Author societies – social and cultural partners to European creators

Last year, 17 author societies from 14 European Union countries alone spent three times the European Union culture budget on cultural and social initiatives. Without their support, European culture would be less vibrant, and Europe’s creators less secure.

Sometimes, author societies talk too much about their role as rights managers (tracking and re-distributing funds that are owed to their members) and not enough about their broader work as cultural and social partners to European creators – their members – everywhere.

Today, we’ll set that record straight.

Most author societies – with the consent of their members – have voluntarily expanded their role to include various activities that protect the social welfare of their members and promote cultural activities where they are based.

Social protection for Europe’s creators

The life of creators can be unpredictable: irregular working hours and pay can leave them in dire straits when times get tough. Author societies mitigate this insecurity by providing a safety net – financial aid, pension funds and even psychological guidance, for example.

Promoting creativity

The support author societies provide to cultural initiatives across Europe keep talent alive.  Nurturing young stars, providing training, investing in alternative creators or art forms and encouraging the renewal of minority interest repertoires: these are just some of the ways author societies support their members.

  • PRS for Music Foundation – an independent charitable foundation created by PRS for Music – receives £1.5million each year from this author society to invest in outstanding talent in the UK.
  • The Dutch author society Buma/Stemra supported the marketing campaign for Caro Emerald, the internationally popular singer, and supports the European Commission’s annual European Border Breaker Awards.
  • Alongside other author societies, ZAiKS strives to raise awareness of the importance of copyright – including through the ‘Open Day for Copyright’.


Unless they are a legal obligation, cultural and social activities are always undertaken with the agreement of all members. Together, they decide that a percentage of the money that the society collects on their behalf be invested into broader causes in the society’s community. In some instances activities are funded by private copying levies.

The amount each author society allocates is up to them. LIRA spends nearly 9% of its total revenues on social and cultural causes; TEOSTO spends 6.7% on cultural support alone and AKM 5.6% on social activities.

Social and cultural activities are crucial to the social and cultural fabric of Europe – and an integral part of author societies’ work.