collecting society

New pilot project allows collecting society SACEM members to use Creative Commons licenses

Paul Keller, January 10th, 2012

A new pilot project between Creative Commons, Creative Commons’ legal affiliate in France, and the French collecting society SACEM allows SACEM members to license their works under one of the three non-commercial CC 3.0 licenses. Previously, authors and composers of musical works represented by SACEM (the biggest French collecting society) were prevented from using any of the CC licenses, as SACEM requires that its members transfer their rights to the collective on an exclusive basis.

This is the fourth major collecting society pilot supported by Creative Commons. CC maintains ongoing pilots with BUMA/STEMRA (Netherlands), KODA (Denmark), and STIM (Sweden). Each pilot provides the opportunity for members to take advantage of CC licenses in connection with their use under the terms of the agreements reached with each society.

The CC/SACEM pilot makes it possible for SACEM members to apply one of the three non-commercial licenses to (some of) their works. These works can then be shared (and remixed if the license allows derivative works) for non-commercial purposes under the terms established by the agreement negotiated with SACEM. At the same time SACEM will continue to collect royalties for commercial uses of these works.

Bernard Miyet, President of SACEM’s Management board, points out that this approach balances the desire to share music non-commercially with the need for renumeration for commercial uses of the works in question:

“This agreement shows the willingness of SACEM to adapt to the practices of some of its members, particularly as regards digital uses. It’s an advantage for authors, composers and publishers, who, if they wish to, can promote their works non-commercially in a defined legal framework, while retaining the possibility of receiving a fair and effective remuneration for the exploitation of their creations. I am proud to have reached this balanced agreement that meets the expectations of many creators.”

Creative Commons is pleased to see SACEM allowing its members to make use of CC licenses, giving them more flexibility to adapt to the digital environment. We hope that this pilot will be embraced not only by creators in France, but also serve as inspiration to collecting societies in other jurisdictions, many of whom still block their members from using CC licenses altogether.

More information about the pilot including a list of SACEM-related Frequently Asked Questions can be found on our wiki, the website of Creative Commons France and on the SACEM website.

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