On June 26, the United States joined 47 other countries in signing a treaty to strengthen the rights of audiovisual performers around the world, such as actor Larry Hagman (seen here, reprising his iconic role as ruthless oil baron J.R. Ewing in the hit television series Dallas — and posing in front of Southfork Ranch, family home of the fictional Ewing clan).
The Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, adopted at a conference convened by World Intellectual Property Organization members, fills a gap in the system of international copyright protection by extending to actors in motion pictures, television programs and digital media the protections against bootleg copying of their work previously accorded to authors and to performers in sound recordings.
White House blogger Quentin Palfrey said the U.S. delegation played a leading role in negotiating the treaty and praised the pact as “a big step forward in protecting the rights of film and television actors” worldwide. The treaty “will help safeguard the rights of performers against the unauthorized use of their performances in television, film and video,” he wrote.
The U.S. Department of State also hailed the treaty, adding that “the U.S. audiovisual performances industry employs more than 150,000 professional actors and is a source of strength for American exports.”
One of those exports is the 2012 revival of Dallas, which originally aired from 1978 to 1991. Viewers worldwide can tune in to see J.R. Ewing feud with his family, hatch business schemes and gleefully outmaneuver his rivals, Texas style.