Sacem

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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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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