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CISAC welcomes the European Court's judgment to uphold their appeal against the 2008 European Commission decision on author's rights


02 May 2013


EU Priorities 2020
Justice & Home Affairs

Paris/Berlin/Brussels, 12th April 2013 – CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, welcomes the decision of the General Court of the European Union today to uphold their appeal against the 2008 EU Commission decision (COMP/C2/38.698). In doing so, the allegation that CISAC and their member societies had engaged in a concerted practice in order to restrict competition has been finally rejected.

This is a very important decision for authors and their collective management organizations throughout the European Union,” said Olivier Hinnewinkel, director general of CISAC. “It allows us to get back to the job of ensuring the 3 million creators and rights holders that we represent obtain a fair income from the use of their creative work, and to continue developing licensing models that meet the market’s needs.”

The so called “CISAC Case” began with two complaints in the early 2000s against the model contract for reciprocal representation developed by CISAC many years ago (hence the name) and the agreements signed based on this contract between CISAC members in Europe. The European Commission considered these complaints for a number of years. When the decision eventually came in 2008 to uphold these complaints, only one issue remained - the assertion that the 24 European CISAC societies had violated EU competition rules by coordinating the territorial scope of their reciprocal representation agreements. Other issues – relating to membership conditions and exclusivity – have been addressed by CISAC and its members through amendments to the model contract and changes to individual contracts between European societies.

CISAC had always firmly maintained that no coordination had taken place in this manner to restrict competition; rather that the contract clauses in question existed purely because it was best practice for representing the interests of authors and avoided a “race to the bottom” on royalties that would have undermined authors’ interests and creative activity.

The accusation was also fundamentally unacceptable to CISAC whose entire premise is built upon fairness and on upholding the interests of creators for the betterment of culture and the arts. Naturally an appeal was lodged and was successfully upheld today.

“There are important implications for the general public as well as for authors,” continued Hinnewinkel. “The great majority of our members’ livelihoods rely on receiving a fair income for their work. However, it’s also vital that licensing allows the maximum number of people can see, hear and enjoy their creative output. Today’s decision allows us to continue our work in championing sustainable licensing solutions that share the benefits of this art whilst ensuring the next generation of creators can continue to produce work to enrich all of our lives.”


About CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers

CISAC – the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – aims to increase both the protection and the promotion of creators’ rights worldwide. As the leading worldwide network of authors’ societies, CISAC enables collective management organisations to seamlessly represent creators across the globe and ensure that royalties flow to authors for the use of their works anywhere in the world. To this end, CISAC provides the highest business, legal and IT standards to protect creators’ rights and to support the development of the international network of collective management societies.

Founded in 1926, CISAC is a non‐governmental, not‐for‐profit organisation with worldwide headquarters in France and regional offices in Chile, Hungary, Singapore, and South Africa. The organisation was chaired by British singer and songwriter Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees until his untimely death in May 2012; French visual artist and painter Hervé Di Rosa, who had been serving as Vice President of CISAC since 2010, has been appointed Acting President until a successor to Gibb is announced. Olivier Hinnewinkel was appointed Director General of CISAC in 2011.


Find out more at
Press Contacts:

Sara Stephenson

International Communications Manager, CISAC 
T: +33 (0) 1 55 62 08 86
Marco Foley

Market Engineering Ltd.

T: +44 (0) 1295 277 050


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