CEO’s Review: Surprising draft bill for a good year
2021 was a good year in terms of finances, but the content of the draft Copyright Act sent out for a round of comments in September was problematic.
The general trend in Kopiosto’s operations in 2021 was very positive. We were able to take care of our fundamental responsibilities well: we collected remuneration revenue as planned, distributed remunerations to copyright holders promptly and kept the organisation’s expenses under control, even below budget.
The COVID-19 pandemic did not affect the remunerations collected by us. By working hard, we were able to maintain the remunerations paid to performing artists, authors and publishers at the normal level.
The draft Copyright Act was met with opposition
The long-awaited amendment proposal to the Copyright Act was sent out for a round of comments at the end of September. The aim of the amendment is to enforce the Directive on Copyright and Related Rights in the Digital Single Market and the Online Broadcasting Directive in Finland, but it came as a surprise that the draft bill also included many other changes.
The most unpleasant surprise was that these other changes had not been discussed at all with Kopiosto or the creative industries in general. From our point of view, the most problematic aspect of the draft bill was copyright issues related to teaching and retransmission.
The Directive requires the digital use of works to be allowed for the purpose of illustration for teaching. In the draft bill, the limitation to copyright went much further.
It was proposed that a full copyright restriction be applied to the material used in education, so that most of the material would, in practice, become freely available. The state would have paid remunerations to the copyright holders, but the amount of this remuneration was not specified in the draft bill. In such a situation, copyright holders would have no control over the secondary use of their works in teaching.
In contrast, the current agreement model, which has been successfully implemented for more than 30 years, protects the rights of authors and helps them keep up to date on the extent and ways in which their materials are used in teaching.
Because of this, we issued a detailed statement on the draft bill, calling for the law to be redrafted or for material changes to be made to the bill. We were not alone in pursuing this: as many as 225 statements were issued about the draft. Roughly 130 statements commented on the copyright issue concerning teaching materials, and 100 of these statements opposed the bill.
Copyright holders, users of copyrighted materials and citizens deserve a balanced and functional Copyright Act. The decision-makers took the feedback seriously – the bill was revised before it is presented for consideration to the Parliament in April 2022.
The implications for the future are taking shape
The new Copyright Act will affect our activities in a number of ways, which will become clearer during 2022. However, our operations will continue unchanged in many licensing areas, such as the copying of publications and works in companies and public administration, as well as online recording services for TV programmes.
Remote working went well again in 2021 and is perfectly suited to the expert work we do. It is, however, also important for us to be able to brainstorm ideas and resolve problems in person in order to develop our work community and maintain its culture.
Our staff have coped well during the pandemic, which is also evident in the remote work survey we conducted in spring 2021. Our employees are satisfied with how things are taken care of, and they feel that their work is important.
The employees of Kopiosto are owed great thanks for achieving all the goals set for them amidst this period of uncertainty and for maintaining a very positive atmosphere.
The ©-info icon shows copyright information online
We set out to develop a ©-info icon that provides copyright information for website users and can also be added to PDF files. In the future, this icon be added to files and articles to provide the details of the author and describe the permitted usage of the materials.
> More information about ©-info: https://www.c-info.fi/what-is-c-info/
Our experts let their voices be heard
2021 was a year of active advocacy. Kopiosto’s experts stirred discussion about the value of the creative industries, copyright legislation and the safeguarding of AVEK’s funding by bringing up their views and expertise in blogs.
> Blog texts on our website: https://www.kopiosto.fi/newsfeed
Compensation for private copying secured for 2022
Compensation for private copying, which was at risk of being cut, was secured at the budget session in September and will remain at the already established level of EUR 11 million. In other words, the remunerations we pay to the authors of TV programmes and the support AVEK pays to the audiovisual industry from the compensation for private copying will remain roughly the same as before. In 2021, audiovisual authors received EUR 3 million in compensation for private copying through us. Of the total amount of the compensation for private copying, AVEK has used roughly EUR 2.6 million to support the audiovisual industry each year.
Creative work in the digital era was discussed in Suomi Areena
In a SuomiAreena event hosted by journalist Ronja Salmi, the guests, namely film director Saara Saarela, visual artist Camilla Vuorenmaa, songwriter Markus Nordenstreng and writer JP Koskinen, called for the decision-makers to take stricter action to ensure people’s ability to earn a living from the digital use of their works now and in the future. During the event, Member of Parliament and Chair of the Education and Culture Committee Paula Risikko and Member of Parliament and Vice Chair of the Commerce Committee Hanna Kosonen shared legislators’ views on the topic.
Illustration licence for libraries
Our latest licence product is an illustration licence that allows libraries to use book illustrations in reading session and book recommendation videos. Illustrations from a maximum of three different publications may be shown with a single licence. Our license covers both Finnish and foreign illustrators.
Rudolf Koivu Award presented to Maria Sann
The winner of the 2021 Rudolf Koivu Award for the best children’s and youth literature illustration was illustrator Maria Sann. Granted by Grafia every other year, the award is in the amount of EUR 10,000. Sann received the award for her illustrations for the book Bokstavsvärldar, authored by Henrika Andersson. The award is funded by the copyright remunerations we collect.
AVEK Award presented to Tuomas A. Laitinen
In September, artist Tuomas A.Laitinen was presented with the AVEK Award, the total sum of which is EUR 15,000. In his art, Laitinen explores the cycles of matter and life through versatile use of moving image, sound, glass, algorithms and chemical processes. The winner of the award was selected by Italian Paolo Bertolin, festival programmer at the Venice Film Festival.
The ongoing reform of the Copyright Act increases the uncertainty in our operating environment. At the same time, digitalisation is becoming more and more significant in the change of content use.
Draft Copyright Act raised concerns
The draft Copyright Act sent out for a round of comments in the autumn brought to light tensions that are essentially based on the changes caused by digitalisation in the ways in which we consume content. Whereas the Copyright Act has traditionally sought to highlight the rights and position of creative industry professionals, the attention has now shifted increasingly towards users and those who make works available to the public.
In order to secure the future of the creative industries, however, it is necessary to make works easily available in a digital format while ensuring the authors’ livelihood.
The draft bill received broad criticism from Kopiosto, other copyright organisations and the creative industry. The key concern raised was that the draft bill does not meet the intention of the EU’s Directives to improve the position of copyright holders in the online environment and harmonise copyrights in the Digital Single Market.
The justification for the proposed amendments was considered highly inadequate and even value-laden in many respects. The draft bill was also criticised for the fact that its impact was not considered thoroughly enough and that it presented no evaluations based on research data.
After the draft was met with criticism during the round of comments, the Copyright Act was returned for redrafting, and the government is expected to present its proposal in April.
Openness does not mean free of charge
The easy availability of works as a result of digitalisation sometimes comes into conflict with the demand for works to be available for use free of charge. For example, there is an increasing demand for the materials and publications created by researchers and teachers to be made available to everyone online for free. This new interpretation of openness and availability raises great concern among authors and publishers.
The new demands for openness seem contradictory in nature when examining Finns’ attitudes towards creative work. The 2021 Copyright Barometer, a study commissioned by the Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre from Taloustutkimus, shows that the majority of Finns appreciate creative industry professionals.
92% of the respondents fully or somewhat agree that creative industry professionals should be compensated for their work according to how much their works are used.
The usage and distribution of works is in change
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting increase in remote work and distance learning further accelerated the change brought about by digitalisation in the use of works. For example, teaching materials are increasingly being moved to online platforms. Previously, there was a major increase in the recording of online content, but now people are more likely to share links than record content. These are among the changes in usage that we monitor when developing our licencing solutions.
In the audiovisual industry, streaming services are on the rise. The traditional display window model has been changed by international giants such as Disney, which entered the market at the start of the pandemic. This change is also regionally visible here in Finland, where significant platforms include Elisa Viihde and Yle Areena, among others.
Change also always offers potential. One example of such potential is the way in which Netflix seeks content from a broad range of market areas. This also creates international opportunities for Finnish authors. AVEK, which is a part of Kopiosto, helps support authors in the audiovisual industry in developing new content.
Despite the pandemic, the number of licences acquired remained at the same level as the previous year. We have developed new licences for the needs of libraries in particular.
Our licence products are available to educational institutions, the state, municipalities, companies and other communities and organisations. Thanks to the licences, our customers can use audiovisual works responsibly in various ways and copy and use copyrighted publications and works.
During the second year of the pandemic, the demand for our licence products remained relatively steady across all customer groups. The number of employees seemed to remain unchanged in our customer companies that acquire copying licences, which came as a happy surprise. For these companies, the invoicing of licences is based on the number of employees.
Development based on licencing needs
Our licence solutions already proved their suitability for remote work and distance learning in 2020, but we must continue our development work. Kopiosto’s licences and services must continue to meet the needs of users in the future, regardless of where the works are used.
We conduct usage surveys among our customers in order to gain ideas and a direction for our development efforts. Together with the Finnish Museums Association, we studied the online use of the photographs and ephemera, such as brochures, in museum collections and are currently working on developing licence solutions based on the survey.
In our development work, we actively monitor the changes in the operating environment. We also often receive feedback and requests for new licence solutions directly from our customers.
Based on the wishes of our customers, we developed various licences that allow libraries to use book illustrations. Now libraries can use book illustrations as part of their video recordings of reading sessions, author interviews or similar activities. We have also developed licences that allow libraries to use book covers online and in various databases.
When libraries were forced to remain closed, it highlighted a need to deliver digital copies of articles directly to customers. This licence is still under development, but the aim is to find a solution that would allow copies to be delivered to the customer digitally, in a restricted manner.
In education, the provision and use of various digital content continues to increase. For educational institutions, the development of licence products depends largely on the content of the amended Copyright Act.
Virtual teaching of copyright
The Kopiraittila service, which focuses on the learning and teaching of copyright, is continuously being developed.
The most recent addition to Kopiraittila is the Tekijänoikeusrata (“Copyright Track”) mobile game, which makes use of virtual reality. In the game, the teacher first creates a track with the help of the mobile application by designating ten outdoor locations as question stations. The pupils then use the application map to find their way to the stations, where they must answer multiple-choice questions related to copyright. The mobile game is suitable for 3rd to to 9th graders.
The Kopiraittila website offers a great amount of general information on copyright and the use of works; games and videos for everyone from comprehensive school pupils to university students; and a section for teachers that features workshop instructions and tips for teaching.
We asked our 45 member organisations for their opinions on Kopiosto’s operations. We received much praise for our communications during the pandemic and for the fact that the pandemic has hardly had any impact on our remuneration revenue.
We received requests for cooperation with regard to the Copyright Act reform. Our member organisations asked Kopiosto to organise information and discussion sessions and cooperate with them in the preparation of statements. We responded to these requests over the course of the autumn.
Public lending remunerations for visual artists for 10 years
The public lending remunerations paid to authors for the public lending of their works recently reached their 10th anniversary. In honour of this anniversary, we held a campaign on social media to promote awareness of public lending remunerations for visual artists. The faces of this successful campaign were photographer Benjamin Pöntinen, graphic designer and illustrator Jussi Karjalainen and comic artist and illustrator Tuuli Hypén.
In recent years, the group of visual artists who receive remunerations has grown continuously, and the social media campaign helped us reach a considerable number of new customers in a short amount of time. Thanks to the increase in the appropriation allocated for public lending remunerations, we are able to pay remunerations to a greater number of publications and visual artists.
In addition to visual artists, public lending remunerations are also paid to writers and translators by Sanasto and to songwriters by Teosto. Together with these sister organisations, we negotiate the distribution and management of the remunerations paid by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Sanasto has carried out significant work to raise the public lending remunerations paid in Finland to the same level with the other Nordic countries and to expand the scheme to include university libraries.
Up-to-date databases and systems support the payment of remunerations
At Kopiosto, we make sure that the information of the authors we represent is up to date in international databases. The development of the Finnish remuneration distribution system and international cooperation are very useful in the payment of remunerations collected from abroad.
In 2021, we paid remunerations for online recordings to the authors and performers of foreign audiovisual works for the first time. Remunerations collected for online recording services for TV programmes apply to foreign programmes shown on Finnish TV channels.
The distribution of a total of EUR 5.7 million in remunerations applied retroactively to 2015–2019. Of this amount, the share of Finnish authors and performers, mainly translators, was just over EUR 700,000. Approximately EUR 5 million was paid to foreign authors and performers through Kopiosto’s foreign sister organisations.
Remunerations for authors and performers of Finnish programmes for the 2015–2019 period were already paid earlier, as was the share of music copyright holders to be transferred to Gramex and Teosto and the share of producers to be transferred through APFI.
The COVID-19 pandemic no longer hindered our research activities in 2021. Last year, we not only conducted surveys but also carried out a great deal of background work to enhance our operations.
In 2020, educational institutions and companies switched to distance learning and remote work, which prompted us to reschedule our planned studies. In 2021, we were able to return to our normal research routines.
Studies are essential to Kopiosto, its customers and copyright holders, as the information gained through them about the use and amount of copying of publications, online materials and audiovisual works is utilised in the pricing of licences and in determining the remunerations distributed to copyright holders.
One of the studies postponed to 2021 concerned the use of TV programmes and movies in teaching. Based on the results, 88 per cent of teachers have shown TV programmes or movies as part of their teaching at least sometimes. In contrast, the recording of TV programmes and movies for educational use is rare. This may at least in part be because teachers do not have the equipment required to record programmes for educational use. TV programmes and movies are most commonly shown from Yle Areena.
Each year, we also carry out studies on photocopied and scanned content at comprehensive schools and general higher education institutions. The information gathered through these studies helps us allocate the remunerations correctly to authors and publishers, among other things.
We also launched two other studies that will be completed in 2022: the studies investigate the amount and content of copying of printed publications and online materials at vocational institutes and adult education centres as well as municipalities and joint municipal authorities.
Development of reporting and surveys
During the last year, we have automated reporting to meet the needs of the distribution of remunerations. This automation has required a great amount of work, as the research data on which the reports are based first had to be organised – after all, reliable reports can only be formed based on high-quality research data. Up-to-date research data plays a key role in negotiations regarding the distribution of remunerations to copyright holders.
During the year, we also continued developing our survey form to make it easier and quicker for respondents to fill in. We hope that this will increase the number of responses we receive.
We have used the new form in studies carried out on vocational institutes, municipalities and joint municipal authorities, and the development of the response rate looks promising. However, we must gather more research data in order to compare the results. We will continue developing the form based on the experiences gained and feedback received from respondents.
In 2021, we distributed a total of EUR 57.1 million to performers, authors and publishers as copyright remunerations.
Remunerations were paid to copyright holders both directly and through the organisations that represent them.
The remunerations were collected from the sale of copying and use licences for publications and works to educational institutions, public administration and companies. We also distribute compensation for private copying to authors of audiovisual works from the appropriations paid from the state budget as well as public lending remunerations to visual artists.
We distributed a total of EUR 32.0 million to the copyright holders of audiovisual works. The remunerations were collected from online recording services, educational recordings and educational use of Finnish television programmes available in Yle Areena, as well as compensation for private copying and retransmission of foreign television channels.
We distributed EUR 20.4 million to authors and publishers for the copying and use of books, newspapers, magazines and sheet music. The largest share, EUR 18.6 million, was paid to our Finnish member organisations. We distributed EUR 1.8 million of the remunerations collected from the copying of foreign materials to our foreign sister organisations.
26 organisations from different cultural and communication industries received remunerations. Organisations that represent authors will re-distribute the majority of their compensations as grants. Publishing organisations distribute most of their remunerations to publishers as direct payments. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisations have supported the creative industries hit hard by the restrictions with a record sum of grants.
Our member organisations also use the copying remunerations distributed to them to fund many awards for culture and communication industries. These include awards, such as the Illustrator of the Year award, the Non-Fiction book of the Year award, the Warelius award, the J.A. Hollo award and the Non-Fiction Writer Award and the Finlandia awards for literature.
We distributed a total of EUR 2.1 million to visual artists as public lending remunerations. We are responsible for the public lending remunerations paid to the authors of visual and photographic works for the public lending of their works.
The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture AVEK, a part of Kopiosto, distributed a total of EUR 2.6 million to the Finnish AV culture and creative industries in 2021. AVEK’s funds are primarily based on compensation for private copying. AVEK also supports the creative industries with the DigiDemo and CreaDemo appropriations and the Mediarata special appropriation granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Finnish films garnered success around the world, but the appropriations for culture were cut. During the year of two opposing trends, AVEK was preparing for the greatest change in its history to date.
For Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture AVEK and the entire audiovisual industry, 2021 was a year of two opposite moods. We rejoiced when Finnish films garnered success internationally. We grieved when the COVID-19 pandemic continued, affecting the distribution of works and contributing to the appropriations for culture being cut.
In addition to the success found by drama films at festivals, other films also drew attention, including The Fantastic by Maija Blåfield, How to Kill a Cloud by Tuija Halttunen and Invisible Demons by Rahul Jain. This excellent year for Finnish film also creates opportunities for the coming years.
The cuts made in appropriations for culture welded the whole industry together. Advocacy work took up a great deal of our time from January to October, and hundreds of recipients of financial support also took part in these efforts.
Eventually, we gained support from all the political parties in Parliament. The planned cuts in financial support paid from the compensation for private copying in 2022 were cancelled, and the funding received by AVEK remained at EUR 2.35 million. However, the DigiDemo and CreaDemo funding for the creative industries was cut by half to EUR 695,000. The special appropriation granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture for the promotion of the production culture of media art through Mediarata funding amounted to EUR 200,000.
In our operations, we want to emphasise the notion that we stay close to authors and the recipients of funding. The better we know the needs of authors and the audiovisual industry’s operating environment, the better we can support the industry. This became even more important when the amount of funding available decreased.
We conducted a survey on our operations among the recipients of DigiDemo and CreaDemo funding. With the help of our funding, half of the respondents had been able to grow their staff, while 76 per cent had managed to finish their works and put them on the market. These numbers are high compared to research and product development funding in general, demonstrating our operations’ strong effectiveness.
In 2021, we received 926 applications. As in previous years, funding available for films and media art attracted the largest number of applications. In 2020, the number of applications received was 1,163. The decrease in the number of applications was primarily due to the fact that DigiDemo and CreaDemo funding was cut and the application period for funding was shorter by a month because of a system revision.
In 2021, we chose talent development as a focus area. We implemented a mentoring programme on internationality and a national networking event for new authors and established production companies.
The mentoring programme involved ten projects, and the networking event was attended by more than 80 authors from across Finland. Networking with production companies was particularly important for those new authors in the audiovisual industry who studied and worked outside the Capital Region.
Our nation-wide reach is a cornerstone of our operations, as is searching for new forms of content and ways of doing. Many people remember that funding provided by AVEK has laid the foundation for the rise of Finnish documentaries since the 1990s. In ten years’ time, we will hopefully be able to say that AVEK is behind world-class Finnish AR and VR art.
Significant changes to application for funding
In 2021, we prepared for the greatest change in AVEK’s history to date. At the turn of 2021 and 2022, we adopted a new application system and simultaneously facilitated the criteria for applying for funding.
Funding was previously granted according to the phase of production, but now applicants can apply for it when they need it. In the future, the same grant guidelines will apply to applications for all types of film and media art funding, and the amounts distributed will also be the same for all types. Additionally, we eased the requirement related to the distribution of funding, so that authors can now utilise new and different distribution methods and platforms better.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not had a material impact on the development of Kopiosto’s revenue.
In 2021, our revenue from remunerations totalled 53.2 million euros, 1.7% less than in the previous year. The most significant factor behind the drop in revenue is the decision by the Ministry of Education and Culture to cut AVEK’s grants for creative culture by almost 50 per cent.
Most of our revenue came from the use of audiovisual works and the photocopying and digital use of publications. In addition to these, the revenue includes the compensation for private copying and public lending remunerations, as well as the Ministry of Education and Culture’s creative culture grants to AVEK.
Our total expenditure in 2021 was 5.2 million euros, compared to 5.1 million euros in the previous year. The restrictions on our normal activities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continued to reduce expenses in many areas.
Remuneration funds are invested in accordance with the investment policy approved by Kopiosto’s Board of Directors for the period between their collection and distribution. In 2021, financial yields and revenue from investments totalled 1.3 million euros, compared to 0.6 million euros in the previous year. The rise in revenue from investments was a result of a strong stock market performance as the economy recovered from the pandemic, driven by massive stimuli from central banks.
In 2021, the total amount of revenue transferred to copyright holders was 49.3 million euros, 0.7% less than in the previous year.