For the first time in South Africa, there is the possibility of a statutory mechanism that secures the economic content of the rights that performers are routinely required to transfer to the producer. Through the Copyright Amendment Bill we have a realistic hope of negotiating equitable contracts.
If you have useful advice or a perspective on acting and actors, why not tell us about it for consideration in our blog! Your insightful opinions will increase your profile in the industry. We will make sure you get all the credit. Views expressed on this blog are the responsibility of the individual correspondents and do not reflect the official position of SAGA, unless otherwise specified.
The Copyright Amendment Bill and the Performers Protection Amendment Bill ensure that actors will never again be forced to sign away all their rights. It is essential that this power imbalance is confronted and addressed through legislative reforms.
South Africa and other countries are currently considering proposals to convert from a “fair dealing” to a “fair use” user rights system. Some critics of the change fill their arguments with hyperbole without describing the facts about what is really at stake.
Through various channels, SAGA has been lobbying government and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to effect changes to the existing Performers Protection Act, which dates back to 1967 and which fails to protect the rights of actors in today’s environment.
The notion of Financial Planning has many of us freelancers burying our heads in the sand. And for good reason; our income is erratic at best and our job security is nonexistent. As independent contractors we enjoy none of those safety-nets afforded the regular nine-to-fivers: pension fund; paid leave, including sick-leave; unemployment insurance; medical aid and access to workman’s compensation and, for those fortunate enough in these tough economic times, an annual bonus. No, we’re independent contractors, we’re free agents.
The Copyright Amendment Bill and the Performers Protection Amendment Bill are drafted so that actors will never again be forced to sign away all their rights in exchange for a meagre daily performance fee. Never again will actors be mocked and told to ‘either take it or leave it’. The Bills stand for industry transformation and they have alrea
Being ‘between jobs’ has long been a euphemism for ‘unemployment’ but, is a freelance actor ever in fact ‘employed’? In, at any rate, even when an actor is working, he or she is not employed, but rather ‘contracted’. You see, actors are considered to be ‘Independent Contractors’: in other words, to be ‘self employed’. Aye, there’s the rub.
The South African Guild of Actors hosted a series of conferences in Johannesburg and Cape Town aimed at strengthening actors’ rights to decent working conditions and fair compensation.
“Has anyone had a call from the Taxman to say you owe him money?” An awkward murmur rumbles through the gathering, but no-one’s putting up their hand.
“Not?” Still, there are no volunteers.