SPAutores celebrates 90 year existence, takes strong stance against transfer of value

This year, Portuguese authors’ society and GESAC member SPAutores celebrates its 90th anniversary. It is taking this opportunity to point out the benefits of collective management, but also the threats faced by creators online.

Celebrating the longevity and adaptability of a proven model—collective rights management—SPAutores had its annual Authors’ Day Ceremony in the presence of the President of the Republic of Portugal, Mr Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. The President took the opportunity to announce that he would grant the authors’ society the Order of Liberty for its work in the defense of culture and authors.

SPAutores does not take this task lightly and has been actively advocating for a better sharing of value online for creators. It published the book “Author’s Rights—What Future in the Digital Age?” together with Guerra e Paz, which presents testimonies by some of Portugal’s leading experts on authors’ right. Moreover, Mr José Jorge Letria, President and CEO of SPAutores, GESAC board member, and renowned author himself, recently called on the European Commission to tackle the issue of the transfer of value taking place from creators to a number of online platforms.

In an article published in Portugal’s leading daily newspaper Público, Mr Letria underlined that “The Internet must be fair to those who create culture and art; otherwise, it will be creating a wealth it does not own. To that end, the European Commission can’t turn away from a problem that is not compatible with the usual ambiguities in its institutional behavior when it comes to managing and creating a balance between national and sectorial interests. Jean-Claude Juncker, who sets budget deficit targets to penalize those who do not deserve to be punished, should be aware of the situation and of the correct way of dealing with it.” (read full article in English here).

Mr Letria also called on authors to join the effort by signing a letter addressed to the President of the European Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker that has already gathered over 4000 signatures from the likes of Pedro Almodovar, Albert Uderzo, Ennio Morricone, and many more. The letter (in Portuguese among other languages) can be signed here.

Finally, showing undeniable ambition in promoting the benefits of collective rights management, SPAutores, together with the University of Lisbon, will organize a post graduate course, covering many aspects of author’s right and collective management in Portuguese speaking countries (read brochure here, and send in your candidacy before 30 September).