March 19, 2012
Video calls for international treaty to protect audio-visual performers
Toronto – Audio-visual performers around the globe have united to create a video saying “It’s Time” they are protected under international copyright law. After 20 years of negotiations and co-ordinated efforts by performers’ unions around the world, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is holding a Diplomatic Conference to approve an international treaty for the protection of audio-visual performances in June 2012.
The video features performers from members of the international Federation of Actors (FIA) including ACTRA members Wendy Crewson and Eugene Levy. FIA has played a significant role in moving this treaty forward.
“Canadian performers and our global colleagues are pleased that governments have recognized the urgent need for a WIPO AV Performances Treaty,” said ACTRA’s National Executive Director Stephen Waddell. “Eugene Levy and Wendy Crewson have joined colleagues from around the world to say ‘it’s time’ audio-visual performers had the right to protect their image, and be fairly paid for their work.”
The creation of a WIPO international treaty will be a significant gain to performers who work in the film, TV and digital media. It will give them:
• Moral rights: allowing them to protect their work from being used in a manner that is harmful to their reputation.
• Economic rights: The right to receive financial compensation from the exploitation of their work. This is especially significant in light of the potential for global distribution thanks to digital technology.
Currently, only audio performers receive any significant protection at the international level, including modernized and updated standards in respect to digital uses of their work. The lack of international protection for audio-visual performers, or recognition of their economic and moral rights, places them at a distinct economic disadvantage. With no mechanism to safeguard their rights, audio-visual performers can find their work being exploited or unfavourable terms and conditions unjustly imposed upon them.
ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 22,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.
For more information: Carol Taverner, ACTRA, 416.644.1519, firstname.lastname@example.org