Collective management of copyright in Finland mostly functions satisfactorily, but stakeholders’ position in less organized areas might be weak
A new publication by Cupore examines the governance of the Finnish system of collective management of copyright.
Collective management offers a solution to situations where individual licensing of copyright is impossible or impractical. Authors and other rightholders mandate collective management organizations (CMOs) to manage their rights, monitor the use of their works, conclude licensing agreements with users on their behalf, and collect and distribute their remunerations.
Collective management in Finland works on the principle of collaboration and negotiation between associations members of CMOs, between CMOs and users, and between CMOs and public authorities. It has the advantage of professionalism and of balancing power between a limited number of strong actors. It also has the disadvantage that smaller actors, such as users negotiating individual licenses or rightholders in less organized areas, might not have the same negotiation powers and advantages. Our study indicates that these smaller actors are more likely to consider the system as lacking transparency, are less able to participate in the supervision of CMOs, and some are concerned with the fairness of the licensing terms they were able to obtain. However, the current legislative framework offers strong rights and protections to all parties, although not all persons involved might know them or how to enforce them.
According to our research, the principles of good governance are respected in general, even though some improvements could be made. For example, licensing fees and rules of distribution of remunerations could be reviewed to improve equity between similar types of works, solutions could be found to improve access in cases of where collective licensing agreements have not been concluded, and more resources could be directed to supervision in order to increase confidence in the fairness of the system.
The new publication is the result of a study conducted in 2020-2021 on the operation of collective management of copyright in Finland from the point of view of the principles of good governance. The study analyzed the manner in which the principles of good governance such as transparency, participation or inclusiveness and equity are followed in the decision-making processes, as well as in the relationship between the three main stakeholder categories: rightholders, CMOs, and users. The report concludes with suggestions for actions.
The report can be read at Cupore’s website:
Nathalie Lefever & Katja Oksanen-Särelä 2021. Collective management of copyright and the principles of good governance – A Finnish perspective. Cupore web publications 68. Center for Cultural Policy Research Cupore.
Photo: report cover, graphic design Tiina Paju