Copyright and Collecting Societies

Music creators should definitely have some basic legal knowledge, on the one hand to understand how to earn money with music as well, and on the other hand to know what to ask permission for.
At the center of copyright law is the work, and in the field of music this is primarily the "work of musical art".  This refers to sequences of notes that represent an "intellectually peculiar creation". In addition to the work of musical art, we also encounter the "work of literature" in music, i.e. the text to the piece of music.
Collecting societies are private institutions that administer copyrights or related rights in trust for a large number of authors or owners of related rights for joint exploitation.
They grant licenses for the use of works, collect the corresponding royalties, and distribute the revenues to the authors and other rights holders according to fixed rules. In Austria, as in the entire EU, collecting societies have monopolies (in the USA, for example, this is not the case), so only one collecting society is responsible for each type of exploitation within a category of works.
Collecting societies have reciprocity agreements among themselves, thus Austrian collecting societies can license almost the entire world repertoire in Austria; conversely, Austrian repertoire can also be licensed almost worldwide.
Collecting societies:

AKM/Austro Mechana

State-licensed Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers (AKM) registered limited liability cooperative & subsidiary for the administration of mechanical-musical copyrights Gesellschaft m.b.H. (austro mechana)


Administration of ancillary copyrights Gesellschaft m.b.H.


Collecting society for audiovisual media GmbH


Collecting society for broadcasting GmbH

Infoseite Urheberrecht und Verwertungsgesellschaften

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