OUTCOME OF CONSULTATION: PROPOSED CHANGES TO SCREENRIGHTS COMPETING CLAIM RESOLUTION PROCEDURES
Screenrights recently shared details of the proposed new ADR and invited members to provide feedback via a survey, which included an opportunity to provide long-form comments. The purpose of consulting with members was to help assess the impact of the Proposed New ADR on the membership and whether or not to adopt or amend the proposed changes. The consultation also sought feedback on the proposal to introduce new Presumption 11 under the Express Resolution Process (ERP).
In summary, as a result of the feedback:
- the new ARP will be introduced on 1 July 2023; and
- the introduction of Presumption 11 will be delayed pending further consideration and further relevant stakeholder consultation.
More details about the proposed changes are set out below, together with an overview of the feedback received from members, the outcome of this feedback and next steps.
PROPOSED CHANGE 1: Proposed New ADR
1: New Assisted Resolution Process (ARP)
Reasoning: A more cost-effective, facilitative approach to helping members resolve competing claims Screenrights is proposing to replace the Competing Claim Resolution Process (CCRP) with a New Assisted Resolution Process (ARP) which includes:
- Structured pathways to ensure good-faith participation in efforts to resolve competing claims by all parties;
- A less determinative, more facilitative and efficient process that reduces costs, to keep expenses down to the benefit of all members; and,
- Time limits to ensure the timely release of royalties to the relevant rightsholder.
The response to the Proposed New ADR was overwhelmingly supportive of the changes. As a result, Screenrights is proceeding with the ARP with the following changes to timeframes in response to feedback:
- The time limit for Phase 1 has been increased from 30 days to 45 days; and
- The time limit for Phase 3 has been reduced from 180 days to 90 days.
PROPOSED CHANGE 2: A New Presumption 11 under the Express Resolution Process (ERP)
Reasoning: In October 2020, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) authorised ASDACS to change its constitution to enable ASDACS to receive an assignment of retransmission rights from its members.
The ASDACS’ Constitution was amended on 29 October 2020 to reflect this authorisation. Effectively, the ASDACS conditions of membership require a director member to enter into an agreement assigning to ASDACS all past and present “retransmission rights” which the Director owns and, most critically, all such future rights that the director would own but for that agreement.
The effect is that a director member of ASDACS signed under the new terms cannot assign their copyright to another party, such as a producer, as they have already assigned it to ASDACS. “Retransmission Rights” assigned include rights under s 98 of the Act and therefore include Screenrights statutory retransmission royalties.
Therefore, for cinematograph films produced on or after 1 January 2021, it is reasonable to assume that, for members that have entered into the new agreement, ASDACS has been assigned the relevant rights via an assignment from the director.
Therefore ASDACS will jointly (with the producer/s of a cinematograph film) be eligible to receive statutory royalties for retransmission and, in the absence of any indication to the contrary, ASDACS and the producer/s are likely to share such royalties in equal shares as tenants in common.
The response to the proposed change was generally supportive, however, concerns were expressed. In order to properly address these concerns, the introduction of Presumption 11 will be delayed pending further consideration and further relevant stakeholder consultation.
The new ARP will be introduced on 1 July 2023.