Published September 18, 2023

Responses to the consultation will inform the options for implementation of the Treaty

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has launched a consultation on implementing the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances.

The Treaty is an international agreement to provide intellectual property rights in audiovisual performances, including those by actors, musicians, dancers and other performers that are incorporated into films, television programmes and other audiovisual recordings.

Implementing the Treaty will secure reciprocal benefits for UK performers when their audiovisual performances are used in other countries that are signatories to the Treaty.

The UK signed the Beijing Treaty in 2013 but was not able to ratify it independently while a member of the EU. Now that the UK has left the EU, the UK Government has committed to implementing and ratifying the Beijing Treaty.

UK law is already largely compliant with the Treaty, however, there are certain areas where changes to the law will be necessary to comply with for audiovisual performers to be attributed, and to prevent certain derogatory treatment of their performances.

The Treaty also sets out options that countries can choose to implement into national law. These include protections for performers against the broadcasting or public playing of their audiovisual performances.

As such, the Government is now seeking views from stakeholders including performers, broadcasters, producers, Collective Management Organisations (CMO) and users of audiovisual works.  These will help inform the Government’s decision on how best to implement the treaty.

Following an initial Call for Views in 2021, the evidence appears to show support for two preferred options for implementation:

  1. Implement the Treaty and introduce exclusive rights of broadcasting and/or communication to the public for audiovisual performers;
  2. Implement the Treaty and introduce the right of equitable remuneration for the broadcasting and/or communication to the public of audiovisual performances. 

This consultation builds on the Call for Views by seeking views and evidence on the impact of each option.

It asks questions related to performers rights, licensing requirements for the use of audiovisual works, incentivizing production of audio-visual works, and fair remuneration for performers, and how each of the options may impact on these. 

It enables those with views on the practical and legal aspects of the proposals required to change UK law to have their say.

This will help ensure the government’s final decision for implementation is robust and based on the best evidence.

The Intellectual Property Office’s CEO Adam Williams said:
“The UK has a thriving audiovisual industry. Our copyright and performers’ rights framework ensures those who invest time, effort and money into making and distributing audiovisual productions can commercialize their works, benefitting everyone that enjoys them.

By implementing the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, the Government wants to help performers control how their performances are used, and improve their ability to secure appropriate payment.

This consultation focuses on the specific options for implementation.  It is essential that we hear from you to ensure the best approach is taken when implementing the Treaty”.

The Government expects ratification of the Treaty to happen in 2024 subject to the usual timetabling considerations.

More information about the consultation and how to respond is available on our consultation website.

The consultation closes on 9 November.

IPO

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