Calling all performers!

Today, June 7th, 2022, is a big day for performers’ rights.

It is explicitly stated in the new Copyright Directive that as of today, for all new contracts, performers and authors are entitled to receive transparent information from the producer (film producer/record label) about the use of their performances and works.

And not just that. From now on, all member states must ensure that this happens.

Of course, this is only fair. As the directive says: Authors and performers need information to assess the economic value of rights of theirs that are harmonised under Union law.”

The good news

The transparency obligation (article 19 of the directive) says that performers and authors are entitled to “receive on a regular basis, at least once a year, and taking into account the specificities of each sector, up to date, relevant and comprehensive information on the exploitation of their works and performances from the parties to whom they have licensed or transferred their rights, or their successors in title, in particular as regards modes of exploitation, all revenues generated and remuneration due.”

In simple words this means that as a performer you are entitled to know the details of the bigger economic story your performance is part of.

But… the directive is like a contract. You have to read the small print.

The bad news

The transparency obligation doesn’t mean that you are entitled to a better remuneration. If you were only able to negotiate bad remuneration with your producer, you will only be entitled to get more information on how bad it really is.

And… you only get the transparency information if the producer does not push one of the “escape buttons” that the directive provides.

Does the producer feel like it is an administrative burden? Then he/she is exempt from the obligations.

Does the producer consider your contribution to not be significant? Then he/she is exempt from the obligations.

Even when the negotiations are organised through official collective bargaining, these escape buttons keep on existing.

BUT please remember: collective management organisations are there to help. CMOs have no possibility to push these escape buttons. And they don’t need any. Administrative burden is their business and for CMOs each performer is significant. So contact your local CMO!