Follow The Tracks Collector:

You’ll see the Tracks Collector around the city over the next few days.

Most of musicians are no longer members of any royalties collection societies, because they’ve realised that it goes against their interests…
But they still try to collect money on their behalf, even if they haven’t signed the management of their author’s rights over to them… not always, but sometimes, they are authorized to do it.

For example, the SGAE has a legal mandate that gives them exclusive rights to collect royalties arising from material screened in commercial movie theatres or broadcast on TV.
That is , only the sgae can collect royalties in these cases in order to then , theoretically share them out among the corresponding authors and other collecting societies.

This is the theory. In practice , as we will see, it doesn’t happen like this and the sums that have been collected but not paid gradually accumulate over time: the estimates for the Sgae is 50 million per year.

Over all, according to the SGAE’s Balance Sheet at the close of 2008, a total of 164.3 million euros had still not been shared out among the authors who had generated these royalties.

Fair distribution of author’s rights and reform of royalties management and collection societies.

At the moment, royalties management societies are a monopoly that hinder the circulation of culture and the returns to its authors.

  1. Authors/creators should always be able to revoke the mandate of royalties collection societies.
  2. Royalties collection societies are private entities that must only and exclusively manage the “accounts” of their members, who are in no case the entire creative community.
  3. Above all, a collection society should only collect monies and manage works that have been registered with it, and should not collect monies for the use of works that are explicitly licensed under free licenses. No collection society should be allowed to prevent artists or authors from using free licenses.
  4. Free competition should be guaranteed, as with all private entities. Legal monopolies for royalties collection societies should be abolished.
  5. Authors and publishers or recording companies should not be represented by the same entity, as in the days of vertical organisations.
  6. Private collecting societies should not manage non-atrributable levies, and there should be no cumpulsory collection of royalties. All unfair “digital levies” that indiscriminately sanction everybody in the name of “compensation for artists” and that aim to penalize activities that are not in any way criminal should be abolished. Monies that are not attributable to particular works should be managed by the state for the purpose of promoting the creativity of society as a whole.

*(ref. Charter, point 2 “Legal Demands”, paragraph B. “Stimulating Creativity and Innovation”, of the Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge.