The Statute of the artist, a happy event | Culture

The Statute of the artist, a happy event | Culture

The approval, in the last Council of Ministers of 2018, of the Royal Decree by which actions are carried out that develop the Report approved by the Congress of Deputies on the Statute of the Artist It is an event. The Decree has led to the completion of part of the 75 measures proposed in the document approved by the Chamber last September and a first step to make it a reality in the near future.

Along with the approval of measures such as the reduction of VAT to the services provided by authors and creators to producers and entrepreneurs from 21% to 10%, the reduction in four percentage points in the withholding of Personal Income Tax on income from movable capital from the intellectual property when the taxpayer is not the author, the inclusion of the artists in the Social Security in their periods of inactivity, and the protection of the pregnant or lactating cultural worker, who will have application in a short term, contemplates the satisfaction of the demand of greater mediatic repercussion of the world of the culture, especially of the writers and, in general, of the authors owners of rights. It is about the recognition of compatibility between the retirement pension and the returns derived from intellectual property (essentially, copyright). Although the Royal Decree provides for its implementation through a regulation to be approved within a maximum period of six months, it is foreseeable that, given the situation experienced by sanctioned authors, such regulation will be drawn up and approved in a shorter period of time.

Intellectual property must be considered as a heritage asset. Your treatment must be of an extreme uniqueness

From that moment, Article 213 of the General Law of Social Security will regulate the "compatibility of the retirement pension with the activities of those professionals dedicated to artistic creation who receive intellectual property rights for this activity" and would be resolved, in essence, the problem: create after retirement and would not collide with the legal status of pensioner (many of the retired writers are for having quoted in professions not directly literary: officials, teachers, administrative employees …), with what we would equate to the most advanced countries of the European Union in this area (France, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Italy, Portugal among them) and Spanish society would not be deprived of the contribution of numerous authors in a stage in life in which the mix of experience and time available can offer the best fruits of the intellectual creation to a modern and democratic society like the Spain of the 21st century. It seems obvious that the same treatment will be applied (as clearly stated in the Report of the Statute of the Artist) to disability pensions and other public benefits, something that must be clarified in the coming months.

An unfortunate chapter

This would close an unfortunate chapter of our recent history that began in the summer of 2015, based on complaints from a group of authors from different disciplines after the Social Security Inspection informed that they were going to be punished (they were sanctioned). ) with the return of several years of pension and with the suspension of the collection of the same, apart from other penalties; a chapter that has had an essential ingredient: the solidarity of the world of culture and the collective response, organized by the different entities of the sector, starting with the Association of Writers, which was concretized in the Plataforma Crear Creando and in the development of an intense and sustained campaign in defense of the authors and in demand of full compatibility

70 years after the death of its author, all work goes into public domain, something that does not happen with any other property and that should be stressed to avoid misunderstandings

All the political forces, the Ombudsman, the president of the Congress of Deputies, the Culture Committee of the full congress, senior officials of the previous and current government, unions and other sectors linked to the world of culture lent their support to the demand of the authors and to continue creating to the point of constituting the Subcommission for the Statute of the Artist that prepared the report that was approved by the Congress of Deputies and that has served as the basis for the Decree. Although the latter foresees that the compatibility go coupled with a "solidarity contribution of 8% of the income", the qualitative leap given in relation to the previous and current situation is more than remarkable. In this regard, it should be noted that intellectual property must be considered as a heritage asset. That its treatment must be of an extreme uniqueness, similar to that of real estate or real estate income, with a fundamental difference: 70 years after the death of its author, every work becomes public domain, is "returned to society" , something that does not happen with any other property and that should be stressed to avoid misunderstandings.

It has been a difficult and complicated process that has materialized thanks to organized culture, in which the value of professional organizations has been highlighted when they place the defense of the rights of creators at the center of their concerns. Without ACE, and without VEGAP, without CEDRO, without SGAE, without JAM, without FEMA, without ALMA and without the rest of the entities integrated in the Plataforma Seguir Creating nothing of what the Royal Decree would have been possible. The affected authors would have battled individually with very little chance that their claims would be met. These first steps of the Statute show the enormous importance of the author organization. Without authors there is no culture and no culture a society is democratically more fragile and more permeable to the threats of irrationality and authoritarianism.

Without authors there is no culture and no culture a society is democratically more fragile and more permeable to the threats of irrationality and authoritarianism

It is evident that creation is a radically individual process. That is even clearer in the case of writers and translators. That individualism (the author is just a pencil and a paper or a computer to create) conditions, even hinders the collective response to the problems that the writer (the author) affect. But the lesson that can be drawn from these three long years of mobilization is twofold: the need to reinforce the associationism of cultural professionals, and the certainty that there is no objective, however essential it may be considered, that is achieved without its performance sustained and rigorous.

While the regulatory development of the compatibility arrives, it is necessary that the government adopt measures that suppose the immediate suspension of the sanctions. It would be a contradiction if they were maintained at the same time that all the political forces and the government of the Nation propose to modify in depth the legality on which they were based. Today we are closer to the central objective of Keep Creating. It is necessary to pay attention to the next steps of the Executive. Gratitude and recognition of their initiative can not exclude the essential doses of demand towards the commitments made.


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