Russian Government looks to take over collection societies

October 2016

Music publishing, recorded music


The Russian government is reportedly considering taking over some or all of the collective licensing regime in the country. The move comes in the wake of accusations of fraud  which have seen RAO General Director Sergei Fedotov arrested and jailed. There has been disagreement within the collecting society’s membership, with a group of members calling for a new  General Director to be appointed and a radical overhaul of the organisation’s constitution.
According to Russian business newspaper Vedomosti, the Ministry Of Economic Development is considering the possibility of taking direct control of RAO. The RAO Authors’ Council, which is the main governing body of the society, continues to back Fedotov and responded angrily to the members seeking a radical overhaul. Producer and composer Igor Matvienko, newly elected as President of the Authors’ Council last month, had been critical of RAO but now opposes moves to overthrow Fedotov and the current management.


whilst there have been some dark mutterings in Europe from songwriters and self composing performers about the activities of CMOs, including Buma-Stemra and GEMA, who have been offering established concert promoters ‘discounts’ or ‘kickbacks’  on published public performance tariffs – and indeed in Spain the Supreme Court ruled that SGAE’s tariff was abusive and ordered the CMO to scrap the rate and set up a new fair tariff – in Macedonia things have gone a lot further: Local music CMO ZAMP, previously the sole music copyright collection organization for Macedonia, has withdrawn ALL broadcast licences because Macedonia’s culture ministry allowed the formation of a second collection group alongside new rules governing how much money ZAMP can deduct from its members for its administration services.  ZAMP has informed Macedonia’s broadcasters that they may not play any music created by Macedonian artists, whom ZAMP claims to represent with ZAMP saying “Their goal is to divide the authors and to put a hand on the money collected by ZAMP. Thus the new association, SOKOM MAP, has become an instrument in the culture ministry’s hands,” SOKOM MAP says it is an independent non-profit group representing songwriters.

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