IFRRO Business Models Forum on Good Governance in Collective Management

On 26 April, IFRRO celebrated its spring edition of the Business Models Forum in Copenhagen, chaired by Tracey Armstrong of CCC.  The topic of the session was Good Governance as a Competitive Advantage in Collective Management, and for RROs in particular. Director David Uwemedimo of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) discussed, among other things, the possibility of criteria for good governance to be established by an independent body to which RROs and other Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) could sign up to on a voluntary basis. The purpose of such a global voluntary instrument would be for CMOs to document to rightholders, user groups and others that they adhere to basic governance standards. This would serve as a contribution to ascertaining their legitimacy. 

David Uwemedimo at the spring IFRRO Business Models Forum in Copenhagen 
 
Maria Martin-Prat, Head of the Copyright Unit at the European Commission (EC) made reference to increased user demand for faster and easier access to copyright works, including on a multi-territorial basis. This applies to all copyright sectors. The EC is working on a Directive on collective management to address the issue as well as guidelines for transparency, accountability and other governance criteria for CMOs. A draft, which should take account of the different natures of CMOs, is expected to be released before summer break. She welcomed the IFRRO initiative to discuss how CMOs can benefit from documenting good governance to legitimate the work of RROs. 
 
On a panel chaired by Yngve Slettholm (Kopinor, Norway) RRO Executives Jim Alexander (CAL, Australia), Paula Browning (CLL, New Zealand), Greenfield Chilongo (ZIMCOPY, Zimbabwe) and Magdalena Vinent (CEDRO, Spain) and International Advisor Tarja Koskinen-Olsson shared experiences on good governance. Further reference was made to the importance of the IFRRO governance instruments to which the RROs are recommended to sign up to: the IFRRO Code of Conduct; the Relationship between RROs document; and Repertoire Exchange Mandates. Good governance was perceived as being a key element for a RRO to become successful in administering rights and remuneration for authors and publishers. 
 
Jonathan Clark  from Jonathan Clark & Partners presented a practical approach to good governance through a case study, stressing inter alia that it does not suffice to establish values, it is equally important to document compliance with them. Governance has to match the strategic vision! Furthermore, governance structures should allow members of it to challenge each other, especially when things are “quiet”. Clark rounded off by stating that “transparency is trust”. How the organisation builds trust influences on how transparent it is considered to be by those it serves and by those who use its services.     
 
The successful Copenhagen event was rounded off by a presentation by Bente Skovgaard Kristensen, Head of Unit of the Danish Ministry of Culture, of the EU challenges on copyright issues. These are linked to the discussions at WIPO on exceptions and limitations for persons with print disabilities, libraries and education, as well as to EU discussions on ACTA and the proposed directive for orphan works. Skovgaard Kristensen remained optimistic that political clarification on the orphan works directive could be achieved before the end of the Danish EU Presidency on 30 June.