Conference of the CISAC European Committee: the second day

On the morning of April 6, 2017, the Сonference of the European Committee of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers of CISAC continued its work. Participants of the Сonference made presentations on topical issues in the field of copyright protection.

Deputy Director of the SFP-ZAPA (Poland) Sylvia Biadun drew attention to the subjective right to remuneration, which originates from the European Community Directive of November 19, 1992 “On the Rights of Rental and Use, as well as a number of other rights related to copyright, in the field of intellectual property”. Sylvia Biadun spoke about the differences in the management of rights to works in different countries of Europe. So, in Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Great Britain and some other countries there is an incomplete list of rights to remuneration for public reproduction of works. For example, in Poland, the right to such remuneration does not cover the Internet. In this regard, amendments to the law are brought to the European Parliament, according to which the right to remuneration will be inalienable and subjective: it is necessary to eliminate the injustice in cases, where by concluding contracts with producers, the authors lose their remuneration, although they should not lose these rights. Sylvia urged all CISAC members to support this resolution.

Director of the AKM company(Austria) Gerno Graninge noted in his report the social significance of the work of copyright societies. In Austria, AKM has the largest amount of fees, and AKM uses the funds collected to finance and promote new projects. One of the projects sponsored by AKM, teaching law students of the University the basics of copyright and related rights. At the same time in Austria there is a problem of collecting royalties when using digital devices — as of now, it is not completely possible to resolve the situation in favor of the authors. It even came to a demonstration of creative workers, the participants of which chanted the “Where is our money?” slogan.

Answering the question about the system for making decisions on the targeted use of funds in AKM, the speaker said: “The decisions are made by the Council, the decision-making procedure and reports on the use of funds are transparent. Anyone can get acquainted with the materials “. In Austria, the collected remuneration is distributed approximately in this manner: 50% is distributed among rightholders, and 50% is directed to social and cultural projects.

CISAC Director on business rules and standards, Sylvain Piat paid special attention to the exchange of information between societies in the discussion of the results of the work of the CISAC working group. In his report, he said that this issue should take into account a large number of legal aspects, as well as the fact that the CISAC will optimize information on repertory licensing in the near future. Societies that have depositaries – repositories of such information – will have an advantage. Sylvain Piat noted that it is necessary to draw up a register of depositories, and to include information from these registers in the license agreements. It is also necessary to create and merge online storages, where information on copyrights, license agreements is contained. The second part of Sylvain Piat’s report was devoted to the revision of the CISAC work model. It was stressed that at the moment the CISAC is reforming, discussions of this process have been going on for two years already.

The first stage of the CISAC management reform will take place in three phases:

1. Assessment of the society development level.

2. Correction of applied business models.

3. Identification of key areas for which it is necessary to support the members of the Confederation – including in the improvement of the remuneration distribution system.

The second stage is the so-called “intervention”, i.e. visiting societies in which it is necessary to conduct audits, exercise control over their activities. Quarterly reports are also provided for to be presented to the CISAC.

The report outlined the types of support for members of the Confederation:

– legal support, assistance in developing a legal framework, including taking into account the political situation in the country;

– assistance in the implementation of good governance;

– identification of promising areas in which return on investment can be expected.

In several new regions, such as the Pacific region, Asia, Africa, Latin America, it is proposed to start working with only one society. It should be borne in mind that not everyone wishing to become a member of the CISAC can meet the Confederation’s criteria. It was decided to establish a contractual relationship with these societies, and they will be able to participate in the work of the committees, but not to receive some advantages obtained by the full-fledged CISAC members. The special importance of strict compliance with the CISAC rules was noted. This and the timely payment of membership fees, absolute transparency in terms of costs and revenues. Any delays in payment for several years are unacceptable – there are participants who have been in debt for five or six years, and many do not provide the necessary information. All this is unacceptable, and the CISAC will impose sanctions for violators.

At the end of the conference, Chairman of the CISAC European Commission, Jose Jorge Letria said that the event held in Moscow was held at a high level and proved to be very useful. On behalf of all the participants, he thanked the leadership of the Russian Authors’ Society for the wonderful organization of the meeting. Mr. Letria specifically noted that the importance of cooperation between CISAC and RAO increased significantly in 2017.

In conclusion, he stressed that the CISAC provides a comfortable creative environment for its members that must be preserved despite the new challenges. The events taking place in the political world, including the withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union, general instability, regional conflicts should not interfere with the dialogue and the continuation of effective work for the benefit of the creation and development of culture.