African Committee reinforces long-term collective development plan in Tunisia

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Collective management organisations from across Africa united in Tunisia to push forward with improvements to societies in the region. Photo ©: M. Mohsen Chaouch

Africa has made progress over the years in increasing creators’ collections as well as improving enforcement. The continent saw 11.4% growth in total collections according to the 2018 CISAC Global Collections Report, yet still accounts for less than 1% worldwide. Efforts are underway to address this discrepancy by boosting enforcement for traditional uses (e.g., television and radio broadcasting, background music and live performances), supporting digital growth by making it easier to licence works, and educating users and attracting creators to collective management organisations.

Hosted by the Organisme Tunisien du Droit d’Auteur et des Droits Voisin (OTDAV), CISAC’s Regional African Committee (CAF) grouped societies from around the continent in Tunisia on July 16th and 17th. Tunisia’s Minister of Cultural Affairs Mohamed Zine El Abidine, represented by one of the Ministry’s officers, invited CAF participants “to reflect and act for the development of authors’ rights in Africa”.

See the photo gallery.

Collective management organisations came to Tunis to issues affecting collections and distributions and lay foundations to improve collective management operations across Africa. One key moment to improve operations was the signing of around 30 reciprocal agreements among CAF members. These agreements seek to expand copyright protections for societies’ creator members beyond their national markets. The signings also reinforce the need to update the agreements to take into account the latest uses of works, particularly satellite broadcasting and online exploitations. If successful, African CMOs would increase royalties for creators sent among societies as well as increase collections from satellite broadcasters and digital services.

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CISAC member society OTDAV hosted the CAF, bringing the regional committee to Tunisia in July.

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Through a representative, the Ministry of Culture expressed support for the continued development of collective management in Africa.

The agreements are part of a strategic plan which also includes establishing a common database and digital licensing platform, and creating the African Committee Development Fund for CAF activities. All African CMOs will be required to contribute to the fund.

One of the biggest challenges faced by societies in Africa is the low proportion of radio and TV broadcasters licenced to use music and other repertoires. To acquire better understanding of this problem, societies will be providing information on radio broadcasting licensing in order to update a 2017 CISAC survey. In 2017, the survey uncovered that approximately 40% of 2,580 radio stations across 22 countries were licensed to broadcast music.

Several organisations and sister societies were on hand to provide insight for African societies. WIPO Senior Counsellor Carole Croella detailed activities at the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, where CISAC has been lobbying for an international treaty on resale right for visual artists. IFRRO Policy and Regional Development Manager Pierre-Olivier Lesburguères discussed current issues with reprography collective management. Akotchaye Koula Okio and Habib Achour of SACEM informed societies about the implications of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. SPAutores CEO Paula Cunha detailed support activities to reinforce Lusophone CMOs in Africa.

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The newly signed reciprocal agreements help societies by expanding protections for creators beyond their national borders.

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