[cc-licenses] Thoughts on new wording RE collection societies etc.

Gisle Hannemyr gisle at ifi.uio.no
Mon Jan 21 09:19:19 EST 2008

On 18.01.2008 21:40, drew Roberts wrote:
> OK, now I am not sure I have this right, but to the best I have been able to 
> determine with some initial digging here, even if I wave my rights, it will 
> not change the amount due by a radio station that has an agreement with PRS.
> So what I was thinking was to include wording along the lines that I waive my 
> rights where I can except in cases where waiving them will not result in a 
> savings for the person making first / direct use of the work.
> Let's say a business has an agreement with a collecting society where they pay 
> X% of their gross to use any works they represent.
> Let's say I have some BY-SA songs thet the collection society either directly 
> or indirectly collects royalties for.
> Let's say this is in a country where I can waive my rights.
> Given these circumstances, (Do they exist anywhere in the world?

Yes. This is the case in Norway (and I think it also applies to
Sweden and Denmark as well - and maybe even Finland and Iceland.
This type of regulation is sometimes known as a "nordic style"
extended collective license.

Some examples:

For music, TONO (composers) and GRAMO (performers) here in Norway has
a blanket license scheme where a company pays a fixed sum for the
right to use ambient music depending on their number of employees.
The income this generates is distributed composers and musicians.
If you use a CC license, you can not be a member (since the societies
require an exclusive license), but the law still say that non-members
can claim remuneration from the society (i.e. the law require the
society to give non-members equal treatment).  However, since the
CC-license says that you waive the right to collct royalties,
the societies will tell that by using CC you've waived your right,
and they instead redistribute this revenue (called "orphan revenue")
to those that have not waived this right (i.e. composers and
musicians that do not use CC-licensing).

Basically, the Norwegian copyright law says that if a collion society
represents a "substantial part" of the creators of the category of works
in question, they are allowed to collect on behalf on /all/ creators
(i.e. members as well as non-members of this category of work). One
of the societies (Kopinor) explains how it works here:

> I think they
> might here, but I am still checking.) my waiving my rights will not result in 
> any savings to the company playing my songs, say a radio station or a store, 
> and do I would not want them waived, even though I can.
> Then it would be up to the companies in my country to negotiate deals with the 
> collection society where they can take advantage of such waivers by me before 
> I would actually waive my rights for them.
> Right now, I would be waiving them but they would still be being collected. 
> Not what I would want.

I agree that this is unfortunate.  I do not like the collection
society part of the license at all.  The way it is currently
phrased, of you live in a country were copyright law allow
colletion societies to use extended collective liceses, the
CC license let someone else to make a profit on your work, and you
waive the right to receive it.

For some reason collection societies do not like Creative Commons.
In Norway they use this in their anti-CC propganda.  They tell
artists and writers that if they use CC, they will not be eligable
for  payment out of of the large revenue streams (in 2005, Kopinor
received NOK 195 million = EURO 24 million) under extended collective
- gisle hannemyr [ gisle{at}hannemyr.no - http://folk.uio.no/gisle/ ]
    "Don't follow leaders // Watch the parkin' meters" - Bob Dylan

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