CISAC to improve the Professional Rules governing authors’ societies worldwide

At its recent General Assembly in Dublin, CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers) unanimously decided to launch a thorough review of its Professional Rules governing authors’ societies worldwide.

The review’s objective is to further strengthen CISAC’s Professional Rules, guaranteeing that authors’ societies continue to operate under the highest and most appropriate standards of governance, business efficiency and financial transparency. The revisions will be presented for approval at the next CISAC General Assembly in Washington DC in June 2013.

Key improvements to be covered by the review of CISAC Professional Rules are:

 Increasing the frequency of distribution of royalties to creators and rights holders. As a first major step in that direction, CISAC General Assembly adopted in June 2012 the principle of a quarterly distribution of royalties between authors’ societies.

 Ensuring better financial transparency through a reinforced and harmonised yearly declaration of societies to CISAC.

 Streamlining the compliance verification process. In order to guarantee that authors’ societies are trusted organisations within the creative sector, CISAC will improve its compliance verification process, while staged and escalating sanctions will be considered for societies which do not comply with CISAC Professional Rules.

“CISAC Professional Rules,” said CISAC Director General Olivier Hinnewinkel, “serve as a sort of code of conduct for authors’ societies internationally and contribute to establishing a fair system for everyone where creators get the benefit from their creations by getting paid for the use of their works – and where users have equal access to the worldwide repertoire.”

The Professional Rules are a binding code of governance, administrative, business, financial and data management principles, first laid down by CISAC in 2007 and adapted to each of the creative repertoires – music, audiovisual, dramatic, literary and visual arts. CISAC Professional Rules aim to streamline relations between authors’ societies, their members and users as well as to provide an assurance of the good governance, credibility, transparency, efficiency and legitimacy of authors’ societies that are members of CISAC.

After five years of implementation, CISAC decided it was time to revisit its Professional Rules in order to maintain high standards of governance and transparency in line with the interests of rights holders, users, governments and the general public, while taking into account the extreme diversity of situations among CISAC members.

About Authors’ societies and CISAC

Authors’ societies exist to ensure that creators’ rights are licensed, collected, managed and distributed fairly. They play a key role in licensing legitimate services and collecting and distributing royalties to creators and rightsholders worldwide. They also promote cultural diversity by facilitating worldwide access to cultural works.

Presided over by legendary singer and songwriter Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees (until his death on May 20, 2012) and internationally recognized visual artist Hervé di Rosa, CISAC – the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – is the leading worldwide network of authors’ societies protecting and promoting the interests of creators and rights holders. CISAC’s fundamental mission is to enable authors’ societies to seamlessly represent creators across the globe and, in particular, to assist them in ensuring that royalties flow to authors for the use of their works anywhere in the world. To this end, CISAC provides the highest business & technical standards to protect creators’ rights and to support the development of the international network of collective management societies.

With 233 authors’ societies from 122 countries as its members, CISAC indirectly represents around 3 million creators and publishers of artistic works in all genres (music, drama, literature, audiovisual, photography and the visual arts). In 2010, the royalties collected by CISAC’s member societies in their respective national territories topped 7.5bn EUR.

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