Questions and answers

| December 9, 2013

Abbreviations

CS – Collecting society
C3S – Cultural Commons Collecting Society SCE mit beschränkter Haftung (C3S SCE)
GEMA – Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische 
Vervielfältigungsrechte (society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights)

Frequently Asked Questions

0. What is a collecting society?
1. Who can become a member?
2. Can my registered association become a member of the C3S?
3. What are the membership options, and what are their distinctions?
4. What happens after sending the membership form?
5. Why should I become an investing member? What are my benefits?
6. Why should I subscribe to more than one share?
7. Can I subscribe to more shares after already having made a subscription?
8. Is my invested capital going to increase?
9. Can I become an investing member first and a user member later?
10. What does it mean to “register works for the utilization of the usage rights”?
11. Where is the collection agreement contract?
12. Am I already a member once I have bought shares? Is it nevertheless possible to fill in the membership form?
13. Will the C3S also represent content other than music?
14. Can I register as a user member as a musician if I am from a country that does not belong to the European Union?
15. There exists no active structure of the C3S in my country. What now?
16. And what if my country does not belong to the European Union?
17. What happens if I quit?
18. Do I have to leave my current collecting society in order to be able to become a member of the C3S?
19. I am not yet a member of a collecting society, but my music is already being performed. Shall I first register with another collecting society, or shall I wait until the C3S gets active?

0. What is a collecting society?

When music is played in the radio, in a club or on stage, the composers and the authors of the lyrics should benefit from it. But it would be far too complicated to make a separate contract with each individual composer or writer. This is why artists join forces in collecting societies, where they can register their works. Broadcasting companies and event organizers receive clear conditions of use from the collecting society. The revenues gained by the collecting society are then distributed to the members. The legal foundation for this process is the Copyright Administration Act. The German Patent and Trademark Office monitors all collecting societies on behalf of the state.

1. Who can become a member?

In principal, everybody can become a member. Every natural person, but also legal entities (e.g. companies and registered associations). A distinction is made between user members and investing members: User members are artists, who register at least three works to be represented by the C3S. Investing members do not register any works to be utilized by the C3S. User members can only be natural persons. Investing members can be natural persons as well as legal entities.

2. Can my registered association become a member of the C3S?

Yes, as a supporting member. Every legal entity can become a member. A multiple membership is possible if you register as a natural person and also register your company or association. However, only one right to vote can be held per person, because corporate bodies can not be registered as user members and therefore receive no right to vote. You find the membership form for corporate bodies at http://archive.c3s.cc/legal/beitritt-koerperschaft.pdf

3. What are the membership options, and what are their distinctions?

The two membership options are compared with each other in the following list:

User member Investing member:
The member is a natural person The member is either a natural person or a corporate body (a legal entity, for example a company, a registered association, etc.)
The member is an active artist and creates musical works
The members registers at least three pieces to be represented by the C3S The member does not register any works for utilization
The member has the right to vote in the general assembly The member has no right to vote

4. What happens after sending the membership form?

After we have received the membership form, you will get a confirmation by e-mail (within a few days). After you have been accepted as a member of the C3S, you will receive a document of proof and a receipt.

5. Why should I become an investing member? What are my benefits?

You could be an advisor. This means that you can participate in the debate, contribute your arguments, present your motives and attitudes when the organisation of licenses and their use is discussed. As an investing member, you can be present in the general assembly, but you have no right to vote.

6. Why should I subscribe to more than one share?

In order to support a great project that might shape the future of the music business. Every Euro invested into the cooperative brings us close to the goal we share: fair and transparent conditions for all musicians.

7. Can I subscribe to more shares after already having made a subscription?

Yes, of course. At the moment: just fill in the form again, but after that don’t print and send the generated form but the one behind this link.

8. Is my invested capital going to increase?

This is not to be expected. The subscription to shares serves the objective of investing into a project that can have a positive influence on the music industry. The investment might therefore be definitely worthwhile for you as a musician or as an organizer of events. However, it should not be reckoned that the value of the shares rises or falls in connection with the success of the collecting society.

9. Can I become an investing member first and a user member later?

Yes, no problem. If you wish to change your status, just write us an e-mail with the same e-mail adress you used for registering your membership.

10. What does it mean to “register works for the utilization of the usage rights”?

For the area you assigned to us (for example live performances), you commission us to raise fees from the performing entity and to later distribute them to you.
This only affects certain rights. You do not give up your copyright to us. We represent, and protect, your rights on your behalf.

11. Where is the collection agreement contract?

The collection agreement contract is currently being written – we keep you updated via our newsletter.

12. Am I already a member once I have bought shares? Am i required to fill in the membership form?

You will only be a member after the official registration of the European Cooperation. If you filled in the membership form and paid your shares, you have reached the status of becoming a member as soon as the cooperative has been registered. We will then get in touch with you. If you want to become a member, please register via our online membership form: https://yes.c3s.cc

13. Will the C3S also represent content other than music?

At first we will begin with music – it is enough work for the time being. If all goes well with the music, it might happen that we deal with other content as well. Time will tell whether this will come to pass.

14. Can I register as a user member as a musician if I am from a country that does not belong to the European Union?

If your music is played in the countries for which we are approved, we can represent you in these countries. Please get in touch with us and describe your situation, then we can evaluate together whether a user membership makes sense for you. If the C3S does not yet have active structures in your country, you will learn more below.

15. There exists no active structure of the C3S in my country. What now?

If you want to help to set up something in your country, you are very welcome. We are happy about supporters. Please get in touch with Veit Winkler, who is in charge of internationalization: veit.winkler@c3s.cc.

16. And what if my country does not belong to the European Union?

We are not yet active outside the European Union, but we would love to be. We need a local team in every country we want to be active in, and later also an umbrella association with legal competence. As already mentioned above, we look forward to your support – please get in touch with Veit Winkler via veit.winkler@c3s.cc.

17. What happens if I quit?

You will receive a refund of the value of the shares you subscribed to.

18. Do I have to leave my current collecting society in order to be able to become a member of the C3S?

No. Your collecting society can not prohibit you to become a member of the European Cooperation C3S. Only when you sign a collection agreement contract with the C3S, i.e. commission us to represent your rights for the utilization of your music, there might arise conflicts with your current collecting society. Depending on the collecting society you belong to, it could be that you will have to exempt certain areas (for example live performances or online representation) or individual pieces, or that you will have to leave the collecting society altogether. Should you then decide that you do not wish to be represented by the C3S after all, you can remain a supporting member and be happy about the positive effects of the activities of the C3S while remaining a member of your old collecting society. Or you can leave the European Cooperation C3S again. In this case you will receive a refund of the value of the shares you subscribed to and will lose nothing.

19. I am not yet a member of a collecting society, but my music is already being performed. Shall I first register with another collecting society, or shall I wait until the C3S gets active?

If you assume that you will already receive significant revenue from another collecting society (which is not always necessarily the case, even if your music is already being played) before the C3S is officially registered as a collecting society, this might be a feasible option. It also depends on which collecting society you consider, and in which country your music is primarily played.
Therefore the answer is that it depends on your individual situation. We are sorry that we can not tell you more, but there are just too many issues involved. We are happy to support you and to give you advice – you are welcome to write to us and describe your personal situation.

In order to clarify the whole issue you should now that, for example, the GEMA in Germany seems to store the royalties it collected on behalf of non-registered artists for a while (however, this has not been officially confirmed). They could therefore be paid retroactively, after the artist has become a member. This means that you could first become a member of the C3S – if our registration process takes too long for you, you could still become a member of the GEMA, without a loss for you. But please contact the GEMA and ask how things are handled there.

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