New actors’ rights treaty lauded

CMPA president and CEO Michael Hennessy (pictured) says ACTRA played a key role in audiovisual performances treaty.

The Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) is applauding the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists on its role in helping to shepherd into existence a new international copyright treaty that enhances the rights of both performers and producers.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations body, officially finished the audiovisual performances treaty during a diplomatic meeting in Beijing Tuesday.  The treaty took about 20 years of negotiations to finally be concluded.

“For two decades, ACTRA has demonstrated leadership and persistence in working to achieve this important international milestone,” CMPA president and CEO Michael Hennessy says. “Other copyright treaties have addressed the rights of other creators. Now audiovisual performers are finally getting their due. We congratulate ACTRA for overcoming multiple obstacles in seeing this treaty through to completion,” he adds in a statement.

The treaty can only come into effect in Canada if the federal government decides to sign it; it would then require ratification by Parliament.

“We look forward to working with ACTRA and with the government as the treaty review and ratification process unfolds,” says Hennessy.

CMPA chief negotiator and chief legal officer Reynolds Mastin congratulated Ferne Downey, ACTRA’s national president, who ventured to Beijing to make an opening address to the meeting’s 700 delegates.

“A number of conference delegates approached us to express their appreciation for the eloquence and passion with which Ferne spoke about the importance of this treaty for performers,” says Mastin in the statement. “The praise was well-deserved and she did her fellow Canadians proud.”