Handbook on the Economics of Copyright
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Handbook on the Economics of Copyright

A Guide for Students and Teachers

Edited by Richard Watt

Featuring expert contributors from around the world, this book offers insight into the vital theoretical and practical aspects of the economics of copyright. Topics discussed include fair use, performers’ rights, copyright and trade, online music streaming, internet piracy, copyright and visual art markets, and open source publishing. In addition to in-depth coverage of these timely topics, the authors also offer insightful predictions and policy recommendations for the future.
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Chapter 8: Economics of performers’ rights

Ruth Towse


Performers’ rights fall under the general heading of intellectual property rights, belonging to the group of neighbouring rights or rights related to copyright, according to which performers’ consent has to be obtained for the exploitation of their performances in both ‘live’ and recorded form. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) states: ‘“performers” are actors, singers, musicians, dancers, and other persons who act, sing, deliver, declaim, play in, interpret, or otherwise perform literary or artistic works or expressions of folklore’. Performers’ rights have developed alongside the technologies for recording performances in such a way that they could be copied. Since 1961, the Rome Convention has provided the international standard for performers’ rights as the right of the performers to prevent the broadcast or communication to the public of their performance, the fixation (recording) of their performance and the reproduction of a recording of their performance. Both the visual and aural components of a performance are protected. Where there is ‘secondary use’ of a performance a broadcast or communication to the public of a published recording of the performance, for example, a sound recording played on the radio, performers have the right of remuneration, enabling them to claim equitable remuneration from the owner of the recording right. Other rights that provide for equitable remuneration for performers and require collective management are the rental and lending rights that were introduced in Europe in 1992 via EC Directive.

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