Intervention on the second Revised Consolidated Text for a Treaty on the Protection of Broadcasting Organisations delivered by David Stopps representing the International Music Managers Forum on Wednesday

23 November 2005

Like other speakers I would like to congratulate the chair and vice chairs on their re-election.

I am here representing the International Music Managers Forum who represent the world's featured artists (creators and performers) that you hear on the radio and see on your televisions.

I must say to the Chair that we are encouraged by some of the developments in the 2nd Revised Text. You may remember that two years ago we suggested that the way forward might be an optional non- mandatory protocol treaty for webcasting.

One year ago, we focused our entire intervention on the fact that all broadcasters really need in order to prevent piracy is protection of their signals. We suggested specific language very similar to that which now appears as Article 3(0). So again we are now delighted to see that this now appears in the Revised Text. The distinguished delegate from India made the perfect intervention yesterday on this point. I would also refer the committee to the paper available outside entitled RECOMMENDATION OF CERTAIN NGOs REGARDING SIGNAL PROTECTION AND ARTICLE 3(0) which eloquently explains why broadcasters only need signal protection to prevent piracy. With the three very simple amendments suggested therein, we can all go home early. The broadcasters will have all the protection they need.

Mr Chairman, this proposed treaty has been under discussion at WIPO processes for nine years and has been actively under discussion by this committee for seven years. An enormous amount of time and effort has been expended on this proposed treaty when there are far more important issues for this committee to be addressing.

I have often heard speakers in this committee including yourself Mr Chairman talking of the need for a 'fair balance of rights' but I would like to bring up the issue of 'the imbalance of rights'. I am of course talking about the appallingly inadequate rights enjoyed by performers.

In most member states if a performer or recording artist makes a record and it is played on the radio they get paid for their public performance. If that same performer then makes a promotional video for the record they are then not only performing on the audio track but they are also performing as actors in the video. In other words they are performing twice as much. But what happens if the video is played on MTV or other television channels? They don't get paid at all for their public performance as all the performance income goes to the phonogram producer.

Mr Chairman, we urgently need an audio-visual treaty to correct this imbalance.

Also in the United States which generates some 35% of the worldwide income in the music industry, performers are still waiting to get any remuneration at all when their records are played on the radio. If the broadcasters want additional rights let them give performers the rights they deserve in their public performances. It has to be a two- way street.

In the IMMF we are entrepreneurs. We are pragmatists and deal makers. I therefore recommend the following deal to all delegates.

Despite enormous pressure from the Chair one year ago the United States made it very clear that they are not prepared to back down on the issue of webcasting. Rather than going round and round in circles on this issue, and bearing in mind that it will be optional, non- mandatory and very narrow in scope, why don't you give the United States their webcasting protocol?

In return perhaps the United States will agree to become more pro- active in setting up domestic public performance rights for performers and will be more flexible in relation to establishing a very overdue international audio-visual treaty.

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