Open letter of support to ESC from 4 Nordic Societies.

Open letter sent to the Minister of Justice in Estonia

Copenhagen, 9th of July 2014

Mr Andres Anvelt

Minister of Justice of the Republic of Estonia
CONCERNING: The revision of Estonian copyright legislation.

Dear Sir.
As Nordic member societies of IMAGO – European Federation of Cinematographers
we feel a profound urgency in supporting our sister organisation of cinematographers
The Estonian Society of Cinematographers (ESC) in the present debate on copyright
and remuneration issues in relation to a planned revision of authorship law.

Cinematographers’ co-authorship rights of the film image is a fundamental and fair
“right” which basically concerns two issues – a fair remuneration for certain specified
distribution platforms and droit morale protection of the image. The image is created
by the cinematographer in collaboration with authors of the audiovisual work,
copyrighted hitherto in authors’ lifetime plus 70 years post mortem. This is normal
practice also in the Nordic countries.

We have been informed that the Estonian Government is planning changes in its
copyright legislation which entails a deterioration of exactly these two fundamental
issues of copyright law, namely a fair remuneration and the invulnerability and
protection of the original work (Intellectual Property).

Both nationally and internationally IMAGO-European Federation of Cinematographers
has for the last twenty years worked intensely on implementing these copyright issues
among its members for the furthering of both a fair remuneration and artistic
protection for cinematographers. We are proud to state that exactly the Nordic
counties for many years have co-operated and felt a close affinity to the Baltic
countries’ audiovisual copyright law – for inspiration for our European colleagues!

We are gravely concerned that the limitations of the audiovisual authors’ rights may
have a serious impact on the economic, artistic and social position of the audiovisual
creators in Estonia. We therefore trust that the Estonian Government will do it’s
utmost to secure that no proposal that will reduce those very just and important
rights will be effectuated.