Copyright buy-outs and Europe’s moves on the transfer of value in focus at CISAC Asia-Pacific Committee in Jakarta

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14 societies from around Asia-Pacific gathered in Indonesia for the CISAC Regional Asia-Pacific Committee.

The practice of copyright buy-out is a growing concern to the creative community, particularly in Asia-Pacific, and the issue was sharply in focus at the CISAC Regional Asia-Pacific Committee (APC) in Jakarta on November 12th-14th.

A buy-out is when a creator accepts up-front payment for the exploitation of their works, giving up the right to receive remuneration in the future. This can become a major concern if the work itself becomes a hit. The copyright buy-out practice is being unfairly exploited in digital audiovisual content and games due to the weak bargaining power of creators when faced by buy-out clauses from major companies.

Hosted by WAMI, the APC met for presentations, panels and discussions specific to the region. CISAC’s regional committees coordinate CISAC activities in their respective regions and to assist establishing administrative infrastructure for societies.

Chaired by JASRAC’s Satoshi Watanabe, the APC united 14 societies for discussions including about the 2018 CISAC Global Collections Report, the EU Copyright Directive, transfer of value, copyright buy-out, cinema licensing and online licensing.

The 2018 Global Collections Report throws a positive spotlight on Indonesia. Collections in the country grew by 87.4% in 2017. In just five years, its collections grew tenfold. 

This rapidly growing market, also the third largest smartphone market in Asia following China and India, has seen a boost from digital collections. Digital accounts for nearly three quarters of all collections. In Indonesia, licensing deals are in place with major streaming services. WAMI is looking to improve broadcasting collections by advocating an increase in tariffs, which were set at low levels by the government, to internationally competitive levels.

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Asia-Pacific reached €1.364 billion for collections with uses for digital overtaking live & background in 2017 according to the Global Collections Report.

The world is watching key developments in Europe where the European Parliament in September adopted the Copyright Directive, CISAC Senior Legal Advisor Constance Herreman outlined the impact of the directive for creators. In addition to Article 13 addressing the transfer of value, the directive has two provisions benefiting creators, notably Article 14 on the right to fair remuneration and Article 13b on the images search engine.

Although the next steps won’t be decided until 2019, Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world is eagerly awaiting the European Union to address the concerns of creators.

The committee also heard from Chair Satoshi Watanabe and CISAC Regional Director Benjamin Ng regarding recent developments to an on-going copyright buy-out study. The legal analysis will examine VOD markets and legal frameworks throughout the world. 

The APC also discussed CISAC’s Guide to the EU Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).