The assignment of your exclusive rights to Artisti
As you already know, in 2015, Artisti filed two requests for tariffs with the Copyright Board, one for phonogram and one for online music, in which Artisti is asking, among other things, that royalties be paid to you as of copy 1.
These requests are being challenged by various industry representatives, including ADISQ. They took the opportunity to file their objections in accordance with the process provided for in the law.
This matter before the Copyright Board is following its course and we are currently awaiting a date for the hearing concerning these tariffs.
Despite ADISQ’s filing of objections to the requests for tariffs, ADISQ has also filed a grievance targeting Artisti and all performing artists to obtain an order preventing the latter from assigning some of their rights to Artisti as the law permits them to do.
ADISQ claims that you cannot assign your exclusive rights to Artisti because such an assignment would violate collective agreements between ADISQ and UDA and the Guild.
UDA and Artisti do not share this opinion and are contesting the grievance filed by ADISQ. The matter is now before an arbitrator. Thus, out of respect for the arbitrator called upon to hear the grievance, we will limit ourselves to these brief comments and explanations.
Artisti’s stated mission is:
“Artisti’s mission is to protect, preserve and promote the rights of performing artists as provided by the Copyright Act including those it manages collectively for its members or for members of foreign companies to which it is bound by a reciprocal representation agreement, if any.”
One of its roles is:
“To determine which tariffs to propose to the Copyright Board or other users concerning the royalties payable to performers in accordance with the conditions and criteria provided for in the Copyright Act and any other criteria deemed relevant by Artisti.”
Since 2012, performing artists essentially enjoy the same rights for their performances as those granted to authors (and composers) for their works, and Artisti, since 2015, has offered its members to administer these rights through assignments.
Artisti is a collective society governed by the Copyright Act.
Here is how the Act defines the term “Collective society”:
(a) operates a licensing scheme, applicable in relation to a repertoire of works, performer’s performances, sound recordings or communication signals of more than one author, performer, sound recording maker or broadcaster, pursuant to which the society, association or corporation sets out classes of uses that it agrees to authorize under this Act, and the royalties and terms and conditions on which it agrees to authorize those classes of uses,
(b) carries on the business of collecting and distributing royalties or levies payable pursuant to this Act. (The underlining is ours)
It is the law that allows Artisti to carry on the business of the collective administration of your copyrights by assignment. It is legitimately that Artisti has operated that way since its creation.
In trying to stop you from entrusting your exclusive rights to Artisti, ADISQ is attempting to prevent you from benefiting from two tariffs filed by Artisti in 2015.
From the outset, it should be said that not all producers are members of ADISQ. However, tariffs filed by Artisti concern all producers. That means that those tariffs will govern not only the relationship you have with producers who are members of ADISQ, but also the one you have with other producers who are not members of ADISQ.
Is it not strange that ADISQ asks that you do not benefit from the tariffs filed by Artisti even when these tariffs apply to performances to be fixed and commercially exploited by producers who have no connection with ADISQ?
ADISQ opposed the tariffs that Artisti filed with the Copyright Board, as it was legitimately able to do so under the Copyright Act.
The Copyright Board will have the opportunity to hear ADISQ’s position alongside that of other opponents of the tariffs filed by Artisti and will make its decision after a hearing at which all parties may be heard.
ADISQ, through its grievance and its request for a safeguard order filed against UDA and the Quebec Musicians’ Guild, is trying to interfere with the entirely legitimate process by which Artisti files for tariffs for all producers, not just those who are members of ADISQ. In doing so, ADISQ is muddying the waters and trying to appropriate powers that belong to producers who have deliberately chosen not to be members of ADISQ – including many artists-entrepreneurs who have their own production structure.
Obviously UDA contests both the grievance and the request for a safeguard order filed by ADISQ. As for Artisti, although it cannot be part of a grievance ensuing from a collective agreement to which it is not a party, it will support the position of UDA and the Guild in this matter and will keep you informed of all developments arising from it.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information.