Collective rights management

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Collective rights management is the licensing of copyright and related rights by organisations acting on behalf of rights owners.[1] Collective management organisations, such as collecting societies, typically represent groups of copyright and related rights owners, such as authors, composers, publishers, writers, photographers, musicians and performers.[2] At the least, copyright owners authorize collective rights management organizations to monitor the use of their works, negotiate licenses with prospective users, collect remuneration for use of copyrighted works, ensuring a fair distribution of such remuneration amongst copyright owners.[3] Governmental Supervision varies across jurisdictions, from being limited to antitrust regulation in the United States to sectoral regulators in jurisdictions like the EU, India.


Collective rights management is almost as old as copyright law itself. Collective rights management through a collecting society first occurred in France in 1777 for the use of dramatic and literary works in theatre, attributed to the efforts of Pierre Beaumarchais.[4] The first collecting society and collective rights management in music was established in 1850 in France.[5][6]

Types of rights under collective management[edit]

Collective rights management through collecting societies typically covers the following exclusive rights granted under copyright law:

  • the right to public performance, for example when music is played or performed in bars or clubs.
  • the right to broadcasting, for example when live or recorded performances are broadcast on radio or television
  • the mechanical reproduction rights in recorded music, for example where works are reproduced in recording formats, such as CDs or cassettes
  • the performing rights in dramatical works, for example when a theatre plays a work
  • the rights of reprographic reproduction of literary and musical works, for example where a book or sheet music are copied using a photocopier
  • related rights, for example the rights of performers and producers in recorded music when used in broadcasts[2]

Collective management organisations[edit]

The collective management of copyright and related rights is undertaken by various types of collective management organisations, most commonly collecting societies. Collecting societies act on behalf of their members, which may be authors or performers, and issue copyright licenses to users authorising the use of the works of their members. Collecting societies negotiate the royalty rates and other licence terms on behalf of their members and collect royalty payment on behalf of their members. Royalties are distributed by the collecting society to relevant members, who as individual right owners are not directly involved in the negotiation of the licence.[2]

Other forms of collective management organisations include rights clearance centres. Rights clearance centres are membership based and function like a collecting society, though the individual right owners who are members are directly involved in the negotiation of the royalty rates and other licence terms. So called one-stop shops are a coalition of collecting societies and rights clearance centres offering a centralised source for users to obtain licences. One-stop shops have become popular in response to multi-media productions requiring users to obtain multiple licences for relevant copyright and related rights.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Collective Management Organisations". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  2. ^ a b c d "Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights". World Intellectual Property Organisation. Archived from the original on 21 November 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  3. ^ Ficsor, Mihaly (2002). Collective Management of Copyright and Related Right. Geneva: World Intellectual Property Organization. p. 17. ISBN 9789280511031.
  4. ^ Gervais, Daniel (2010). Collective Management of Copyright. Netherlands: Kluwer Law International. p. 4. ISBN 978-90-411-2724-2.
  5. ^ "Collective Management in Reprography" (PDF). WIPO & IFRRO. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-17.
  6. ^ FICSOR, Mihaly (2002). COLLECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS (PDF). World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). pp. 18–20.