Authors’ societies and collective management

What are authors’ societies?


Authors’ societies are the link between creators and the services and platforms who spread their work throughout the world.

Creators and other rightsholders of artistic works entrust authors’ societies to grant licences on their behalf. The money generated by the use of this work, be it at a nightclub, an art gallery or on the internet, is paid back proportionally to the rightsholder. By collectively carrying out this otherwise logistically complex work, the cross-border distribution of royalties for millions of creators and billions of individual usages is both precise and efficient.


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, to name a few. Many European countries title the copyright protection they provide for literary and artistic works as ‘authors’ right’ (e.g. droit d’auteur, Urheberrecht, diritto d’autore, autersrecht).

200 years: read about how authors’ societies have adapted to changing times


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, and 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.


Read: five key benefits of authors’ societies & collective management


The video below is the result of a small-scale social media campaign highlighting some of the significant benefits of authors’ societies and the collective management model.