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The defense of audiovisual rights in Latin America above related rights

Audiovisual authors’ collective management associations in Latin America are threatened by related rights associations that intend to infringe audiovisual rights.

 

Fighting for the audiovisual authors’ right

Authors’ rights (also incorrectly known as Intellectual Property, due to the influence of law world’s copyright) is exclusively acknowledged in favor of the writers and directors of the audiovisual works.

Actors and actresses may have a subsidiary right related to the that of the author, but the presence of the actor is not needed to that end, they need only to play a part under a direction without which they would have no related right whatsoever.

The FESAAL – Latin American Audiovisual Authors´ Federation – and its member associations have witnessed the behavior of some of the entities that gather performing actors, which explicitly hinder the struggle of audiovisual screenwriters and directors as they include audiovisual authors in their bylaws without legitimate representation, as in the cases of Chile, Ecuador y Panama.

Additionally, international associations of audiovisual performers define themselves collectively as the Audiovisual Collective Management Associations, which leads to confusion regarding the Audiovisual Authors associations that are represented at a regional level in Latin America by the FESAAL.

Recently, the National Directorate of Copyright of Panama demanded the actors association that they remove from their bylaws the mention regarding writers and directors agency, as they learned of the existence of the writers and directors’ association that represents them in this country, and which is member of the FESAAL.

We should consider that the Director’s right is an author’s right, which means its consideration in collective management is greater than that of the related right. The same applies to the screenwriter: The writer must collect twice as much the author’s right related right, and the same amount corresponds to the director.

Lastly, we should point out that, regarding audiovisual producers’ collective management, unlike Directors, producers do not have a right over all the use modalities, for instance, collective management entities cannot collect from OTT platforms (Netflix, Amazon, etc.), as their rights are managed individually in these cases.

In conclusion, there are different interests at play, and thus, audiovisual associations can only include Directors and Writers that may join in without conflict of interests, and agency agreements should not be celebrated in other territories where there are entities with conflict of interests.