How can rightsholders sign a contract with every single user of their work – such as a radio station or a cable or satellite operator – and ensure that royalties are paid?

At the same time, how can users request permission from every rightsholder to use their works?

This is where collective management comes into play.

Collective management provides a bridge between rightsholders and users, whether it be in music, publishing, photography, or via audiovisual means. It also facilitates the use of works by operators and promotes fair payment to their owners.

Collective management guarantees revenue payment to the rightsholder, thus freeing them to focus on creation.

Collection management makes it easier for users to comply with copyright legislation.

Depending on applicable laws and regulations, collective management can be voluntary (the rightsholders decide to resort or not to collective management) or mandatory (subject to certain exceptions, the rightsholders cannot manage their rights individually).

Collective Management Organizations 

Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) intervene on two levels: on behalf of the rightsholders and with the users who need a license to use the works. For the international use of their rightsholders’ works, CMOs may also work with other CMOs with which they hold mutual representation agreements

The main role of CMOs is to ensure that represented rightsholders receive fair and appropriate payment for copyright-protected uses of their works, specifically by:

  • Tracking when and where each work was used;
  • Negotiating tariffs and other conditions with users;
  • Granting licenses in exchange for appropriate payment;
  • Distributing royalties collected from users to rightsholders.

The legal framework of CMOs is usually set by national laws. In the European Union, Member States must conform to Directive 2014/26 relating to the management of copyright and related rights by Collective Management Organizations.

Guiding principles of collective management

Collective management is guided by the following principles that are applicable at all levels: non-discrimination, fair treatment, and transparency.

Mandatory collective management for cable retransmission and similar means in the European Union

EU-Directive 93/83 (“SatCab 1”) adopted in 1993, established a system of mandatory collective management for cable retransmission. In 2019, EU-Directive 2019/789 (“SatCab 2”) extended the scope of this mandatory collective management scheme to satellite, OTT (internet retransmission) and mobile devices. 

Mandatory collective management ensures legal certainty: operators are reassured that they have acquired all rights to retransmit the works; rightsholders know that their works are used under license by operators. Under mandatory collective management, the operator negotiates with a limited number of intermediaries to obtain the rights to retransmit the works, and the rightsholders know that their works are used in compliance with copyright law.

AGICOA’s role

AGICOA is the largest international CMO of audiovisual producers. It is the bridge between producers and operators, worldwide.

AGICOA tracks the retransmission of producers’ audiovisual works globally and collects royalties owed to them.

AGICOA helps operators meet the standard requirements of royalties’ payment and guarantees that the operators are protected against any third-party producer claim.

Let AGICOA become your trusted partner!