Update from Chair of the Industrial Relations Committee
Dear AGSC members,
The Labor Government is set to possibly introduce long overdue quotas for streaming services. The four Guilds (AGSC, SPA, AWG and ADG) have written a letter to the Ministers for the Arts, Communications, Industry and the Attorney-General voicing our concerns about the lack of commitment by the Australian Government to protect intellectual property. We are asking them to meet with us so we can educate them about our industry and the challenges we are facing in today’s media landscape. Most importantly, we want the protection of Australian intellectual property to be part of any proposed legislation for streaming services.
We strongly encourage everyone to write a letter, call or schedule a meeting with their local Member. We need to educate as many Members as we can about why this is important – to ensure sustainable careers in the arts. See the ‘Take Action” section below.
If you have any questions, please contact Brontë Horder (member of the AGSC’s Industrial Relations Committee) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AGSC Chair of the Industrial Relations Committee
1. Find your local Member via this website: https://electorate.aec.gov.au/
Search by locality, suburb or postcode to find your electorate. Click on your Federal electorate and you will see the Member listed.
2. Using the Member name, enter it in this search and it will list their contact information: https://www.aph.gov.au/senators_and_members/guidelines_for_contacting_senators_and_members
3. We also encourage you to write a letter to the Minister for the Arts Tony Burke – multiple composers requesting the same consideration for future legislation will have great impact. You can contact him via his website: https://www.tonyburke.com.au/contact
Antony Partos (Chair of the AGSC Industrial Relations Committee) has drafted a letter to his local MP and provided it as a template for others to use. See below:
Dear *insert Member name*,
My name is *insert name* and I am a screen composer living in your electorate.
The Labor Government is set to possibly introduce long overdue quotas for streaming services, in order to provide a sustainable film and TV industry.
Our various industry representative bodies have been lobbying for years for streaming services to reinvest 20% of their locally derived income back into making, buying and promoting Australian content. I am asking that you support legislating this quota.
I also want to bring to your attention that Australian intellectual property is currently under threat.
Screen music intellectual property revenue in Australia alone returns approximately $100 million to the Australian economy through the APRA AMCOS royalty distribution process per year. Historically screen composers have retained their IP (writer’s and publisher’s share), however this environment is radically changing due to the influence of overseas contracts and work cultures permeating the industry.
You will no doubt have heard about the actors and writers’ strike in the US. In Australia, we face a similar erosion of our rights since streaming services have begun operations here.
Screen composers, writers, directors and producers are all increasingly confronted with grossly unfair contracts by streaming platforms – often referring to US copyright law rather than Australian. This new style of contracts represent a radical change in business practice in the Australian screen industry. The result of these practices is an accelerating loss of rights to our creativity and culture.
Australian taxpayers provide significant investment of taxpayer dollars as incentives and tax rebates to ensure we have a competitive screen industry. Yet at the same time, there is currently no regulation to keep Australian generated IP from these Australian tax payer funded projects.
The Australian Film and TV industry needs protection and retention of Australian intellectual property, and it must be part of any proposed legislation for streaming services. If not, we risk intellectual property and the subsequent economic benefit being taken out of Australia and owned outright by multinational companies.
I would like to set up a meeting with you in order to discuss these matters in further detail.
I look forward to hearing from you.
*include your First & Last Name, Address & Mobile Number*