Can Two Societies Ever Be Better Than One? Lessons in collective rights management from Brazil, Turkey and the USA

Can Two Societies Ever Be Better Than One? Lessons in collective rights management from Brazil, Turkey and the USA

 

Authors: Will Page and David Safir

Date: 2016

 

A wise observer once remarked that having more than one collective management organisation for musical “small rights” in a given country is a luxury that only a wealthy economy blessed with a large, successful domestic repertoire and light-touch regulation can afford; and indeed the “multiple CMO” system prevails only in Brazil, Turkey and USA – none of which actually meets all these criteria!
It could even be argued that USA is the only “multiple CMO” country, since the core competencies of licensing, collection and distribution (or, more colloquially, “money in and money out”) have been consolidated both in Brazil through ECAD and in Turkey through collaboration by MESAM and MSG, leaving each society to attract and manage members and repertoire, provide ancillary services and advocate the cause of authors’ rights; whereas the leading US societies ASCAP (founded by authors and publishers in 1914) and BMI (founded by broadcasters in 1939) are constrained – unlike SESAC or GMR – to function under Consent Decrees originally intended to pre-empt monopolistic behaviour.

 

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