UNI-MEI General Assembly

Mexico City, 29 Nov. – 1 Dec. 2011. For its General Assembly, UNI-MEI (UNI branch for media, arts and entertainment) had chosen the slogan “creativity, diversity, dignity – bringing about change!”. Resolutions adopted by the assembly reflected this line and focused on the following points:
– The need for a real intellectual property culture aimed particularly at enabling creative industries to develop job-fostering policies
– The need to carry out union awareness-raising campaigns in all sectors where union organisation is sparse or non-existant
– The fight for the right to freedom of association, against an international backdrop where an increasing number of workers are deprived of this basic right
– Pursuing a policy which favours gender equality.
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Meeting with the Mexican Musicians Trade Union

Mexico City, 30 November 2011. For half a day, the FIM general secretary met the SUTM-SUTME general secretary (Sole Union of Music Workers), Armando Báez-Pinal (also Member of the Mexican Congress) as well as the union’s full executive committee. As one of the largest on the American continent, the union represents some 20,000 professional musicians. Co-organiser in June 2008 of a FIM regional conference, it plays a major role in Mexico’s musical landscape, in terms of structuring the sector, as well music education and highlighting national musical heritage.
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Europe | Orphan works

The proposed European directive on orphan works should be presented to the European Parliament for its first reading on the 12 March 2012. This initiative from the European Commission aims to establish a community legal framework allowing the use, for reasons of public interest, of written, musical or audiovisual works whose rightholders cannot be found.

In the comments which it has forwarded to the competent commissions of the European Parliament on the original text as well as on various amendments proposed, FIM expresses concern over possible abuse, such as:
– The possibility of using reputed orphan works to commercial ends, whereas the initial project only covered public service missions
– The fact that it is up to the party interested in exploiting the work to search for rightholders, thus creating a blatant conflict of interests
– The reversal of the initial criterion which established the the orphan work status, since it is now necessary to identify all rightholders to put an end to such status
– The lack of obligation for the user to pay financial compensation when his search is unsuccessful, which creates serious competitive imbalance with regards to new creations, income from which is vital for artists.
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WIPO diplomatic conference in Beijing

WIPO has announced that it has chosen the Chinese proposal to organise the diplomatic conference on the future international treaty protecting audiovisual performances. Consequently, this important event will be taking place in Beijing from the 20 to 26 June 2012. In addition to the provisional version of the text presented to WIPO general assemblies last September, negotiations will cover an amendment to the preamble and three joint declarations currently being drafted.
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FIM seminar in India

Arvindkumar Drave

Mumbai, 14-16 November 2011. A FIM regional seminar took place in Mumbai, India, from the 14 to 16 November 2011, backed by PPL and the British Musicians’ Union (BMU), focusing on the following issues:
– Union organisation (structures, internal democracy, administration, communication)
– Contracts (concerts, recordings)
– Intellectual property and collective management (exclusive rights, equitable remuneration, private copying).

The seminar was coordinated locally by the Musicians’ Federation of India (MFI), a FIM member. MFI participants attended, as well as 2 delegates from each of the following countries: Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
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Artsfex | Artistic freedom of expression

artsfex

The international summit on the freedom of artistic and creative expression (ARTSFEX) was held in Copenhagen, Denmark from the 9 to 11 December 2011. Its final resolution recommends a new initiative aimed particularly at protecting artists from the far too numerous attacks on freedom to which they are regularly subjected. An international process for monitoring and analyzing acts of censorship and persecution of artists is also in the pipeline.
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France | Payroll umbrella companies and showbusiness entrepreneurs’ licenses

DRAC Île de France

In France, where any artist who is recruited is considered as being a wage-earner, except if he/she acts in a capacity of self-employment, certain specialized enterprises propose relieving showbusiness producers of all “administrative constraints” by taking on the role of employer with regards to artists and/or technicians. They are known as “payroll umbrella companies”.

Since 2008, a national interprofessional agreement has bound umbrella company activities which up to then had been comparable to illegal labour hire. Thus, the umbrella company which, from an administrative point of view, is the artist’s employer, must be exclusively dedicated to umbrella company activities, which is not compatible with the activity of a showbusiness producer for which, in addition, holding a showbusiness entrepreneur license is mandatory.
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Europe | Audio‑visual sector adopts a framework of action on gender equality

Lottaliina Lehtinen

During a plenary session held in Brussels on the 27 October 2011, the European sectorial social dialogue committee for the Audiovisual field has just formally adopted a framework of action on gender equality, representing a successful outcome to two years of negotiation between social partners.

The agreement aims to improve the situation in the sector in the following areas:
– Gender representation
– Gender role at work
– Wage equality
– Decision-making equality
– Balance between career and home

Drawn up by representatives of several employer and worker organisations, the framework of action takes the diversity of social partners into account.
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