Next time you watch a film, look at the long list of credits at the end. This will give you an idea of the mammoth army of people involved in making it: from actors to extras; musicians to make-up artists; stunt doubles to set designers; grips to gaffers.
South Africa and other countries are currently considering proposals to convert from a “fair dealing” to a “fair use” user rights system. Some critics of the change fill their arguments with hyperbole without describing the facts about what is really at stake. This note attempts to dispel some common myths about fair use by describing what fair use is, and what is not.
Following sustained representations from SAGA, our Legal Chair’s efforts have, at last, elicited a clear directive from SARS regarding the source-code to be reflected on actors’ IRP5 certificates. This effectively puts cash back into performers’ pockets each year! To understand the significance of this document, let’s return to first principles: As freelancers, actors are taxed …
The notion of Financial Planning has many of us freelancers burying our heads in the sand. And for good reason; our income is erratic at best and our job security is nonexistent. As independent contractors we enjoy none of those safety-nets afforded the regular nine-to-fivers: pension fund; paid leave, including sick-leave; unemployment insurance; medical aid and access to workman’s compensation and, for those fortunate enough in these tough economic times, an annual bonus. No, we’re independent contractors, we’re free agents.
Freedom! Wouldn’t that be nice? In truth, many of us freelancers feel shackled by our financial obligations and our unpredictable flow of income. We live hand-to-mouth with the ever present feeling that we’re failing, we’re being exploited, that we should be earning more. How much more? Well … enough. And how much is that? How much is “enough”? That is a difficult question to answer, unless one embraces the full implications of the term “free agent”. Let’s face it; freedom is meaningless without agency, without the capacity for us, as individuals, to make choices.