» Jean-Michel Jarre et Deeyah Khan attended a panel entitled “Fairly remunerating creators in the digital enviro...
28.06.2017 - Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors

Jean-Michel Jarre et Deeyah Khan attended a panel entitled “Fairly remunerating creators in the digital environment. The challenges of the transfer of value”

© Aurélien Mahot

Jean-Michel Jarre and Deeyah Khan attended a panel on the 12th June 2017 at UNESCO Headquarters entitled: “Fairly remunerating creators in the digital environment. The challenges of the transfer of value”, in the context of the ‘Conference of Parties to the 2005 convention on the Protection and Promotion of Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

This panel was organized in cooperation with the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) of which Jean-Michel Jarre is the president. The talks focused on challenges that cultural and creative industry faces in the digital economy and the obligation of strengthening the legislation to resolve these issues.

During her introduction speech, Mechtild Rossler, Director of Heritage Division and of the World Heritage Centre, recalled, on behalf of Director General Ms Irina Bokova how these discussions are vital to show that behind concepts and figures there are words and personal stories. She also remembered a Jean-Michel Jarre’s quote: “We should never forget that in the smartphone, the smart part is us creators. If you get rid of music, images, videos, words and literature from the smartphone, you just have a simple phone that would be worth $50.” Through this demonstration, Jean-Michel Jarre wished to show how revenues collected by creators was derisory compared to technological companies.

Jean-Michel opened his statement by recalling to the conference’s moderator, Ziad Maalouf, a journalist at Radio France Internationale, that in a world always more linked to digital, medias and artists was as much concerned by copyrights. Then, he highlighted the existing contradiction between creative industries, which represent an unprecedented economic weight whereas artist’s payment has never been lower. According to him, even if the digital revolution has been good for creators, the real beneficiaries are the technology companies. It is necessary to review the income sharing from culture to “recognize the value of creation” and thus, protect creators from the current fundamental market failure.

Jean-Michel Jarre called upon the public authorities to act to “address the transfer of values in favour of creators and foster cultural diversity by enabling authors and compositors to raise their living standard in an era where streaming is the key of their revenues.” After having recalled that “it is part of the Europe’s DNA to take care of their creators”, Jean-Michel Jarre welcomed a recent European Commission’s copyright proposal to adopt a first significant copyright law to all music services including video streaming platforms.

Finally, Jean-Michel Jarre submitted two ideas to solve these issues: endless copyrights and private copying.

Deeyah Khan agreed Jean Michel Jarre on the issue of digital considering that art isn’t deemed worthy: “artists risks are being taken for granted whereas in no other profession would you be expected to work for free”. She also regrets that numbers of young artists are obliged to seek financing methods other than art to live: “we cannot cut off the legs of our artists before they have even started". Thus, stakeholders must find the right solutions to restore to artists their fair value “Not just in its economic sense, but in its role and importance in our lives."

Finally, she insisted on the imbalance between those who create and those who broadcast and generate wealth.

In accordance with the messages conveyed during this conference, UNESCO adopted on 15 June 2017 a set of guidelines to help countries ensure that artists and producers benefit fully and fairly from digital opportunities during the stages of creation, production and distribution. Find out more about this text.

Deeyah Khan is UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador with the mission of promoting art as a universal language and force for development, dialogue and social cohesion; contributing to build more just and free societies.

Jean-Michel Jarre is UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador with the mission of promoting tolerance and the defense of environment and cultural heritage.

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