Curtain rises on future of film and TV copyright

Ding Yining
Industry watchers, filmmakers and digital platforms providers have urged better collaboration to fully unleash the value of copyrighted film and TV work.
Ding Yining
Curtain rises on future of film and TV copyright
Ti Gong

Guests at the Film and TV Copyright Trading: Protection Of Audiovisual Copyright" forum

Industry watchers, filmmakers and digital platforms providers have urged better collaboration to fully unleash the value of copyrighted film and TV  work.

Guest speakers at the "Film and TV Copyright Trading: Protection Of Audiovisual Copyright" forum during the SIFF shared the benefits and drawbacks of  patent trading and original work adaptation for film and TV.

"The protection of TV and film patent content and relevant services has been the focus of industry discussions in recent years," said Yu Zhiqing, vice president of Shanghai Broadcasting Film and Television Producers Association and director of Shanghai Audiovisual Copyright Service Center.  "Shanghai has been actively exploring new mechanisms and services for copyright for TV and film works by working with various stakeholders."

The Shanghai Film and Television Copyright Services Center  was set up in December 2019 to offer a full value chain of services, such as the valuation of copyright and guidance for derivatives development, as well as technology, talent and information research support.

It has brought together relevant industry bodies, production sites, financial institutions, colleges and law firms to provide professional service for a wide range of industry participants.

It has also organized meetings with insurers, law firms and financing guarantee service providers to explore ways to tackle the financing difficulties for small and medium film studios following the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year.

The general manager of China Literature IP Planning and Operation Department Lian Sanyue said it has set up a comprehensive patent work development scheme with other Tencent affiliates and business partners such as Tencent Pictures, Maoyan Entertainment, Tencent Interactive Entertainment unit to speed up the visual adaptation of online literature works.

"Through the adaptation of animation and gaming titles, original online literature works attract more viewers and achieves greater impact," she added.

"Animation work would be the first step for online literature  to be transformed into other formats which are more likely to achieve success and bring fresh perspectives to the IP adaptation market," she noted. 

It also plans to enhance development capacity for derivatives to help patent holders achieve greater influence among a wider audience.

Founder and CEO Zhu Huilong at Shanghai MoreJoy Pictures points out that in mature markets each party and stakeholder has a different role to play to develop and leverage copyright resources. He has called for coordinated efforts to boost copyright transactions so patent owners can receive benefits over a long run.  

"There's still a limited lifecycle for domestic patent film and TV works to fully deliver industry value," he noted.

He cited Disney as a good example of fully leveraging patent film copyrights to cartoon and animation figures to receive revenue stream from derivative products, theme parks and video streaming.

General manager at the Cultural and Entertainment Assets Department at Maoyan Entertainment Huang Chao also points out that there's a lack of proper valuation models for film and TV copyright values, as well as a shortage of dedicated financial services for visual projects.  

"Cash flow is critical for film producers and traditional financial models and supply chain solutions do not suit industry demand," he added.

"We're exploring with partners to offer capital support for film and TV works and to provide proper financial products and services with partners," Huang noted.

The company is looking to leverage digital capabilities such as Maoyan's digital marketing and film distribution platform as well as screenplay valuation models to help industry practitioners satisfy financial investors.

Special Reports
Top