AFM Delegation In Beijing to Support the Adoption of the WIPO Audiovisual Performances Treaty
Among concerns are the millions of dollars foreign collective rights organizations collect each year on behalf of US and Canadian performers that are never distributed
American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) President Ray Hair heads an AFM delegation attending a Diplomatic Conference convened by the United Nation's World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to consider the adoption of an international treaty on audiovisual performances.
In its desire to participate in these important negotiations the AFM applied for and was accorded Observer status as a WIPO Nongovernmental Organization (NGO), which will allow the Federation a front seat at the world's intellectual property rights roundtable with the right to voice its concerns directly and advocate for the interests of professional musicians.
"The AFM enthusiastically endorses and supports the adoption of the substantive articles of the Audiovisual Performances Treaty," Hair said in his opening address to the WIPO. "We are cognizant of the sensitive struggle over the past 12 years or more to reach this stage of treaty negotiations."
Among concerns that AFM discussed with treaty stakeholders are the millions of dollars that foreign collective rights organizations collect each year on behalf of US and Canadian performers that are never distributed. "The unacceptable behavior of many of these foreign rights organizations, the prospect of a new stream of rights money, and the fact that AFM-made content dominates the worldwide consumption of entertainment has led us to Beijing," explains Hair.
The AFM delegation to Beijing includes AFM Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert, Secretary-Treasurer Sam Folio, and International Officers Vince Trombetta (president of AFM Local 47, Los Angeles), Tino Gagliardi (president of AFM Local 802, New York City), and Dave Pomeroy (president of Local 257, Nashville). "In effect, we are bringing the house by arriving at the conference with our three largest media industry locals—where more entertainment media content is created than in all of the rest of the world combined," says Hair.