|Yves Nilly, Lorenzo Ferrero, Paul Williams, Jean Michel Jarre, Werner Stauffacher, Alejandro Guarello.|
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.
During this section of the agenda, it was announced that the GA has admitted the following societies as provisional members:
- AUTODIAHIRISI (MU, Greece)
- DASC (AV, Colombia)
- RSAU (Mutliple repertoire, Rwanda)
- RUR (MU, AV, Russia)
- SDADV (Mutliple repertoire, Andorra)
- SANASTO (L, Finland)
Admitted as members:
- AAS (Azerbaijan, Mu)
- SACS (Seychelles, Mu)
- GAI UZ (Uzbekistan, Mu)
- SAIF (France, AGP)
Extend provisional period for 1 more year:
- MACA (Macau, Mu)
Extend provisional period for 2 more years:
- MRCSN (Nepal, Mu)
- BEAT (Brunei Darussalam, Mu)
- JASPAR (Japan, AGP)
- MOSCAP (Mongolia, Mu)
- WAMI (Indonesia, Mu)
- DHFR (Croatia, Mu)
Change of status from Member to Associate:
- ADAVIS (MU, Cuba)
- ARTEGESTION (AGP, Ecuador)
- AUTORARTE (AGP, Venezuela)
- SNAC (MU, France)
- NMPA (MU, USA)
- SBAT (D, L, Brazil)
- SOMAAP (AGP, Mexico) for inconsistent distribution of Royalties from abroad
- VAGA (AGP, USA) for not sending preliminary documents for the compliance review meaning it could not therefore take place
- SADH (D, Greece)
- ALBAUTOR (MU, Albania)
- Tier 1 SOCAN (Canada)
- Tier 2 ABRAMUS (Brazil)
Tier 3 Kyrgyspatent (Kyrgystan)
- Tiers1&2 BILD-KUNST (Germany)
- Tier 3 FILMJUS (Hungary)
- AsDAC (Moldova, MU)
- BILDRECHT (Austria, AGP)
- BMDA (Morocco, MU)
- FILSCAP (Philippines, MU)
- SGACEDOM (Dominican republic, MU)