GESAC welcomes the EU Commission’s initiative to propose a directive on collective rights management societies

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European Authors Societies have a major role and constitute a real asset in the development of a European internal market for creative content to the mutual benefit of creators, users, consumers and society as a whole: more than 60% of the total rightholders’ remuneration collected in the world by authors societies is coming from the EU (4.6 billion euros), 86% of which from the music sector.

Authors Societies members of GESAC are actively and constantly working to achieve the highest standard of efficiency and transparency.

Véronique Desbrosses, GESAC General Manager saidAuthors’ societies are a critical link between creation and the digital economy. It is important that relationships with rightholders and users are based on confidence and harmonised high standards of transparency and efficiency are the way forward to achieve this. In many cases our own rules and practices are already fullfilling the standards of the draft Directive. We want to be trendsetters and are happy to contribute to grant to all european stakeholders the benefit of the most efficient collective administration system”.

Cross border management of rights for musical works in the digital environment, an issue which is on the agenda of the EU Commission for years, is of vital importance. There are today more than 300 online services in the EU offering more than 20 million tracks from different repertoires from the entire EU and the rest of the world which illustrates the vitality of the business. Early in 2010, EU digital market grew by 22% while the US was up by only 4%. In the first half of 2011, digital sales in Europe grew by a further 23 per cent — more than three times the global rate.

Authors Societies members of GESAC have largely contributed to such developments by providing access to online services of the musical works on which their activity is based.

GESAC welcomes the initiative from the Commission to establish a framework intended to facilitate the reaggregation of repertoires and to guaranty an appropriate level of efficiency in the licensing of musical rights.

Christophe Depreter, President of GESAC said “There is undoubtedly room for improvement in this field and greater legal certainty for authors’ societies to voluntarily aggregate as many rights as possible is key. Music industry is changing, CMSs are on a new track. Offering the largest possible repertoire to users while ensuring an effective protection of authors’ rights and a genuine cultural diversity is what we aim for”.

GESAC is ready to constructively cooperate with the EU institutions so as to improve the proposal where necessary to meet the needs and challenges of collective rights management in the global economy.
Background information on GESAC

The European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers (GESAC) represents 34 of the main copyright management societies (authors’ societies) in the European Union, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, administering the rights and remuneration of almost 700 000 authors, composers and writers in a variety of sectors (music, audiovisual, literary and visual and graphic arts) and music publishers. Behind authors’ societies are thus hundreds thousands of authors and composers who are members of these CMS and managing and controlling them.