Coalition Seeks Broader Actor Protections Worldwide

Coalition Seeks Broader Actor Protections Worldwide

July 15, 2010 – Screen Actors Guild joined other actor unions and entertainment industry advocates in their support of finalizing an international treaty on audiovisual performances, which would enhance actors’ rights and protections worldwide.

Representatives from member states affiliated with the World Intellectual Property Organization met June 21-24 in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss the draft treaty articles and to consider a path toward completion of the treaty. The treaty would, for the first time, establish audiovisual performers' rights on an international level. This advance will be of great importance to performers in countries without unions or institutionalized legal protections, and will also benefit our members in a number of ways, such as providing new remedies in the face of unauthorized use of performances.

“In 2000, WIPO delegates agreed on 19 articles, but failed to gain consensus on one final article,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, general counsel and deputy national executive director of Screen Actors Guild. “The Guild’s advocacy, along with that of our sister unions and the industry, has revived the treaty effort and its prospects, and we hope that WIPO will move to hold a diplomatic conference in 2011 to come to finality on the treaty.”

National Executive Director David White and Senior Advisor John McGuire at WIPO
National Executive Director David White and Senior Advisor John McGuire at WIPO

National Executive Director David White, Senior Counsel John McGuire and special advisor Robert Hadl attended, along with Crabtree-Ireland, on behalf of the Guild. The meeting also was attended by representatives of AFTRA, and the Canadian, British, and Australian actors unions, as well as the Motion Picture Association. Justin Hughes, special advisor on copyright to the Obama Administration, led the U.S. delegation.