Vevam, the association of Dutch film and TV directors, has filed for a court injunction against Dutch cable operators UPC and Ziggo.
The first hearing took place on Wednesday, August 14 at the Court of Amsterdam and the judge said he would rule within a month.
The group claims the operators are showing films and TV programmes without the directors’ authorisation, and Vevam wants compensation for its members for the broadcast rights.
The cablers stopped paying the directors in October 2012, claiming that the distribution method has changed.
Formerly, the cable operators received the signal from a satellite or terrestrial feed for further distribution on their networks, but now the programmes are directly injected into the network.
This means that cable carriage is now the primary distribution rather than a secondary one, removing the basis for additional payments to the director’ association.
Talks earlier this year with RoDAP, the cable operators’ negotiating platform with producers and broadcasters, failed to reach an agreement on royalties for directors.
RoDAP has resisted paying for the rights, saying Vevam should be satisfied with a portion of the proceeds from cable carriage agreements.