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Unions Hail Signing of International Actors Rights Treaty

SAG-AFTRA and the International Federation of Actors (FIA)
Tuesday applauded the signing of the World Intellectual Property Organization
(WIPO) Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances,
which gives economic and "moral" rights to actors in TV, film and new

Those rights include control over the use and distribution of
their performances and protection from the "distortion, mutilation, or
other modification" of their performances that could hurt their

"The recognition that audiovisual performers have an
ongoing interest in their work will be a tremendous boost for performers,
particularly in countries that do not presently recognize these rights despite
performers' valuable contribution to the diversity of content, and to the
success of many national audiovisual industries," said FIA in a statement.

While the treaty has been signed, it must be ratified by at
least 30 parties, according to SAG-AFTRA, which could take a year, perhaps
more. SAG-AFTRA wants to make sure that the U.S. is one of them.

"SAG-AFTRA couldn't be more pleased with the effort put
forward by the US government to bring this treaty into being," said executive
director David White. "Now it is time for the administration to take the
steps necessary to bring this treaty to the Senate for ratification, so that
the US can remain in the forefront of global intellectual property