The Mexico Manifiesto
The Congreso Internacional de Creadores (International Creators Congress) of CISAC met in October in the city of Mexico, DF, with record participation and a large number of important conclusions.
For the second time, this important International Congress took place in the Latin American territory. The first time, the successful experience took place in April 2012 in Buenos Aires.
Led by the French author Yves Nilly and the presence of the current Vice President of CISAC, the renowned Argentine filmmaker Marcelo Piñeyro, the annual meeting had a large participation of Directors and Scriptwriters of several continents and nationalities.
The presence of the delegations of member countries of ADAL – Alianza de Directores Audiovisuales Latinoamericanos (Latin American Audiovisual Directors Alliance), who celebrated this year the inclusion of directors and scriptwriters from Brazil for the first time, who, with the help of their sister associations, are preparing for the full exercise of their right as authors of the audiovisual works.
The Argentine Directors association DAC is the only Latin America association which is part of and works actively in the Executive Committee of Writers & Directors Worldwide.
The Mexico Manifesto
The Creators of the dramatic, literary and audiovisual sectors contribute to the vital growth of culture, diversity and economy around the world.
Our work is the basis for a large international industry acting to greatly multiply its value.
But our capacity to do this job is in danger and we need the legislators’ support to protect it.
Our Cultural Contribution
In an increasingly fragmented world, our work joins people, both, emotionally in a shared appreciation for art, and physically, in theaters and movie theaters.
Entertainment and education are offered, stimulating literacy in our children and empathy in our communities.
It builds an essential understanding and appreciation of history and other cultures around the globe.
The United Nations Development Program described culture as “a driver and a facilitator of the sustainable human development” and writers and directors are in the heart of it.
Our Economic Contribution
The growing contribution of creative industries and the gross domestic product (GDP) of their country are equally important. Only in Europe, author’s rights industries contributed more than four percent of the total GDP of the EU and more than three per cent of its total employment.
This equals around half a trillion Euros and more than seven million jobs.
These growing dynamic and innovating industries rely /trust on the individuals’ creative talent and, particularly, writers’ and directors’, whose work is the basis of all movies, television audiovisual works and dramatic and literary productions.
How are these contributions threatened?
Despite the glamorous perception of the film, television, theater or publishing industry sector, the overwhelming majority of their creators are not capable of making a living with their work.
As a result, most of them are forced to leave the sector everyday and their potential contribution to culture and economy is lost.
One important reason for this is the way agreements between authors and distribution or production companies are produced, negotiated and terminated. Mostly, scriptwriters and directors are the weakest part in these discussions and cannot negotiate fair agreements with producers individually. As a result, they are forced to accept part of the payments for transferring all their rights without any compensation.
This means that the creators do not receive any benefit for the future success of their works.
Therefore, they do not have a record of works for which they can obtain income and frequently, they cannot extend to new projects without having to leave the industry.
This problem is more urgent today than ever before, due to the fast development of the digital market. Every day, new Internet services are streaming audiovisual content, reaching a greater number of people through more devices. The potential of this market is a considerable source of income that is essential for the creators and it was denied due to their weak position in the contractual negotiations.
What do we believe in?
We believe that the legislator’s role is essential to restore the balance of power. Every creator must be allowed to live off of their creations and doing nothing, at this point, is not an option anymore for governments who want to protect the vital cultural and economic contribution we provide.
The issue is even more unacceptable due to the unfair treatment of the different creative sectors.
For example, there is no proper explanation why in many countries, film and TV music composers are paid every time their work is used while scriptwriters and directors are not.
Authors are the “machinery room” of the creative industry and the protection of their rights is the key for their survival.
Without a script or a director, there cannot be a movie, a TV production, a play or a novel.
Our call for action
We call upon the national governments and legislators so that they adopt the author’s right legislation offering writers and directors an inalienable right to a mandatory remuneration to be negotiated with the users of the works and to be managed collectively.
The power of collective management is the way to ensure that the balance of power is restored and to build a fair and sustainable system for creators.
This is the only way to ensure creators receive remuneration and to establish a direct and equitable income flow between the market and the authors.
Remember that in this industry, there is no audience without authors
About Writers and Directors Worldwide
Writers & Directors Worldwide is a world organization representing audiovisual, literary and dramatic works creators, particularly movies, TV programs and similar protected works.
The members of Writers & Directors Worldwide are the creators themselves. The organization provides them with a forum for cooperation, networks creation and support. It helps facilitate the exchange of ideas, information, best practices and practical advice to defend authors’ rights in the repertoires created by the members.
Through regular work groups, Writers & Directors Worldwide provides specific experience and the experience of their members, as well as the collective management organizations (CMO) administering the creators’ rights. The purpose and objectives of the organization are the following:
- Unify the voice of dramatic, literary and audiovisual works creators to protect their rights and assert their cultural aspirations around the globe.
- Authors Support Organizations throughout the world in their activities to establish the effective rights and a fair remuneration for creators.
- Improve the communication of dramatic, literary and audiovisual works creators with the general audience and the institutions within the international arena.
- Improve creators’ contribution in the audiovisual, literary and dramatic sectors to cultural diversity and heritage.
Writers & Directors Worldwide has been an official observer before the Standing Committee of WIPO – OMPI, regarding Author’s Right and Related Rights since April 2014.