cases in compliance with copyright and related rights and also promoting close cooperation between producers, distributors, broadcasters and film institutes for educational purposes while respecting copyright issues.