Fair Trade for Creators: Sign the Petition
13 July 2012
As you may be aware, the European Composer & Songwriter Alliance (ECSA), of which BASCA is a member, launched together with other authors organizations a “Call for Action: Eight Principles in Contractual Agreements”. The principles proposed by ECSA are essential in clamping down on coercion and ensuring a fair, equitable and sustainable environment for the creators of Europe.
To complement these principles, ECSA developed a petition, "Fair Trade for Creators" which will be presented to European Parliament and Commission officials, to urge their support for a fair marketplace for all types of creators. ECSA cannot do this alone though...
Every signature on the petition counts towards creating a more supportive environment for Europe’s creators. It goes without saying that the more support ECSA has for its petition, the more weight will be placed behind their complaint.
To read the petition and add your weight to it, please click here.
A recent statement from ECSA (supported by EFJ, FERA, FSE, EVA, EIF and Pyramide Europe) says:
“Today authors are frequently coerced to waive, or assign parts of our statutory authors’ rights in the name of freedom of contract and flexibility. “Flexibility”, which merely allows producers and financiers to impose one sided contracts on individual authors with impunity. Individual creators are often forced to accept manifestly unfair contract terms and conditions which are drafted in advance and presented to them as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition: creators are regularly told that if they do not sign a particular contract, unamended, they will never work again for the company "offering" it.
This problem is compounded by concentration of ownership: in some cases there is a monopsony – a single buyer for one class of creative work. These unfair contracts are (in the great majority of EU Member States) irreversible once signed.
We see this as a distortion of the market and unfair competition. If authors are chosen not because of their professional qualifications, but on the basis of their willingness to assign more rights, or in worst case, waive all their rights, this will ultimately have a negative effect also for consumers.”