“Performers around the globe deserve to be fairly compensated and protected for the work we do.”
Ferne Downey, ACTRA National President, was invited to deliver an opening address today on behalf of performers around the globe at the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Diplomatic Conference. WIPO, the United Nations agency responsible for intellectual property, has brought government representatives together in Beijing to put the final touches on an international treaty to protect audiovisual performers. Ms. Downey appealed to delegates to approve the treaty and recognize the rights of performers in international law.
“All performers around the globe deserve to be fairly compensated and protected for the work we do. It’s time for an international treaty that recognizes that fact,” said Downey. “Conclude this treaty and give us the tools we need to keep telling our stories and to keep being players in this digital revolution.”
ACTRA is attending the conference as part of the International Federation of Actors (FIA) delegation, comprised of representatives from performers’ unions around the globe including SAG-AFTRA, Equity U.K., and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA, Australia). The Beijing conference is the result of 20 years of negotiations and co-ordinated efforts by FIA and performers’ unions around the world. If concluded the treaty will be a significant gain to performers who work in film, TV and digital media by giving them moral rights allowing them to protect their work from being used in a manner that is harmful to their reputation and economic rights, such as the right to receive financial compensation from the exploitation of their work.
“While digital technology has empowered artists, it has also left us more vulnerable than ever,” said Downey. “This is why it is critical that we have an international mechanism to safeguard our rights. Without it, audiovisual performers are finding our work is being exploited and stolen and our images are being used in ways we would never choose.”
“If we are to achieve our creative potential, artists must be compensated fairly for our efforts. Those who use the work must also respect the integrity of the artistic creation,” Downey said.
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.
READ President Downey’s Speech
WATCH THE VIDEO: “It’s Time” features performers around the globe including Canadians Eugene Levy and Wendy Crewson.
For more information: Carol Taverner, ACTRA, 416.644.1519, firstname.lastname@example.org