The European Court Has Ruled that Netflix Must Contribute to German Film Subsidies
In Germany, cinemas, television networks, and streaming service are required to contribute to the German Federal Film Board (FFA), which funds local film and television production. Under the law, streaming services like Netflix are required to contribute 2.5 percent of their revenue to the FFA.
However, Netflix — despite streaming in the country — has not contributed to the FFA. The streaming giant has challenged the law, arguing that because the OTT service is not a German-based company (the streamer’s European Headquarters is located in the Netherlands) it is not required to pay into the FFA. The company took its case to the European court, which has officially rejected the suit as inadmissible. As a result, Netflix must comply with the law and also pay a portion of its German earnings from 2014 to the present.
Despite Netflix’s argument against the law, the company accepted $1.4 million in German subsidies when it acquired “Mute,” Duncan Jones’ sci-fi thriller starring Alexander Skarsgard and Paul Rudd. The film’s production company, Liberty Productions, not Netflix, applied for the subsidies, though the film was marketed as a “Netflix Original” worldwide, according to a recent report from The Hollywood Reporter.