Insights Intellectual Property Office launches call for views in relation to the implementation of the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances

The Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances is an international agreement to provide intellectual property rights in audiovisual performances, i.e. performances by actors, musicians, dancers and others that are incorporated in films, television programmes and other audiovisual recordings.

The UK Government signed the Beijing Treaty in 2013 but was not able to implement or ratify it independently while a member of the EU. Now that the UK has left the EU, the Government is resolved to do so. The Government says that implementing the Treaty is about ensuring fair rewards for performers, but also supporting the UK’s creative industries more widely. This means balancing the interests of performers with the interests of those who produce and invest in audiovisual productions, as well as users and the public.

The Government explains that UK law already meets most of the standards required by the Treaty. However, there are some areas which require a change to the law. The Treaty also contains optional provisions that countries can choose whether and how to implement. For example, one of the important aims of implementing the Treaty is to secure similar benefits for UK audiovisual performers when their performances are used in other countries, but the Treaty allows countries some flexibility on this.

Accordingly, the Government is seeking views, expertise and evidence to help it ensure that the UK’s implementation of the Treaty is consistent with its aims for the performers’ rights framework. More generally, the Government wants to understand the potential impacts of the Treaty as a whole.

The consultation document summarises the main provisions of the Beijing Treaty and sets out questions on certain issues where the Government is seeking evidence and views. In some areas, the Government says that quantitative evidence (such as monetised costs or benefits of introducing new protections) will be most useful. Where impacts are harder to quantify, qualitative descriptions may be more appropriate. In all cases, the Government says that the more detail provided, the better it can understand.

The deadline for responding to the call for views is 5pm on 18 June 2021. To access the consultation, click here.