New Chilean Law Would Make it Harder for Authors to Freely Share Audiovisual Works

In May we learned that Chile’s Chamber of Deputies approved an amendment to a bill that would create a new, unwaivable right of remuneration for authors of audiovisual works. The law would apply to all audiovisual works, even those published under open licenses. This would mean that audio and video creators are supposed to be compensated even if they do not wish to receive royalties. Creative Commons and CC Chile are concerned that the bill could create unnecessary complexity for authors who want to share their works under CC licenses.

Of course authors should be able to be paid for their work. But with over 1 billion CC licensed works on the web, we also know that many authors simply want to share their creativity freely under open terms to benefit the public. For example, educators and scholarly researchers create and share works primarily to advance education and to contribute to their field of study—not necessarily for financial remuneration.

All CC licensors permit their works to used for at least non-commercial purposes. When an author applies a Creative Commons licenses to her work, she grants to the public a worldwide, royalty-free license to use the work under certain terms. The license text specifically states, “To the extent possible, the Licensor waives any right to collect royalties from You for the exercise of the Licensed Rights, whether directly or through a collecting society under any voluntary or waivable statutory or compulsory licensing scheme. In all other cases the Licensor expressly reserves any right to collect such royalties.”

Creative Commons and CC Chile sent a letter [English] [Spanish] to the Senate Education and Culture Committee stating our opposition to the legislation. We respectfully requested that the Senate vote against the bill, or offer an amendment so that authors may continue to share audiovisual works under Creative Commons licenses without imposing an additional burden such as having to agree to an unwaivable right for remuneration.

The bill is moving through the senate committee, and you can take action now to tell Chilean lawmakers to keep open licensing options for video creators.