MANILA, PHILIPPINES, FEBRUARY 19, 2021 — The intellectual property rights of Filipino audiovisual performers will soon be protected internationally through the recent signing of the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances by President Rodrigo Duterte.
On January 14, President Duterte signed the Instrument of Accession to the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, which seeks to provide a clearer international legal framework to safeguard the rights of performers against the unauthorized use of their performances in audiovisual media and fixations.
Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) Director-General Rowel S. Barba expressed gratitude to President Duterte and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea for signing the Instrument of Accession to the Beijing Treaty. The IPOPHL is the lead agency in achieving this milestone of protecting and expanding the rights of Filipino audiovisual performers in the digital era.
Barba also thanked the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) led by Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño, Cultural Center of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and other government agencies for the concurrence, and Deputy Executive Secretary for General Administration (DESGA) Bryant Fernandez for the support.
“The President’s signing of the Accession to the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances is a breakthrough in the industry. Providing royalties is one of the ways that creators and artists are compensated for the work they do. Performers, not just creators, deserve to be paid if their work is continuously distributed and shown in other platforms beyond what they were contracted for," remarked Diño.
"As an actress myself, I know that this treaty will be instrumental in protecting the rights of Filipino actors, singers, dancers, musicians, and other performers, especially in providing them appropriate remuneration. The President's accession to this treaty shows how much he puts value on our artists," she added.
The Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances was adopted by member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) during the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances in Beijing, China on June 24, 2012. It was entered into force on April 28, 2020.
It grants performers four economic rights for performances fixed in audiovisual fixations, such as films, television programs, and videos:
Right of reproduction - authorizes direct or indirect reproduction of the performance fixed in an audiovisual fixation in any manner or form
Right of distribution - authorizes the making available to the public of the original and copies of the performance fixed in an audiovisual fixation through sale or other transfer of ownership
Right of rental - authorizes the commercial rental to the public of the original and copies of the performance fixed in an audiovisual fixation
Right of making available - authorizes the making available to the public, by wire or wireless means, of any performance fixed in an audiovisual fixation, in such a way that members of the public may access the fixed performance from a place and at a time individually chosen by them
As for unfixed or live performances, the Treaty grants performers the right of broadcasting, right of communication to the public, and right of fixation. Moral rights are also granted to performers such as the right to claim to be identified as the performer and the right to object to any distortion, mutilation, or any modification that would be prejudicial to the performer’s reputation.
The Treaty requires Contracting Parties to adopt the necessary measures, in accordance with their legal systems, to ensure the application of the Treaty and that effective action is taken against the infringement of rights covered by the Treaty.
The IPOPHL held several consultation sessions on the Beijing Treaty through focus group discussions with audiovisual stakeholders, including the FDCP, Performers Rights Society of the Philippines, Actors’ Guild of the Philippines, and Artists’ Welfare Project, Inc. Among the issues tackled were on remuneration, protected performances, and the impact of technology on performers’ rights.
Following the President’s signing on January 14, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will soon provide information on the date of deposit of the Instrument of Accession with the WIPO and its entry into force.
Cover photo features “Lola Igna” director Eduardo Roy, Jr. and lead actress Angie Ferro
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