Relationship Between Collective Management Organisations

By George Robert Asewe Dj Probert Founder & CEO The Music Advocate Africa

In this eighth part of our 13 part series, we discuss the relationship between Collective Management Organisations in Kenya. We discuss how CMOs cooperate across borders and why Kenya needs a CMO legal framework that will enable foreign CMOs to enter representation agreements with Kenyan CMOs.

CMOs cooperate across borders on the basis of Representation Agreements. A fundamental requirement of such a Representation Agreement is that a CMO treats the Members of an overseas CMO on a non-discriminatory basis. CMOs should provide each other with all information which may be of assistance in executing their mandate.

  • CMOs should be governed by Representation Agreements.
  • A CMO should provide information to the other CMO that is complete, consistent, clear, and easy to understand.
  • A CMO should provide the other CMO with the most recent Annual Report and other relevant information including data-management information.
  • A CMO should distribute remuneration received to the other CMO efficiently, diligently, and expeditiously.
  • A CMO should inform the other CMO about its deduction policies, and any changes thereto.
  • A CMO should, upon request, make available to the other CMO accurate and up to date documentation relating to its Repertoire, the rights which it is mandated to administer in respect of such Repertoire and the territory in which it is mandated to administer in respect of its Repertoire.

Legislative Proposals

We believe Kenya must step up its game and become an active participant in CISAC related activities. Kenyan CMOs must align to global standards and practices governing music, film, visual arts, theater, books & images in foreign markets.

All World Intellectual Property Organisation Member states have an international obligation to treat the works of all foreign nationals equal to that of their citizens. This is the only way we build respectful international relations with foreign music markets. African artists are equally entitled to similar treatment abroad.

Introduction to CISAC

It is important to note that CISAC– the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – is the world’s leading network of authors’ societies.

With 228 member societies in 120 countries, CISAC represents more than 4 million creators from all geographic areas and all artistic repertoires: music, audiovisual, drama, literature, and visual arts.

 
CISAC protects the rights and promotes the interests of creators worldwide. They enable collective management organizations to seamlessly represent creators across the globe and ensure that royalties flow to authors for the use of their works anywhere in the world.


Founded in 1926, CISAC is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization with headquarters in France and regional offices in Africa, South America (Chile), Asia-Pacific (China) and Europe (Hungary).

CISAC provides that “Each Member shall keep accurate and up to date documentation relating to the scope of:

a. its repertoire.

b. the rights which it is mandated to administer in respect of such repertoire; and

c. the territory in which it is mandated to administer in respect of such repertoire.”

“In each Calendar Year, each member is mandated to make available to each Sister Society an annual report in respect of the fiscal year which immediately precedes such Calendar Year.”

CISAC demands that “Each Member shall:

a. base its distributions on actual usage of Works or, if not practicable, on the basis of a statistically valid sample of actual usage of Works.

b. apply the same level of diligence and fairness to all distributions, including, but not limited to, the frequency of distributions, irrespective of whether such distributions are being made to its Affiliates or to its Sister Society.”

Video explaining how CISAC works. Copyright property of CISAC

How Other Countries Have Dealt With These Proposals

CHINA

In China for example, Regulations on Copyright Collective Administration provides that “A foreigner or stateless person may, through a like overseas organization that has concluded a reciprocal representation agreement with a Chinese copyright collective management organization, authorize the Chinese organization to administer copyright or rights related to copyright which he enjoys in the territory of China according to law. “

The term “reciprocal representation agreement” in the preceding paragraph means an agreement in which a Chinese copyright collective administration organization and a like overseas organization mutually authorize the other party to carry out activities of copyright collective administration in the country or region to which the other party belongs.

A copy of reciprocal representation agreements concluded between a Chinese copyright collective administration organization and a like overseas organization shall be submitted to the copyright administration department of the State Council for the record and be published by such department. 

COLOMBIA

In Colombia Articles 13 and 14 of their Law no. 44 of 1993 provides that CMOs have the responsibility to enter into agreements with foreign collective administration societies operating in the same area of activity or management”

“Foreign members whose rights are administered by a society for the collective administration of copyright and neighboring rights, either directly or on the basis of agreements with foreign counterpart societies for the collective administration of copyright and related rights responsible for the direct representation of those members, shall be given the same treatment as members who are nationals of the country or have their usual residence there and are members of the collective administration society or are represented by it.”

GERMANY

In Germany, the law provides for Representation agreements & prohibition of discrimination. Where a collecting society mandates another collecting society with managing the rights it manages (representation agreement), the mandated collecting society may not discriminate against the rightsholders whose rights it manages under the representation agreement.

Section 44, German Collecting Societies Act, 2017 in regard to Deductions provides that the mandated collecting society may make deductions from the revenue from rights it manages under a representation agreement other than in respect of management fees only where the mandating collecting society has explicitly consented thereto.”

NIGERIA

In Nigeria, Article 18(1), CMO Regulations, 2007 provides that the following conduct or practices by Collective Management Organization shall be deemed to be unethical:

1. Inducing a user who is in the process of negotiating for a license with another society or right owner to refrain from completing the licensing process.

2. Failing to make available to any other Collective Management Organization information which is reasonably required by such other Collective Management Organization to enable it effectively to administer the rights held by it.

Such information may include but not limited to: information regarding the repertoire of an author who has assigned works to both Collective Management Organization ; Information held by a Collective Management Organization that may assist the requesting Collective Management in the computation and equitable distribution of royalties; and information on the existing reciprocal representation agreement if any of a Collective Management Organization.”

Sign our Petition Seeking to Reform Collective Management of Rights here

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