I earn my living as a freelance composer, writing music primarily for television. My introduction to creators’ rights was fairly abrupt. I was working on a large, costume drama when the producer of the programme rang me at 10pm to say that his chief executive had told him that either I had to sign away my publishing rights in the music or he would supply the producer with a list of composers “who know how to make a sensible economic decision”. This is barefaced bullying, but something very difficult for an individual to deal with.
Moreover, I soon discovered that it was also not easy for my union or trade association to take vigorous action on my behalf. A composers’ strike? A laywrights’ walkout? A photographers’ blackout? Not very likely.
The CRA consists of various trades unions and member associations who have come together in the realization that they have both shared interests and problems representing their mainly freelance members into today’s media industries. This report has been created to document these abuses of power and
to attempt to help build a more level playing field where individuals with relatively little bargaining power are not continuously subject to the bullying behaviour of large media companies and corporations.
David Ferguson - CRA Chair