World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Partners with Actors and Musicians to Boost Performers’ Rights

Geneva, September 24, 2009
PR/2009/608

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) signed on September 23 an agreement with the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) and the International Federation of Actors (FIA) to support efforts to improve recognition of the significant contributions made by actors and musicians around the world.  

The agreement, signed by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, FIA President Agnete G. Haaland and FIM President  John Smith, seeks, in particular, to help improve the status of performers in developing countries.
 
The agreement highlights the connection between IP and labor and the special concerns of cultural workers from the viewpoint of development and cultural diversity. It provides for the organization of joint activities to strengthen performers’ networks and improve their economic and legal status, as well as for raising awareness of the need to support performers. Actors and musicians are an essential element in the development of the creative potential of all economies, particularly in developing countries. It is further anticipated that the agreement will help to galvanize support for the protection of performers at international level.
 
Treaty negotiations on the protection of audiovisual performances were deadlocked in December 2000 because of a lack of agreement on the issue of transfer of rights from the performer to the producer. Since that time, WIPO has undertaken extensive international consultations to develop information materials on outstanding differences and to improve the flow of information and understanding of the situation of performers. Recent consultations among Member States, held in Geneva, allowed for an open debate on this issue, which remains under consideration of the WIPO General Assembly.  
 
FIA and FIM gather, respectively, unions of musicians and actors from all regions in the world. Together they represent hundreds of thousands of professional performers working both in the sound and audiovisual industry.

For further information, please contact the Media Relations Section at WIPO:
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