Significance of Performer’s Rights in the Copyright Regime

This article delves into the critical role of performer's rights within the copyright regime. While copyright traditionally focuses on protecting the works of authors and creators, the significance of safeguarding performers' contributions cannot be overstated. This article explores the evolution of performer's rights, their legal standing, and the broader impact they have on the creative industry. By examining key aspects such as moral rights, economic interests, and international frameworks, the article sheds light on the importance of recognizing and upholding performer's rights in the contemporary copyright landscape.

Significance of Performer’s Rights in the Copyright Regime


In the intricate web of intellectual property rights, performers often find themselves in a unique position, contributing their talents to the creation of artistic works. However, historically, the focus of copyright protection has been on the works themselves rather than the individuals who bring them to life. This article aims to underscore the significance of performer's rights within the copyright regime, examining their evolution, legal implications, and the broader impact on the creative industry.

Evolution of Performer's Rights:

Traditionally, copyright protection centred on the rights of authors and creators, leaving performers in the background. However, recognizing the distinct contributions of performers, there has been a gradual evolution in legal frameworks to acknowledge and protect their rights. The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886) laid the groundwork by including provisions related to performers. Subsequent agreements, such as the Rome Convention (1961), specifically addressed the rights of performers, emphasising the need to protect their artistic contributions.

Legal Standing of Performer's Rights:

The legal standing of performer's rights varies across jurisdictions, but the fundamental principle remains consistent – performers deserve recognition and protection for their artistic endeavours. These rights often encompass moral rights and economic interests.

a. Moral Rights: Performers are granted the right to be identified as the author of their performance and, in some cases, to object to modifications that could damage their reputation. Moral rights ensure that performers have a say in how their contributions are presented to the public.

b. Economic Interests: Performers are entitled to a share of the economic benefits derived from the exploitation of their performances. This includes royalties from the commercial use of recordings, broadcasts, and other forms of dissemination.

Impact on the Creative Industry:

The acknowledgment of performer's rights has far-reaching implications for the creative industry. By recognizing and safeguarding the rights of performers, the industry fosters a culture of respect and fair compensation. This not only enhances the working conditions for performers but also contributes to the overall vibrancy and sustainability of the creative ecosystem.

Challenges and Controversies:

Despite the progress in acknowledging performer's rights, challenges and controversies persist. Issues such as the transfer of rights, duration of protection, and the scope of economic interests often lead to legal disputes. Striking a balance between the interests of performers, producers, and the public remains a complex endeavour, requiring nuanced legal frameworks.

International Frameworks and Harmonization:

Given the global nature of the creative industry, achieving harmonisation in the protection of performer's rights is crucial. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) sets minimum standards for the protection of intellectual property rights, including those of performers. Efforts to align national laws with international standards contribute to a more cohesive and equitable global framework.

The Digital Age and Performer's Rights:

In the digital age, where content can be disseminated instantaneously across borders, the protection of performer's rights faces new challenges. Issues such as unauthorised streaming, digital reproduction, and the proliferation of user-generated content platforms necessitate a reevaluation of legal frameworks to ensure performers receive fair compensation for the use of their works in the online realm.


In conclusion, recognizing the significance of performer's rights in the copyright regime is essential for fostering a thriving and equitable creative industry. The evolution of legal frameworks, encompassing moral rights and economic interests, reflects a growing acknowledgment of the contributions made by performers. As the creative landscape continues to evolve, addressing challenges and controversies surrounding performer's rights, and achieving international harmonisation becomes imperative. By doing so, we can ensure that performers receive the recognition and protection they deserve, contributing to a vibrant and sustainable creative ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders.