If ratified, the treaty would require member countries to set up systems guaranteeing that actors and other performers would be compensated for the reuse of their work
June 27, 2012
If ratified, the treaty would require member countries to set up systems guaranteeing that actors and other performers would be compensated for the reuse of their work. That could, over the next five to 10 years, significantly boost royalty payments from countries in Asia, Africa and South America that don’t currently have such laws.
The treaty also provides actors with legal protections by, among other things, making it easier for actors to seek legal claims against the unauthorized use of their material. Unlike writers and directors, actors have never had such rights secured under an international treaty.
“Actors and other audiovisual performers have long needed the crucial protections of this treaty, and now we can finally have them,” SAG-AFTRA co-Presidents Ken Howard and Roberta Reardon said in a statement. “With new rights to proper compensation for the use of our works and control over the use of our images and likenesses, actors will have important tools to protect themselves around the world.”
Passage of such a treaty has been a long-standing priority for the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which merged this year.
SAG officials began discussions on the treaty in the mid-1990s, but their efforts were stalled by disputes between artists and producers. Among other things, major studios were concerned that such a global agreement would change how they compensate actors in the U.S. To help break the logjam, SAG-AFTRA officials agreed that the treaty would not affect the so-called work-for-hire doctrine in the U.S., in which producers, not actors, own the rights to their material.
The treaty was approved after five days of meetings in Beijing between various performers groups, including SAG-AFTRA, the Motion Picture Assn. and a U.S. diplomatic delegation led by Justin Hughes, senior advisor to the undersecretary of Commerce. The treaty must be ratified by at least 30 countries to take effect, a process that could take a year or more.
Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times
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