The European Parliament adopts the copyright directive

Copyright on screen

On Wednesday 12 September 2018, the European Parliament adopted the proposed directive on copyright in the digital single market. It also gave mandate to the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) to enter into inter-institutional negotiations with the Commission and the Council (trialogue).

This result is a genuine success for performers, achieved after considerable efforts and against a globally hostile backdrop. In reality, the European Commission’s initial proposal fell way short of our expectations, entirely leaving to one side, for example, the central issue of artists’ remuneration where streaming was concerned.
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Source: FIM News

Europe | Atypical work in the arts, entertainment and media sector

Atypical work

On 8 and 9 September 2016, the final conference took place in Brussels of the joint FIM, FIA, UNI-MEI and EFJ project focusing on the future of work and atypical working in the arts, entertainment and media sector. It was held in the European Parliament and the premises of the European Economic and Social Committee.

Besides representatives from the four organising federations, the conference welcomed European and national parliamentarians, representatives of the European Commission, the International Labour Office (ILO) and the European Trade Unions Confederation (ETUC) as well as jurists specialized in social law.

Detailed programme and list of speakers

Following on four thematic workshops, the conference was an opportunity for presentations and opinions of both legal and political nature from numerous speakers. The whole of the work carried out constitutes a solid documentary basis for future initiatives from FIM and its partners with regard to ETUC and ILO on the issue of non-standard forms of employment, a major concern for the trade union movement at global level.

Synthesis report in English (report presenting works of reflection and analysis carried out during the 18 months of the project. Translation is currently underway into French, Spanish and Italian).

OiRA tools for the Live Performance sector


Workplaces in the live performance sector are challenged by very diverse health and safety risks. These stem from a broad range of activities such as stage performances, chemical substances used in special effects, the presence of an audience and environmental aspects such as lighting and temperature.

Specific risk assessment strategies are vital to prevent accidents and ill-health in the sector. The OiRA tools are developed to support small enterprises in better dealing with these challenges.

The EU social partners from the Live Performance sector : the European Arts and Entertainment Alliance (EAEA, composed of FIM, FIA and UNI MEI) and Pearle* have released a video on their Online interactive Risk Assessment (OiRA) tools. The tools are made for assessing health and safety risks in venues and production companies, especially in small ones.

Watch the OiRA tools video
subtitled in Spanish | Greek

Access the OiRA tools
Learn all about OiRA

ILO | Meeting of Experts makes progress on precarious work

ILO logo

IAEA was represented by its President, John Smith, at an ILO tripartite Meeting of Experts on non-standard forms of employment. Conclusions agree to strengthen the ILO’s responses to precarious work.

After the Global Dialogue Forum on the working relationship in the Media and Culture sector held at the ILO headquarters in May 2014, a Committee of Experts representing employers, governments and workers met in Geneva on 16-19 February 2015 to debate how the ILO should respond to the threats to workers’ rights brought about by the expansion of precarious work.

The background document prepared by the ILO shows that precarious work has proliferated in recent years, particularly in lower-skilled occupations, and that women and young workers are disproportionately affected. It also highlights the problems arising from precarious work being an involuntary choice. Europe and the US both have high rates of involuntary part-time work. In the UK, four fifths of all fixed-term workers are either on probation or cannot find a permanent job (over 90% in Greece, Portugal and Spain).

The report shows that precarious work is not a stepping stone to permanent work: temporary workers are more likely to remain precariously employed and are up to ten times more likely to fall into unemployment than permanent workers.

In addition to precariousness, these workers are affected by lower wages, inadequate social security coverage, fewer training opportunities and higher accident rates. They also face difficulties in exercising their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

The meeting’s conclusions recommend that the ILO continue to work to improve data collection and reporting on precarious work. It should also
• Promote the better use of international standards in relation to precarious work
• Analyse where there are gaps in the standards and evaluate the need for new ones
• Examine and address barriers to precarious workers exercising their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining
• Look at how collective bargaining can contribute to decent working conditions
• Support labour inspection and access by precarious workers to the legal system
• Look at how social security can be extended to precarious workers
• Document trends and create a repository of information on precarious work and innovative practices on how to ensure protection of precarious workers.

Importantly, the conclusions also call for future Meetings of Experts on temporary employment and on discrimination on the basis of employment status, opening up the possibility for future international labour standards to be developed in these two areas.

These recommendations will next be presented to the ILO Governing Body for approval.

 Download the meetings’ conclusions

Rome Opera crisis: IAEA issues a protest letter


The three International Federations representing workers in the Arts and Entertainment sector call upon the Board of the Rome Opera Theatre to reverse its decision to dismiss all orchestra musicians and choir members.

The International Federation of Musicians (FIM), the International Federation of Actors (FIA), UNI – Media, Entertainment & Arts (UNI MEI) and their member organisations in more than 120 countries were extremely shocked to learn about the decision of the Board of the Rome Opera to terminate the contracts of all the orchestra musicians and choir members of this institution, in a disgraceful act of cultural vandalism. This decision is short-sighted, totally inappropriate from a management and labour point of view and extremely dangerous from an artistic perspective.

The three signatory federations wish to also vigorously denounce the wrongful assertions made by the Board to justify its decision. Contrary to its affirmations, no other European capital has made the mistake of outsourcing the artistic human resources of such an emblematic institution as the Rome Opera. It is common knowledge that the personality of an orchestra, its mastery of a vast repertoire with the required level of performance and, finally, its international reputation rely on its own, permanent artists as well as on years of daily collective and individual practice. No professional involved in opera or orchestra management can seriously recommend trading a permanent orchestra of international reputation against a non-existent, hypothetical, external entity.

What is at stake is not only the jobs of 182 skilled, dedicated artists and the livelihoods of their families. It is also about delivering a fundamental service of the highest possible quality to all music lovers in Italy and beyond. Decades of patient work are necessary to build a world-class institution like the Rome Opera. One wrong, hasty decision suffices to irrevocably break it. Italy gave the art of opera to the world. It would be a tragedy if the capital of opera’s homeland was to give up its own culture and unique heritage.

FIM, FIA and UNI MEI strongly believe that a different solution to the current crisis can be found. To this end, they urge the Rome Opera Board, the Municipality of Rome and the Italian Government to immediately announce the reinstatement of all dismissed artists and to enter into a genuine, professional and open-minded negotiation excluding any form of outsourcing. The international music community would not understand if the Italian Government, which currently holds the Presidency of the European Union, did not take all necessary measures to ensure that the brutal, anti-cultural decision of the Rome Opera Board be overturned.

Support to symphony and opera music, theatre, dance and ballet, which are a precious and fragile part of the world’s cultural heritage, is a prime responsibility of national, regional and local governments. The conscious, voluntary destruction of a pillar of Italian culture cannot be an option.

FIM, FIA and UNI MEI stand ready to facilitate the resumption of negotiations with a view to reaching a reasonable compromise, in the interest of all parties concerned.

Together, FIM, FIA, and UNI-MEI form the International Arts and Entertainment alliance (IAEA). This global sectoral alliance is a member of the Council of Global Unions and the ETUC and is a recognised European social partner organsation

Private copying – FIA, FIM and UNI-MEI contest the conclusions of the European mediator

FIA, FIM and UNI-MEI have reacted very negatively to the recommendations put forward on the 31 January 2013 by Mr. António Vitorino, the mediator chosen by the European Commission regarding the private copying issue.

In this document, Mr. Vitorino unexpectedly reflects the discourse of manufacturers and importers of recording media who want to avoid paying the levy which is currently required of them, regardless of the fact that, for many years, these multinationals have made considerable profits from the sale of blank media as a result of the countless acts of consumers copying protected contents.

In Spain, where these industries have recently obtained from Mr Rajoy’s government the replacement of the levy by a symbolic contribution from the State, the prices of supports have not dropped one iota, which means that consumers continue to pay the same amount, to the exclusive benefit of multinationals, while creative professionals are henceforth deprived of an essential source of income.

In our opinion, Mr. Vitorino’s proposals are based on a mistaken analysis of the existing mechanisms of compensation. Although certain questions such as double payment doubtless call for practical solutions to be found, their relatively marginal impact does not justify questioning a balanced compensation infrastructure which is at the core of creators’ rights and constitutes a legitimate portion of their revenues.

Download the FIA-FIM-UNI-MEI joint statement

First meeting of the IAEA programme of activities in India

The IAEA alliance’s programme of activities for the audiovisual sector in India started on the 25 and 26 March 2013, with a seminar in Mumbai which brought together a dozen or so unions representing different sector professions.

Coordinated on site by Mr. Opender Chanana, the programme is backed by LO-TCO (Sweden), which is also an IAEA partner for capacity-building activities in Africa and Latin America.

Despite the personal commitment of their leaders, all volunteers, trade unions in the live performance and audiovisual sectors are not in a position to promote the process of social dialogue which the sector needs. The already existing memorandum of understanding and legal provisions in the field of contracts are currently unheeded, doubtlessly in part because of the absence of professional permanent staff in these unions.

The programme will be continuing in 2013 with a more in-depth definition of the needs and priorities expressed by the unions concerned, with a view to giving concrete follow-up to these recommendations between 2014-2016, within the framework of a new project.

Participants at the Mumbai seminar unanimously adopted a declaration demanding rapid ratification by the Indian government of the Beijing Treaty protecting audiovisual performances.

Download the Mumbai declaration

Artists’ peaceful protest march harshly repressed in Yaoundé (Cameroon)

Anne-Marie Nzié

In agreement with right holders (performers, authors and composers), the Cameroonian Government recently decided the creation of a special deposit account allowing copyright users to pay royalties before the such royalties are transferred to the duly authorized collective management organisations.

Meanwhile, the Port of Douala, which had so far been refusing to proceed to any payment for the use of copyright and neighboring rights, suddenly decided to send those payments to the former management of the Cameroon Music Corporation, which is no longer legally authorized to collect these monies. In protest against this violation of the Government’s decisions, the Musicians Trade Union of Cameroon (SYCAMU) duly informed the authorities about its intention to demonstrate.

On Nov. 8th, 2012, SYCAMU thus organized a peaceful march, which was harshly repressed by several hundreds of police members and elite troops ESIR, by order of the Delegate General to national security. More than 500 artists were thrown to the ground and beaten as if they were dangerous criminals, including 85 year-old female singer Anne-Marie Nzié (see picture). 63 of them were detained in custody for more than 7 hours without being charged.

A number of SYCAMU representatives were brutalized and are still under threat today. In particular, Mr Roméo Dika, SYCAMU President and FIM Vice-President, is still accused in some media of having attempted an insurrection, which may be sentenced by life imprisonment or death penalty.

We call upon all musicians and their trade unions around the world to write to Mr Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon, so that he makes sure that the artists concerned are not subject to any further violence and that the provisions aiming at guaranteeing that artists receive their legitimate payments are fully respected.

Please sign the petition!

Social partners issue joint opinion on EU Audiovisual Observatory

Social partners in the audiovisual sector issue a joint opinion highlighting the needs of the film and TV industry for reliable and updated statistics on economy and employment market.

At its meeting today the EU social partners in the European audiovisual sector adopted a joint opinion on the role of the European Audiovisual Observatory. Employers and unions call on the Observatory and its stakeholders including the European Commission, Member States to endeavour to add economic and employment statistics to the Observatory’s range of statistical and data aggregation activities.

The AV SDC recognises the pivotal role of the European Audiovisual Observatory in providing reliable and independent statistics for the benefit of the EU audiovisual sector as well as for public authorities. The AV SDC also wishes to stress the potential contribution of such statistics in throwing light on the elements at stake in current and future European political debates affecting the audiovisual sector.

Download the joint opinion

World Public Service Day

The value of public service broadcasting and public support for culture

On this important World Public Service Day, the International Arts and Entertainment Alliance (IAEA – the Global Union Federation for the Arts and Entertainment sector) reiterates the value of public support for cultural services and institutions, as well as for public service broadcasting, as a vital means to bring cultural content to the public.

Public investment in, and support for, cultural services and institutions fostering cultural traditions and allowing them to continue to flourish, develop and evolve in new directions through the creation of new works and performances. Maintaining high standards of excellence in the cultural field requires public investment to allow ambitious production. It equally creates the scope to allow the performing arts to continue to function as a cradle for experimentation, creativity and innovation, as the vital core of the cultural and creative industry sector. It is a fundamental right of citizens to have access to and to participate in the vibrant cultural life of their societies. This means maintaining a high level of quality cultural services, reflecting the cultural, linguistic, territorial differences of the country where it is made, and ensuring that accessible to all of society. Decent employment and working conditions are a vital part of ensuring that the sector will be sustainable and attractive in the long-term.

Public broadcasting has an important role in providing access and participation in public life. For many people the public service broadcaster in their country is the main source of information about politics, cultural events and wider society. UNESCO is committed to supporting and promoting public broadcasting to serve the interests of the people as citizens and not as consumers. Public service broadcasters reach much of the population and also minority groups, thus contributing to social inclusion and the improvement of civil society. Therefore, the public broadcaster should have the following functions: Universality, diversity, independence and impartiality, innovation, wide coverage, high technical quality, and high production levels. The public broadcaster should make programmes which reflect the cultural, linguistic, territorial differences of the country in which it broadcasts.

The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, argues that the signatories “may take measures to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions within their territory”, including through actions to “provide opportunities for domestic cultural activities, goods and services among all those available within the national territory for the creation, production, dissemination, distribution and enjoyment of such domestic cultural activities, goods and services”; as well as “to promote the diversity of media, including through public service broadcasting principles” The IAEA firmly believes that these principles and their value should be strongly recalled in the context of reflection on the wider value of public services.

Public services including public service broadcasting and cultural services in many countries have suffered serious cuts as response to the financial and sovereign debt crisis. Governments and the International Monetary Fund bring about stringent austerity policies programs in many countries. The failures of the international financial markets, the key players as well as austerity policies harm employment, creativity, access to quality cultural production, cultural diversity, pluralistic information and democracy.

Therefore, the trade unions, representing workers in the arts and entertainment sector across the world, endorse the importance of public funding for culture and of public service broadcasting for democracy and for our societies. We therefore ask that all countries commit themselves to the defence of these sectors, ensuring adequate funds to fulfil the objectives that we have set out above. It must be a fundamental right of citizenship to have access to a rich and diverse cultural offers, as well as a pluralistic media with many opinions and voices. Otherwise, if these are allowed to wither away through lack of funding, we will lose an important voice in society. A plurality of voices is important for an open democratic country.

We call on the citizens of the world to:

  • Resist all attempts to destroy publicly funded cultural institutions and services; public television, radio and the internet.
  • Cherish and Support the cultural sector and the cultural tradition and its accessibility to all in their own country
  • Cherish and Support public broadcaster in their own country and see it as a valuable service providing information and cultural entertainment for all
  • Embrace and support these vital sectors
  • Think that democracy is never enough. Fight for more
  • Realize that every conquered democratic right is useful to the struggle for more democracy.