Creators roundtable and AI draw visual arts societies to Paris for CIAGP congress

Unique roundtable of artists underscores need for authors’ rights and societies
CIAGP Meeting 2023

The rapid emergence of generative AI tools has drastically altered the landscape for the visual arts in the past year. Despite the sector seeing its collections up one-third over pre-pandemic levels according to the 2023 CISAC Global Collections Report, AI platforms are unlicensed and exploiting copyrighted works of human creators without consent, remuneration, or transparency.

These developments, the efforts to establish Resale Right as a universal right, and an exceptional roundtable discussion of visual artists from around the globe, united visual artists' societies for the 2023 CIAGP congress in Paris.

Held on 27 and 28 November, the first in-person congress since the pandemic was opened by CIAGP President Kader Attia, who welcomed visual artist societies, before CISAC Director General delivered a keynote speech.

Gadi Oron welcomed the new CIAGP President Attia and new CIAGP Rapporteur Marie-Anne Ferry-Fall before thanking outgoing Rapporteur Javier Gutiérrez for his commitment, dedication and leadership. Oron told the CIAGP “it is time finally to say that the pandemic is behind us” with visual arts collections growing 12.8% in 2022, reaching €220 million.

However, digital collections still represent a low share of overall income at only 7%. Income from digital sources for visual creators will have to increase, said Oron.

Turning to AI, Oron addressed that it will change the ways works are created, impact human creators, and change how creative and cultural industries work. Image generators and generative AI tools are already being trained using existing, often copyrighted works without the consent of the artist.

“We know that specific artists’ names can be entered as prompts in order to create an image that copies the artists’ creative style.” Alarmingly, no platform is paying. Oron called for quick action to ensure that AI services provide royalty payments when copyrighted works are used for this “training”.

Resale Right campaign

Recent efforts to champion for a universal adoption of Resale Right and support national campaigns were also highlighted. This includes New Zealand adopting and including Resale Right in Free Trade Agreements with the EU and the UK. CISAC is now lobbying to ensure proper implementation of the Resale Right in national law. South Korea’s National Assembly adopted Resale Right in July and CISAC is assisting local society SACKS to ensure its proper implementation. CISAC is supporting a campaign to adopt the right in Canada. On the global scale at WIPO, CISAC is working with Professor Sam Ricketson on a toolkit on best practices for managing the right. The Toolkit will be presented at the next SCCR session in April 2024, bringing added value to the discussions within the Committee.

Creators panel

The challenges of maintaining a career as a visual artist in today’s market were discussed in a major roundtable featuring artists from Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Senegal, and Spain which saw the first creative contribution to the event. Visual artists Yancouba Badji, Paddy Lamb, and Esther Pizarro, and photographer Matthieu Baudeau, spoke about their experiences with authors’ rights and the changes that have taken place in creative production and the distribution economy with the arrival of the Internet and digital technology. Visual artist Elizabeth Ambriz, Comics illustrator Denis Bajram and Photographer Armin Smailovic discussed the opportunities AI presents to artists and the challenges it poses.

CIAGP Meeting 2023

Roundtables at the CIAGP meeting also sought to examine how to strengthen cooperation among CMOs. CIAGP unites over fifty societies worldwide through reciprocal representations. However, diverse economic and legislative environments require continual improvement and cooperation among these societies. For AI, reconciling the technology’s development and respecting authors’ rights took centre stage in a roundtable on AI’s impact on CMOs and artists.


The CIAGP has endorsed two Resolutions: one on the need to further protect visual artists’ rights in the age of the AI and the other in support of the adoption of the Resale Right in Canada.