Authors’ societies and collective management
What are authors’ societies?
Authors’ societies are founded and run by their members: authors. By organising into collective management entities, authors can negotiate fair pay and give platforms/users* the tools to offer their consumers or the public at large the widest possible access to creative content.
‘Authors’ is an umbrella term for the creators of any type of original work, be it a musical composition, a sculpture, a screenplay or choreography, among many others. Many European countries title the protection they provide for literary and artistic works as ‘authors’ right’ (e.g. droit d’auteur, Urheberrecht, diritto d’autore, autersrecht).
Collective management enables creators to negotiate fair terms and to administer their rights effectively and cheaply. It also provides the rights users with legal certainty for the use of large repertoires from a single source, hence facilitating broader access to creative works for all.
We believe that creators, like everyone else, should be paid fairly for their work, while the public should be able to enjoy a variety of services that provide creative works. The best way to ensure this can happen is through collective management.
5 benefits of authors’ societies
1. Individual authors are empowered through collective negotiation
- Creators and rightsholders allow authors’ societies to grant licences to users on their behalf. In turn, the societies include them in the collective effort to negotiate the best conditions for the use of their works, which would otherwise not be possible for individual authors vis-à-vis the thousands of big and small commercial or institutional users at national level and even more of them at European or global level.
2. Streamlined rights clearance and legal certainty for users
- Plethora of users in our daily life use music, visual arts or other types of creative works as the main purpose of their business or to enrich their services, from online music services to bars and restaurants, from VoD services to TVs and radios, or shops, hotels, festivals, etc. Moreover, educational institutions, cultural heritage organisations, public entities, as well as many other public interest institutions use creative works as art of their public service. They all need the legal certainty and easy rights clearance for the use of creative works in their daily work, knowing that they are also rewarding the creative efforts of the authors whose works make their businesses more valuable.
3. Broader access to creative works for everyone, everywhere
- Easy rights clearance with fair remuneration to creators also enable all services to offer their consumers ot the public at large access to any creative works wherever and whenever they want.
4. Ensuring independence of creators
- Authors’ societies enable creators to manage their rights without being coerced by big media conglomerates or giant tech platforms. Entrusting part of their right to their societies authors are empowered to make the best professional decision on their partners in the sector knowing that the money collected by societies is paid back to rightsholders in direct proportion with the use made of their work all the time. To stay at the top of the service to their members authors’ societies provide a high level of transparency in their operations and invest in state-of-the-art technologies that enable a quick, accurate and secure way to manage the rights information.
5. Talent and cultural diversity is nurtured through dedicated funds
- Some authors’ societies provide pensions and financial help for creators facing difficulties while all promote cultural diversity and the development of new generations of creators through the financing of cultural activities.
*Users refers to any platform, business, institution, or organisation that requires a licence for its use of creative works protected by authors’ right/copyright laws.