General meeting of CISAC: the major global meeting of creators and societies of authors.
Over 200 people came to Lisbon this week on the invitation of the CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, the world's first global network of societies of authors which represents over 4 million creators the world over.
Creators and directors of societies of authors rallied to remind the political decision-makers of every country of the urgent need to legislate so that composers, scriptwriters, directors and visual artists are guaranteed equal pay.
CISAC's major priorities include its global campaign for legislators to resolve the issue of "value transfer" on the internet. While internet platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) enjoy considerable revenues thanks to the contents uploaded by internet users, they benefit from an incredible regime of legal irresponsibility. Their sole obligation in this field is to remove works that have been distributed without authorisation, upon notification. Even internet service providers who do not come under this regime, such as image search engines, cite this supposed lack of responsibility. Therefore Google Images, Bing and Qwant can be seen as enormous image banks containing hundreds of millions of works, without a penny being paid to the creators of these images. The value that has been created thanks to the works must finally be shared with their authors.
Jean-Michel Jarre, president of the CISAC reminded us that value transfer concerns all creators, whatever their artistic discipline: "Must we continue to be considered kindly entertainers who live on fresh air alone? Why should authors have to beg for remuneration? We are an economic sector like any other."
CIAGP president Hervé di Rosa stressed the essential nature of this revenue for artists: "What we are demanding is rights, which would allow us to live freely from our art."
During the General Meeting, the visual artist Miquel Barcelo was elected vice president of the CISAC, alongside the Beninese creator and singer Angélique Kidjo, the Chinese director Jia Zheng-Ke and the Argentinian director Marcelo Pineyro. His election follows the death in December 2016 of his predecessor, the great Senegalese artist Ousmane Sow.
The CISAC is also fighting for the universal adoption of the resale right. The resale right allows visual artists to receive a percentage of the price of the resale of their works by auction houses and galleries. The dynamic in favour of the adoption of this right by a maximum number of countries is gaining momentum following the organisation, in April 2017 at the WIPO, of the very first one-day conference dedicated entirely to the question, marked by massive support from artists the world over.
Finally, Jean-Michel Jarre reminded us how important it is that these creators and societies of authors make their voices heard: "Let us be vigilant: it's not enough to simply make a noise for a day then go back to our creative work. Our lobby must be as intense as that of our adversaries in Brussels. What are we doing here? We are fighting for respect, equal treatment and equal pay for all authors."