Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Arts Cuts #2 - Industry Bodies

When the government threatens cuts, the frightening thing is that there's immediate, reactive action all around the industry. The official figures - be they 25% or 40% - are bad but they give rise to a defensive, hoarding mentality across the board, from employers to clients.

Jessica Duchen has blogged, reactively but with justification, on the Royal Opera's move to wrest copyright from its performers. Those of us on the ground are contending with an increasing complacency with regard to the capture and distribution of audio-visual recording of performances; no-one bothers to ask permission to video record any more (though it's illegal not to) and pro-consumer articles fuelling a general ignorance of the situation are unhelpful.

In the first instance I would like to see bodies such as Equity, The Incorporated Society of Musicians, The PRS and the Musicians Union raise awareness both within the industry, government and private sponsorship (read 'investment'!) as to their role and how they can mediate between a seriously diminishing pot of public money and the value, needs and rights of artists.

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