In October 2012, three Dutch cable companies (UPC, Ziggo and Delta) had stopped paying royalties to LIRA, the Dutch writers guilt. The cable companies argued that since they already paid to TV networks and film producers, they already paid for the royalties.
The court rejected this defense, since screenwriters are members of and represented by LIRA that can claim royalties on behalf of her members. Almost all screenwriters are members of LIRA (Stichting Literaire Rechten Auteurs).
The ruling is a major victory for writers. A recent research conducted by the Network of Screenwriters (professional organization of screenwriters) among writers of youth drama shows that half of those writers could not survive without those royalty payments.
Ribbens stated: “This ruling marks an important victory for filmmakers. They will finally be able to share in the substantial profits of billions of Euros that companies such as UPC and Ziggo generate with the distribution of their films and TV series. Although the royalty payments will only be a fraction of the total turnover of those companies, for many writers it is an indispensable source of income to survive.”
(Image courtesy of WFI)