Although EU Law has traditionally provided performers with
relatively strong rights and protections (for example, the UK
protects performers rights already in Part II of the Copyright,
Designs and Patents Act 1988), the same cannot be said for the
entire world. However, on 12 June the United Kingdom, along with 57
other states, signed the WIPO Treaty on the Protection of
Audiovisual Performances (Beijing Treaty) – twelve months
after its form was agreed at the Diplomatic Conference on the
Protection of Audiovisual Performances. Importantly, this is the
first treaty which has been approved since the WIPO Copyright
Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty in 1996.
The treaty aims to protect actors, dancers, singers, musicians
and other performers in various ways, by creating rights to control
the copying, broadcasting and other distribution of their
performances. It affords rights to performers for online and
offline exploitation and so brings protection of performances into
the digital age.
It's worth noting a couple of specific provisions of the
Treaty. Firstly, Article 6 provides for economic rights of
performers in unfixed performances, giving exclusive right of
authorising the broadcasting and communication to the public of
their performances, save where their performance has already been
Article 8 grants performer's the exclusive right to
authorise the making available to the public of the original and
copies of their performances within audiovisual fixations. This
will give the performer greater control in the exploitation of
their works and brings the level of protection in many of the
signatory countries to a higher standard.
Also of note, the term of protection granted to these works will
be 50 years from the end of the year in which the performance was
fixed. Performers are also given moral rights in their performances
by virtue of Article 5 of the Treaty.
This publication is intended as a general overview and
discussion of the subjects dealt with. It is not intended to be,
and should not used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any
specific situation. DLA Piper Australia will accept no
responsibility for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of
DLA Piper Australia is part of DLA Piper, a global law firm,
operating through various separate and distinct legal entities. For
further information, please refer to www.dlapiper.com
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