Purpose of IFRRO
The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) is an independent organisation established on the basis of the fundamental international copyright principles embodied in the Berne and Universal Copyright Conventions. Its purpose is to facilitate, on an international basis, the collective management of reproduction and other rights relevant to copyrighted works through the co-operation of national Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs). Collective or centralised rights management is preferable where individual exercise of rights is impractical.
IFRRO through its members supports creators and publishers alike and provides internationally a common platform for them to foster the establishment of appropriate legal frameworks for the protection and use of their works.
IFRRO works to develop and increase public awareness of the need for effective RROs and to support joint efforts of publishers, authors and other rightsholders to develop rights management systems world-wide. To accomplish its mission, IFRRO fosters the development of studies and information-exchange systems; relationships between, among and on behalf of members; and effective methods for conveyance of rights and fees among rightsholders and users, consistent with the principle of national treatment.
IFRRO facilitates co-operation among RROs as well as with and among creators, publishers and their associations. Through this work and its fight against copyright infringement and unauthorised use of text and image based works, IFRRO stimulates creativity, diversity and investment in cultural goods as a useful tool for rightholders, consumers, the economy and society as a whole.
To enhance services to its rightsholder membership and to the user community, IFRRO will pursue the following main objectives during the period covered by the Business Plan 2009-12.
- Enhance information exchange and education with the aims of consolidating the reputation of the organisation and of providing a real benefit for the members.
- Provide systematic and proactive support to the creation and start up of efficient RROs worldwide.
- Maintain the international representation role of IFRRO on a high level; develop strategic partnership and co-operation with a view to improving the understanding of the role and functions of RROs in the protection of copyright.
- Facilitate and assist the membership in developing appropriate business models and effective methods for conveyance of rights and fees among rightholders for a changing environment.
- Provide an organisational structure that serves the best interest of the IFRRO membership and the rightholders in the text and image based sector.
- Maintain an administration with a staff and qualifications necessary to carry through the objectives in the IFRRO Business Plan and other objectives set by IFRRO.
Respect Copyright - Encourage Creativity
Copyright industries represent some 4-6 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in developed countries. Frequently, they are the fastest growing sector of the economy and the most important contributor to the creation of new jobs.
The importance of copyright has become even more apparent in the digital environment. As the Internet and other networks have developed into a major channel for purchase of goods and services, there has been a tremendous increase in the use of copyrighted works such as text, music and illustration both in analogue and electronic forms. Sales of books, periodicals and other publications in analogue form have soared, making publications the third largest sales category on the networks.
Copyright industries are important to the economy of a country, thus they should be adequately protected. Piracy has a most devastating effect both on copyright industries and on a nation's economy. Annually, some 300 billion photocopies of copyrighted materials are made world-wide. The sheer volume of photocopying represents a threat to the creative industries if rightsholders are not properly remunerated.
Copyright protection enhances electronic commerce and investment. For society, access to artistic, scientific and literary works is important. For rightsholders, books and newspapers, sheet music, journals and other intellectual properties generate important income. For users of copyrighted materials, smooth and easy rights clearance is a key incentive for obtaining permissions and paying royalties.
Unfortunately, unauthorised use of copyrighted works is widespread in the print environment and even more rampant in the digital arena. If illegal reproduction is allowed to proliferate, intellectual creativity will be threatened and the basis for publishing undermined. A strong, clear protection of their rights and works is essential if publishers and authors are to allow their valuable intellectual properties to be transmitted in print or electronic formats. Moreover, the best incentive for copyright compliance is convenient, "user-friendly" licensing mechanisms and rights clearance systems for photocopying, republication, and the digitisation and dissemination of copyrighted works for internal use, use in closed networks and for commercial purposes.
The services provided by RROs benefit both rightsholders and users, and in the long run, society as a whole. Users are granted reasonable access to copyrighted material and copyright holders are compensated for use of their works. In 1999, RROs collect and distribute EUR 300 mill. to rightsholders world-wide.