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The performer’s rights

With multimedia technologies developing ever so fast, with each computer being able to copy or broadcast images and sounds, it seems highly necessary to notify that artists do have rights that must be respected.

Since Beaumarchais, many regulations regarding art have been implemented in order to protect authors and creators, then producers. But the protection of a performer’s work only exists since a law dated July 3rd 1985. This law gave the performer rights similar to copyrights, that can be divided into three groups :

  • An exclusive right to authorize or forbid the fixation, reproduction and exploitation of these performances, for a proportional or fixed remuneration.
  • A right to be entitled to remuneration for the exceptions set by the law on the right to authorize or forbid.
    These exceptions qualified as of “legal licence” bring together a fair remuneration and remuneration for the private copy of sounds and images (see the box).
  • An inalienable moral right, at the end of which both the name and the quality of the performer must be shown (during the credits, on the CD boxes, in the videos, etc.) and the interpretation respected.
    This moral right is imprescriptible and communicable to heirs. The “exclusive” and “entitled to remuneration” rights both apply for 50 years as of the first interpretation.

All these rights are managed by ADAMI (Society for the collective administration of performers’ rights). It guarantees performers the control of their image and their work, but also, to be paid when their interpretation is used for public or commercial purposes.

Regarding workshops, it is necessary to ask for an authorization before using music or images (see Cinéville Issue n° 10). When this authorization is required and since it is not used for commercial purposes, this authorization can come with a royalty exemption.

In order to respect this regulation, it is compulsory to write in the film credits, not only any information regarding all music and images used, but also the names, first names and qualities of the performers of the film. These indications would be very useful if, for any reason, the movie was to be distributed.

Concerning the “comedian” participants, no request must be made to ADAMI. It is agreed upon that those who participate do it willingly (See Projections Issue n°2). It is the artists who decide to be members of this society (insofar as they wish to become professional).

Like any civil society, ADAMI devotes an important part of its budget to cultural actions (25% of the private copy of sound and image and 100% of all sums that cannot be spread). The artist’s professional training and the performances constitute the main beneficiaries, but the scope has since broadened to other disciplines such as short fiction films. Projects must respond to a list of professional criteria, including the comedians’ remuneration.

N.B. : A fair payment pays for radio broadcasting of phonograms on the radio, on television and on the cable simultaneously, as well as for the installation of a PA system in public locations (nightclubs, shops, cultural places, etc.) which are not submitted to a prior authorization request.

The payment for private copy of sounds or images enables the audience to make free copies, for personal use, of phonograms of videograms and of radio or television shows on blank storage devices (digital or analogical). In compensation, the manufacturers and importers of these devices pay royalties.

Written by François Campana

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