Legal & Policy

CISAC’s global policy and legal activities focus on promoting pro-creator legislation at international, regional and national levels across all artistic repertoires: music, audiovisual, drama, literature and visual arts. 

CISAC takes part in international forums, regional consultations, and national discussions on copyright. CISAC also supports its members by commenting on pending legislation, coordinating global positions, advising on legal proceedings and developing contracts on technology matters. 

The Transfer of Value in the Digital Economy?

The transfer of value from creators to digital intermediaries and the liability of service providers are at the top of CISAC’s agenda. CISAC has developed an international lobbying campaign for a favourable interpretation of existing safe harbour laws in a manner that requires ISPs to remunerate creators for acts covered under exclusive rights. This strategy has been developed at different levels:

  • Through the preparation of two position papers: A first one issued by the CISAC ?s Legal Committee (CJL) concerning the EU “Copyright Package” (published by the EC in September 2017) that includes several copyright legislative measures from the European Commission, including those dealing with the transfer of value. A second one issued by the CISAC’s Global Policy Committee (GPC) deals specifically with the transfer of value from a global perspective. ?
  • Through the increased promotion of the issue within several international organisations and at local level.  For instance, the Secretariat is promoting the transfer of value within UNESCO in the context of the implementation of the Convention on Cultural Diversity in the digital environment. 

Visual Artists' Resale Right Campaign

Together with European Visual Artists (EVA), the European Authors’ Societies (GESAC) and visual arts societies, CISAC campaigns for the universal implementation of the visual artists' resale right to promote a new international treaty that would make the resale right mandatory.

Since 2013, CISAC has held a number of highly successful events at WIPO's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) to highlight the need for such treaty to WIPO Member State delegates. Further, CISAC commissioned an academic study by Sam Ricketson, a law professor at Melbourne University and a world-renowned copyright expert. The study was presented by Professor Ricketson during the plenary session of the 33st SCCR in December 2016.

In April 2017, CISAC organised with WIPO the International Conference on the Artist’s Resale Right. The event gathered various players of the art market (creators, art dealers, collective management organisations, economists, academics and journalists) from around the world to discuss the resale right, its economic impact and importance in supporting the livelihood of artists.

Download the Resale Right brochure in:

The Audiovisual Campaign

An unwaivable and unassignable right of remuneration for audiovisual creators is a key policy priority for CISAC. An academic study on the importance of this right for directors and screenwriters has been commissioned Law Professor Raquel Xalabarder, a film copyright specialist and Chair of Intellectual Property at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

The study examines the legal framework in countries that grant the right and develops arguments for the right’s implementation in countries that do not have it yet.

Private Copying

CISAC undertook a comprehensive private copying legislation analysis to identify countries where societies may be able to collect remuneration under existing laws and to urge countries to amend laws to allow private copying systems where they do not exist.

This study is the first global analysis of private copying systems that exist all around the world. It was prepared by CISAC Secretariat in collaboration with Regional Directors and input from CISAC societies. Thanks to various data sources, it examines the copyright laws of 193 countries on 5 continents and classifies countries into four categories from the lowest level of development to the most developed for each continent.

  • Countries without private copying exception; ?
  • Countries with private copying exception, but without compensation levy; ?
  • Countries with private copying levy system, but with no collection and distribution mechanisms; ?
  • Countries with private copying levy system, and functioning collection and distribution mechanisms ?

Also, in partnership with the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), CISAC organised a training session on private copying management for French-speaking African member societies in December 2015. Held in the Ivory Coast, the training aimed to improve operational capabilities of collective management organisations to collect and distribute royalties. Societies were encouraged to implement findings in their respective business environments.

CRM Directive

The 2014 Directive on Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights and Multi-territorial Licensing of Rights in Musical Works for Online Use in the Internal Market is the most recent intervention by the European Commission to influence the ways in which rights are licensed collectively in the EU.

CISAC has published a guide on the CRM Directive that aims at explaining to the broad membership, and particularly to societies outside the EU, the main principles set up by the CRM directive in regards to collective management, in terms of governance, transparency, licensing, etc.

CISAC University

A key objective of CISAC University is to provide an industry-leading information resource to help drive awareness and education about the importance of the rights of creators around the world.

To achieve this for our member societies, we provide technical briefings, deliver regular international updates and facilitate training programmes on all matters to do with the rights of creators in all geographic regions. This helps to give them the knowledge and tools to administer the rights of creators efficiently and to the highest professional standards.

  • To drive awareness and education worldwide, CISAC has developed a massive open online course (MOOC) to allow the greatest number of people to have access to information related to the rights and protections of creators and the creative sector. To participate in available courses, please visit FutureLearn to register and enroll in upcoming sessions.
    The first MOOC is titled “Exploring Copyright: History, Culture, Industry”. The objective of this MOOC is to introduce the general public, creators, professionals and decision makers to the importance of copyright and its history from the Renaissance to the Internet.

The first edition began on 20 March 2017 and lasted for 4 weeks. For the first edition 1,108 active learners followed the course out of a total of 3,316 joiners from all over the world. The comments left by students were very positive and encouraging. For this reason, CISAC launched its second edition in June 2017 and a third in October.

  • EIPIN Projet - On March 2017, CISAC joined as a partner the EIPIN Innovation Society Project, a EU-funded research project aimed at examining the fundamental role of intellectual property (IP) in innovation. The project is sponsored by the EU and managed by the EIPIN Consortium, which is formed by five IP research institutes: Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute (the University of London), IPKM (Maastricht University), Magister Lucentinus (Universidad de Alicante), Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC) and Center for International Intellectual Property (CEIPI) in Strasbourg.