“We are at the Heart of the Digital Economy” - CISAC President Jean Michel Jarre crafts a New Narrative at the Organisation's 2014 General Assembly in London
Creators and representatives of authors’ societies from around the world gathered in London on June 6 for CISAC’s annual General Assembly. Held in London to mark PRS for Music’s 100th anniversary, this was the biggest CISAC General Assembly to date, with over 250 participants from more than 100 countries.
The Assembly opened with Chairperson of the Board Eric Baptiste welcoming the guests and introducing renowned musician and CISAC President, Jean Michel Jarre. Taking the stage immediately, Jarre delivered a passionate keynote speech that highlighted the great advancements made in the past year but also noted the work still to do.
“I have learned a lot about what the world’s decision makers think of us and we must adopt a new way of thinking,” said Jarre. “We are at the heart of the digital economy and have to regain the attention, sympathy and support of the public.”
Jarre’s new approach called for a proactive lobbying for fair remuneration for creators, and an end to the conception of Internet distributers as the enemy. He stated that “we should consider creators as virtual stakeholders in these [internet] companies”. He also called for continued focus on private copying levies as an important source of revenue for creators, especially in emerging economies. He added that creators should “make noise” in the press and in social media channels.
CISAC’s General Counsel Gadi Oron spoke next, giving an overview of the president’s tireless year of campaigning. Listing Jarre’s public appearances, interviews and written statements on behalf of CISAC, Oron stressed the huge contribution made and gave some indication of activities planned for the year ahead.
The stage was then handed over to the creators. In a panel titled “World Creative Revolution”, a group of creators from different regions and repertoires discussed a new narrative for CISAC. French screenwriter and chair of Writers & Directors Worldwide, Yves Nilly spoke first and highlighted the importance of solidarity and of communicating the creative results of CISAC’s work and the social good that they do around the world. Next, Werner Stauffacher from the International Council of Creators of Graphic, Plastic and Photographic Art (CIAGP) spoke about how vital it is to demonstrate efficiency and transparency as we seek out a path through the new business models being developed today. ASACP president and Grammy award winning songwriter Paul Williams delivered a rousing speech that focused on the importance of advocacy, passionately delivered “from the centre of our chests” in order to find fair solutions. Lorenzo Ferrero, Italian composer and chair of CIAM, the International Council of Music Authors, gave three proposals that the confederation could pursue right now including a focus on cultural rather than financial promotion, the global adoption of private copying levies and the need to find more creators willing to step up and engage in the debate. Finally, Chilean composer Alejandro Guarello highlighted the global nature of CISAC’s work and the challenges faced in Africa and Latin America. He emphasised that mutual respect between creators was the vital foundation of our cause. Jean Michel Jarre concluded the discussion by reminding guests that creators that they, and their CMOs, should fight the perception that royalty collections are a sort of tax duty. CISAC chairman Eric Baptiste closed the session by clarifying the key objectives of CISAC’s work before turning to the floor for a lively Q&A session.
Next to speak was Mr Shunichi Tokura, Chairman of the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC). He provided insight into the challenges faced by creators in Japan, the second biggest musical market after the USA, which still has only a 50 rather than 70 year copyright extension. He also sought the support of other societies in eliminating the wartime prolongation period, in exchange for extension of the term of protection.
The meeting moved on to a review of the proposals for committee reform and amendments to the CISAC statutes before a very full agenda of repertoire and regional reports from CISAC’s leadership team. Mr Nilly, Stauffacher and Ferrero returned to the stage to show the progress made in their creators’ councils, particularly highlighting the new independent online presence that each had set up prior to their appointment as formal observers at WIPO. Then, speaking on Africa, Asia-Pacific, North America, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean were CISAC’s regional directors: Balamine Ouattara, Benjamin Ng, Eric Baptiste (as Chair of the North American Committee), Mitko Chatalbashev and Santiago Schuster respectively. Their reports demonstrated the tremendous progress being made in these regions and emphasised the global nature of the organisation.
The Vice Chair of CISAC’s Executive Governance Council, Marisa Gandelman, spoke on the admittance of new societies before handing over to Finance and Governance Director Anne Fortier to report upon the status of activities in these departments.
Discussing the new appointment, Jean Michel Jarre, CISAC president said: “Mr. Oron has proven himself to be a great supporter of authors worldwide. He respects and loves creation. I have seen and have been impressed by his tireless work. Knowing his skills and passion, I am confident he will lead CISAC to new heights."
“I am delighted that Mr. Oron will lead CISAC as its new director general. He has a unique combination of legal and strategic skills and we have witnessed his strong determination to promote the interests of the creative community” said Eric Baptiste, chairperson of CISAC’s board of directors and CEO of SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors & Music Publishers of Canada).
“His experience as CISAC General Counsel as well as his in-depth knowledge of global markets and international legislation will allow us to increase our voice and activities across the world."
GENEVA – The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director General Francis Gurry, high-level members of the Swiss and Geneva governments, and the international intellectual property (IP) community inaugurated WIPO’s new Conference Hall Monday evening in a celebration that transformed the speakers’ dais into a soundstage featuring globally renowned musicians, a press release by the Organization stated.
French electronic music composer Jean-Michel Jarre, President of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), helped open the new center with a call to help creators.
"Creators around the world depend on rights and policies that protect their interests and guarantee a fair remuneration for them,” he said. “WIPO is where such rights and policies are discussed and agreed internationally. As President of CISAC, I call upon all WIPO member states to recognize the importance of creativity, not only to our culture, but also as a driver of global economic development. Now is the time to develop new and fruitful partnerships between creators, WIPO and its member states, leading to initiatives that would ensure a sustainable future for creators."
Age: 48 Joined: 04 May 2006 Posts: 25633 Location: United Kingdom
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:23 pm
Jean-Michel Jarre - World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Geneva – September 2014
World-renowned Creators Call on Policymakers to Take Action at UN's WIPO General Assembly
Musicians, film directors, screenwriters and visual artists stress the need to protect creators' rights in the shifting paradigm of the digital age
Paris, France – 24th September 2014 - For the first time, the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) welcomed internationally-renowned creators to speak at their 54th General Assemblies.
Organised by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), a panel discussion included an international delegation of creators who came to the United Nations agency to discuss the most pressing issues facing creators worldwide today — how to achieve a fair and sustainable creative ecosystem in the digital age, the importance of respecting creators’ rights and the urgent need for an open dialogue with all stakeholders, in particular key players from the digital sector.
Addressing a room of ministers, ambassadors and diplomats, Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO, emphasised the pivotal role that the organization plays in shaping international intellectual property rules: “Against the background of profound change in the digital environment, there has never been a more suitable time to discuss how to ensure a sustainable future for authors and composers,” said Gurry. “It is therefore fitting that WIPO hosts this discussion, and we are grateful to CISAC for assembling a culturally diverse panel of international renown to discuss a topic important for us all.”
He also stressed the importance of creativity as a source of economic development, especially in developing countries, a position echoed by a study published by CISAC prior to WIPO’s General Assembly. Titled “The Creative Industries and the BRICS”, the study highlights the tremendous potential within the largest developing economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to increase their creative industries’ contribution to job creation, sustainable business models and a healthy economy. It also lays out a comprehensive action plan for policymakers to provide supportive measures for creative industries in these countries.
Jean Michel Jarre, internationally renowned electronic music composer and President of CISAC was joined by visual artist Hervé Di Rosa, also from France, Angèle Diabang, Senegalese film director, Eddie Schwartz, Canadian songwriter, Vinod Ranganath, Indian playwright, screenwriter and director and Daphna Levin, Israeli screenwriter and director.
Mr. Jarre raised several key issues, in particular the need to develop innovative business models that fairly remunerate creators and open the doors to new partnerships with the digital sector. He pointed out that creators are at the centre of the digital economy and that developing sustainable business models with digital intermediaries is essential. “We creators are pro-technology. We embrace it and welcome the wider access to culture that digital devices and services afford the public, and the opportunity to reach wider audiences that technology affords creators. But we need business models that make sense to all parties,” he said.
Speaking on the need for a solid legal framework on which to build the creative economy, Mr. Jarre said, “Creators and policymakers have an opportunity to work together to shape policies that reflect the intrinsic value of the creative industries, ensuring fair remuneration and, by extension, a sustainable and dynamic growth for each stakeholder of the creative chain, from the artist to the distributor.”
Ms. Diabang agreed, pointing out that a favourable legislative framework in Europe can act as an example of what should be done elsewhere, but if creators’ rights are weakened and undervalued in the European arena, the reverberations will be felt throughout the world.
Mr. Di Rosa addressed the importance of the resale right for visual artists, signalling the urgent need for a new international treaty on this issue. This treaty should make the resale right mandatory around the world, to ensure that visual artists, no matter where they live or where their works are sold, can earn a percentage from the resale of their work.
Highlighting the relative weakness of creators’ bargaining positions as individuals, both Mr. Ranganath and Ms. Levin spoke about the importance of collective management of rights and the vital role that collective management organisations (CMOs) play — and must continue to play — in protecting the rights of creators and ensuring their interests are promoted.
Mr. Schwartz focused on fair remuneration for creators, and specifically, how to develop fair and sustainable compensation models while ensuring that the business of digital partners is not unduly put at risk. That question is at the centre of a new study commissioned by the music creators alliance Music Creators North America (MCNA) and endorsed by CISAC. The study’s findings will be published during the Congress of the International Council of Music Authors (CIAM) in Nashville, Tennessee on October 22 and 23, 2014.
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