Authors’ Societies Gather at CISAC World Congress in Seoul

Posted in News on October 21, 2004
The 44th CISAC World Congress, which took place this year in Seoul, Korea October 18-21, brought delegates to Asia for the first time in 20 years at the invitation of South Korean music rights organization KOMCA with the participation of sister societies SACK and KOSA.

Pictured after the Global Networks Panel are CISAC Managing Director Eric Baptiste and society chief executives John Hutchinson (PRS-MCPS), Frances Preston (BMI), Eduardo Bautista (SGAE), Guillermo Ocampo (SADAIC), Rob Hooijer (SAMRO) and CISAC Asian Committee Chair Edmund Lam (COMPASS).

Several key BMI executives were in attendance at the four-day gathering of the world's copyright organizations, participating in conferences, panel discussions, keynote speeches, and networking. The theme of this year's Congress was "Championing Creators and their Rights: supporting creators and cultures in a global market through the work of authors' societies."

The FastTrack demo booth at CISAC World Congress

In a historic vote, the member societies of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) approved new statutes that will guide the confederation in the years to come and will help it meet the challenges presented by an increasingly digital diffusion of creative works.

From musicians to film directors, creators have never before faced so many opportunities and challenges in a world in which works can be transmitted across the world with the click of a mouse. In anticipation of this new global environment, CISAC began years ago to rethink its internal structure so as to best service the 210 authors' societies and more than two million musical, audiovisual, visual arts, dramatic, and literary creators these societies represent.

The statutes up for proposal were the result of a collaborative process between the CISAC Secretariat and a working group from its Executive Bureau. The approved statutes include provisions to clarify membership status; the introduction of an Annual General Assembly as the deliberative body of CISAC; and the replacement of the Administrative Council and Executive Bureau structures with a more streamlined Board of Directors that guarantees regional and repertoire representation. Emphasis has also been put on increasing the role of creators through the International Authors Councils and the appointment of a creator as the President of CISAC.

The biennial General Assembly has always marked an important time in the development of CISAC strategies and policies. Since its first meeting in 1926, it has shaped both the philosophical and practical approach of the confederation by providing a forum in which all CISAC member societies vote on a range of issues affecting authors' rights. This ranges from the review of the CISAC budget, to an update on regional strategies and missions and CISAC's collaboration with other international organizations.

This year's General Assembly follows an exciting two days of open-conference, which featured important contributions from CISAC's authors' societies around the world, and creators such as Isao Tomita (composer-Japan), Kim Ji Ha (poet and activist-Korea), Zao Wou Ki (painter-China), Im Kwon Taek (film director-Korea), Dr. Prof. Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn (musician and chemist-Thailand), and the Korean composers Pan Ya Wol and Kim Dong Jin. Also gracing the CISAC stage were leading figures from the world of technology including Yamaha, RealNetworks, Samsung, and Gracenote.

CISAC works towards increased recognition and protection of creators' rights. Its activities are aimed at improving the position of authors and composers, at enhancing the quality of collective administration of their rights and at co-ordinating the affairs of Copyright societies throughout the world. These societies collect and distribute royalties for composers, authors and publishers, thereby encouraging creativity and enriching the cultural life of the countries in which they are based.

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