Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

CRA/ADC takes a stand on the draft Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Creators' Rights Alliance/Alliance pour les droits des créateurs du Canada (CRA/ADC) – juin 2005 – 2005/06

Sharing the opinion of the Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity (CDC-CCD), which is delighted with the productive conclusion of UNESCO negotiations “in spite of strong opposition from the government of the United States” and satisfied with the entire draft Convention despite “certain shortfalls,” the Creator’s Rights Alliance (CRA) declares that “the draft convention adopted in June certainly constitutes a major advance for the right of states to define cultural policies that will permit them to promote cultural diversity within their own countries.” Unfortunately, the CRA underlines that “the same cannot be said for the consideration of the rights of individual creators.”

In this, the CRA recalls that “The draft Convention for the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions released in July 2004 recognized the essential role of individual artists in the development of cultural goods and services, and consequently affirmed the necessity of guaranteeing them appropriate intellectual property rights. It also stipulated that the states that would eventually ratify the convention must, in their own territory, offer all individuals the possibility of creating, producing, and distributing their expressions, which is to say their cultural goods and services. It also affirmed that states that are party to the agreement must ensure that the legal status of creators is fully recognized. These provisions do not figure in the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression, having been watered down or completely removed.”

Then, the CRA concluded that “creators have obviously lost a rare opportunity to reinforce their status in the context of an international convention creating obligations from signatory countries. This at a time when, in Canada for example, creators see their rights being increasingly eroded in favor of the users of their works who, in judgment after judgment from the Supreme Court of Canada, and reform after reform of the Copyright Act of Canada, are given ever more extensive rights. This is also happening in a context where it is increasingly clear that the Status of the Artist laws in place in Canada as well as Quebec are failing to adequately protect artists working in theater, the visual arts, and crafts as well as in literature." [05-23]