SAG-AFTRA Applauds WIPO Beijing Treaty On Performers’ Rights

SAG-AFTRA has issued a strong statement of support for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances that President Obama sent to the Senate today for approval. The treaty is the result of a long-running multinational effort to grant full, worldwide recognition of audiovisual performers’ rights.

“SAG-AFTRA’s elected leadership and staff, as well as representatives from our industry partners and delegates from around the world, have worked tirelessly for more than a decade to reach this point,” said David White, the union’s National Executive Director. “The Senate should move quickly to ratify this treaty, bringing us closer to equal rights for performers regardless of media and across national boundaries.”

Obama said the treaty “advances the national interest of the United States in promoting the protection and enjoyment of creative works.”

In a statement, the union said, “Audiovisual performers have been left out of any international protections for far too long, and it is time for the United States and other countries to join in protecting their rights, just as the rights of performers in sound recordings have been protected for many years.”

Said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union’s COO and general counsel: “This is an issue of fair treatment and basic protection for actors and performers at all levels in our industry, and SAG-AFTRA and our more than 160,000 members stand strong in supporting the prompt ratification of the Beijing Treaty.SAG-AFTRA hopes the Senate will take this opportunity to make a powerful statement in favor of creativity and fairness.”

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