June 26, 2012 05:30 ET

ACTRA Hails Beijing Treaty Recognizing New Rights for Performers

"Canadian government should lead the way in ratifying the Beijing Treaty"

BEIJING, CHINA--(Marketwire - June 26, 2012) - ACTRA is joining performers around the globe in celebrating the conclusion of an international treaty that will help them make a living and protect their image. The Beijing Treaty concluded at the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) Diplomatic Conference, establishes new moral and economic rights in international law for performers who work in film, TV and digital media.

"At long last, there is a global standard recognizing the right of audiovisual performers to be compensated fairly for our creative contributions," said Ferne Downey, ACTRA National President. "This Treaty is real. It secures new economic rights for performers whose precarious careers are filled with uncertain work opportunities and equally fluctuating paycheques."

Downey says that the new moral rights are equally critical. "As performers, our public image is the heart of who we are as artists. Thanks to the Beijing Treaty, we finally have the ability to protect our image and our performances from being used in ways we would never choose."

With the Treaty now adopted by WIPO, the next step is for United Nations member-states to ratify what is formally known as the WIPO Audiovisual Performances Treaty (WIPO AVPT), and implement its provisions in domestic law.

"The Canadian government should seize this opportunity to be a leader on the international stage and demonstrate its commitment to artists by being one of the first to sign the Beijing Treaty," said Stephen Waddell, ACTRA National Executive Director. "The Chinese government invested considerable resources and took great pride in hosting this Diplomatic Conference. The Canadian government is seeking ways to improve relations and trade with China. Signing the Beijing Treaty would not only demonstrate the Canadian government's commitment to enhanced intellectual property rights, but would also signal that Canada wants to do business with China, a strategic and powerful economic partner."

President Downey delivered an opening address to the convention where she appealed to delegates to approve the Treaty. ACTRA was on the ground in Beijing as part of the International Federation of Actors (FIA) delegation, comprised of 27 representatives from performers' unions around the globe. The Beijing Treaty is the result of more than 15 years of negotiations and co-ordinated efforts by FIA and performers' unions around the world.

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 22,000 members across Canada - the foundation of Canada's highly acclaimed professional performing community.

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