CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, has called for global government support for the creative community in light of the coronavirus.
CISAC is the largest creative network in the world, with over 230 member societies representing four million working creators.
In an open letter, the president and vice presidents of CISAC wrote: ‘The coronavirus crisis is posing an unprecedented threat, on a global scale, to a generation of people who make a living and a profession as creators. We write today as the President and Vice Presidents of CISAC, and as artists from different regions of the world, to call for action by governments on a global scale to help creators survive the current crisis and eventually help lead it to recovery.
They continued: ‘Creators of music, audiovisual works, visual arts, drama and literature are the backbone of national cultures and of economies. Even now, it is their creative works which are everywhere helping and connecting millions of people who are having to endure a life of quarantine.
‘But creators are in a uniquely fragile position. The large majority of them are self-employed and dependent on royalties paid by authors societies. Today, and in the coming weeks and months, creators will be among the worst affected by the crisis.
‘Authors societies are doing their best, maintaining royalty distributions and using emergency social funds where possible. However, CISAC members from across the world, are reporting a collapse of cultural and entertainment activity, affecting concerts, festivals, exhibitions and all the main platforms where creative works are used.
‘Creators are by nature self-motivated entrepreneurs and will be an enormously positive force in helping drive the economic recovery in the future. But they urgently need rescue measures now, and only the lever of government policy will have the impact required.
‘Several governments, such as France, have acted, for example with emergency funding for creative sectors; others such as Argentina, Chile and Peru, have already identified protection for the creators (for example via tax and social security concessions and emergency payments) as a priority.
‘It is imperative that governments in all countries act for creators now and ensure the highest level of support possible.’
Last week, the UK music industry and charity leaders issued a joint plea to the Chancellor, warning the government that the music industry faces ‘an existential battle for survival’ in the wake of the coronavirus.
They emphasised the urgency of drawing up measures to support the crisis-hit sector, stressing that the welfare system is not devised for such an exceptional situation. Read more.