2017 Creators Seminar puts authors at centre stage in Asia-Pacific

Seoul Declaration announced to protect rights of music creators at seminar conclusion
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The Seoul Declaration for Copyright Owner's Right brings together creators in a call on Korean legislators to align the country’s laws to those of other countries by removing existing exceptions to the public performance right.

Held on 12 May at the Novotel Ambassador Seoul Gangnam, the 2017 Creators Seminar in Seoul brought together authors, government officials, collective management representatives and professionals for a full day dedicated to the rights of creators in the region. The programme, which was organised by CISAC and KOMCA, drew attention to the necessity to protect and promote authors through several panel sessions. Opening remarks were delivered by Korea Copyright Commission Chairman Lim Won Seon, CISAC Director General Gadi Oron, IFRRO CEO and Secretary General Caroline Morgan and KOMCA Chairman Yoon Myung Sun. In his speech, Gadi Oron drew attention to how South Korea led the digital revolution in Asia, which now provides a “perfect background” for a discussion on “the intersection of creativity, culture, the advance of the digital market and the protection of rights”. The Director General then iterated that while nearly $10 billion is collected by CISAC member societies in the world for creators, only 7.2% comes from the digital market. The heart of the problem are the flaws being exploited by large digital platforms, which must be corrected.

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Korean Copyright Commission Chairman Lim Won Seon speaks during the opening of the 2017 Creators Seminar.

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CISAC Director General delivers opening remarks at the 2017 Creators Seminar.

The first session was dedicated to the transfer of value, a principal international campaign of CISAC, which Gadi Oron referred to.  Speakers included APMA Chairman Shunichi Tokura, CIAM President Lorenzo Ferrero, KOMCA Chairman Yoon Myung Sun, APMA Vice Chairman Brendan Gallagher and APMA member Eriky Lee. Concluding the session was the strong show of support through the Seoul Declaration for Copyright Owners’ Right. This statement calls on governments, policy makers and lawmakers to improve copyright protections.  Shortly after, KOMCA and AMPA supported the development of other CMOs by donating 5 laptop computers to MOSCAP, VCPMC and WAMI.

See the photo gallery.

IFRRO and KORRA joined the second session, which was focused on the changing digital environment and private copying levies. The panel was moderated by Professor Hong Seung Ki from In-ha University. HanYang University Professor Kim, Byung II opened the session by highlighting the importance of the introduction of private copying levy system in South Korea. CISAC Regional Director Benjamin Ng detailed the levy and how it has been implemented in 22 of 28 European Union countries as well as others to offer remuneration for acts of copying, which cannot be effectively licenced or monitored. A panel on the subject followed including Benjamin Ng, APMA Chairman Shunichi Tokura, CIAM President Lorenzo Ferrero, KOMCA member Yoon il Sang and KORRA member Wu Han Yong. Shunichi Tokura and Lorenzo Ferrero explained the situation in Japan and Europe. Korean creators then urged the government to support them by establishing a private copying levy regime in South Korea.

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The second session treated the subject of the changing digital environment and private copying levies.

The final session was also moderated by Professor Hong Seung Ki. Professor Seung Ki Hong gave a detail presentation about the problematic issue in South Korea of public performance right of musical works. In the country, only a small amount of establishments are liable to pay these royalties. For example, royalties should only be paid in certain establishments (specialty stores, department stores, discount stores or shopping malls) over 3,000 square meters, or the equivalent of 7 basketball courts. Benjamin Ng, CISAC Asia-Pacific Chair Satoshi Watanabe, CISAC Asia-Pacific Vice Chair Scot Morris, PRS for Music Head of International Liam Donnelly and KOMCA Secretary General You Gi Seob each gave backgrounds on public performance, drawing comparisons between international practices (such as in Japan, Australia and the UK) and the realities of Korea legislation. CISAC also provided recommendations on how to improve the country’s legislation in order for creators to be able to receive remuneration for the public performance of musical works.

The seminar ended with a strong call to Korean legislators to consider international practices and to align the country’s laws to those of other countries in removing existing exceptions to the public performance right. This would allow creators to collect royalties from all commercial establishments (cafes, restaurants, gyms, clubs and stores) that use music, significantly providing new sources of revenues and providing protections for authors that are already enjoyed in other territories.

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Asia-Pacific organisations unite in Seoul, supporting the development of other societies through donating computers.