Mélianie Dulong de Rosnay

Improbable Match: CC And Collecting Societies In Europe

Michelle Thorne, November 21st, 2008

When the French music group Petit Homme signed a special contract with Sacem, the French collecting society for music composers, some saw the contract’s exclusion of the group’s internet rights as a step towards compatibility between collecting societies and CC: authors could control of their internet rights while collecting societies would handle the remaining rights related to the work.

Yet despite the speculation, members of Sacem are still not able to license their work under a Creative Commons license. But there’s hope. As CC France‘s Mélanie Dulong de Rosnay explains in an article by IP Watch, some European collecting societies are looking for a solution.

The agreement Petit Homme reached with Sacem last June enables the musicians to post their work online by excluding internet protocol, wireless application protocol, and similar protocols from their contract. However, this model does not allow authors to use a CC license while simultaneously collecting royalties through Sacem.

“There was a lot of noise and incomprehension around Petit Homme’s contract,” says Dulong. “We have been trying to solve the problem for the last five years to no avail.”

Regarding CC, the catch of the specific Sacem deal is that it excludes internet rights, while CC licenses are intended to cover uses both on- and offline. Therefore, a solution might be that “commercial uses under a Creative Commons license could be managed collectively and non-commercial uses could be managed individually,” Dulong said.

Other European countries are also trying to achieve effective compatibility between CC and collective management, particularly through arrangements with collecting societies in the Netherlands (Buma Stemra) and in Denmark (Koda). In August, the Dutch pilot was extended for one year, and the Koda model has been running since January 2008.

More details about European collecting societies and their ongoing developments with free licenses can be found in Catherine Saez’s IP Watch article.

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