By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Makwinja: ‘Benefitting Authors and Publishers’Not as well known in world publishing circles as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO) functions “to facilitate, on an international basis, the collective management of reproduction and other rights relevant to copyrighted works.”
It’s a network, basically, of collective management agencies. Some are nationally based “reproduction rights organizations” (RROs), and some are publishers’ associations and organizations of creative workers in publishing.
Although seated in Brussels, the program held its annual general meeting in Edinburgh and today (November 18) released to the media a list dated November 13 of newly elected board members. Elected directors are geographically concentrated in Europe with some representation of North America and Africa.
The results of those elections reflects the internationalist positioning of the organization’s board under the guidance of IFRRO’s chief executive and secretary general, Caroline Morgan.
The board leadership comprises:
- President: Yngve Slettholm, Kopinor, Norway
- First vice-president: Dora Makwinja, COSOMA, Malawi
- Second vice-president: Tracey Armstrong, Copyright Clearance Center, United States
Directors elected to the board are:
- Sandra Chastanet, representing RRO members, CFC, France
- Samantha Holman, representing RRO members, ICLA, Ireland
- Robert Staats, representing RRO members, VG WORT, Germany
- Morten Visby, representing creator and publishers association members, EWC, Belgium
- Sarah Faulder, representing creator and publishers association members, PLS, UK
And “substitute directors” elected to the board are:
- Javier Diaz de Olarte, representing RRO members, CEDRO, Spain
- Anders Kristian Rasch, representing RRO members, Copydan, Denmark
- Anke Schierholz, representing creator and publishers association members, EVA, Belgium
- Eefke Smit, representing creator and publishers association members, STM, Netherlands
Armstrong: ‘A Dynamic Information-Sharing Environment’
Commenting on the newly elected slate, Norway’s Yngve Slettholm, its president, is quoted, saying, “IFRRO has achieved an outstanding position as a trustworthy defender of copyright and its members’ interests. Together, with the board and secretariat, I will strive to further develop the organization to reinforce its success while also keeping an eye on sustainability and the environmental effects of our work.”
Malawi’s Dora Makwinja said, “I’ve had the opportunity to appreciate the challenges that RROs in developing and least-developed countries, particularly in Africa, are facing. I look forward to assisting these RROs through sharing best practices with the ultimate aim of benefiting authors and publishers through effective licensing of their works.”
Tracey Armstrong, from the States, also is quoted, saying, “This IFRRO election comes at a time of great change in what is a dynamic information-sharing environment with an increasing emphasis on copyright and licensing. It’s also a time of considerable pressure on rights holders, their interests, and their livelihoods.
“Against this backdrop, the importance of IFRRO and its mission has never been greater.”
A part of IFRRO’s work is advocacy for copyright and the creative sector, enabled, in media messaging, “by building a strong and resilient RRO network that supports the rights of creators and publishers, including economic and moral rights, with tolerance and respect.”
The Edinburgh meeting, the organization’s world congress and annual general meeting were held November 4 through 7. It was hosted by the UK’s Copyright Licensing Agency. The program included gatherings of authors, publishers, representatives of national reproduction rights organizations, an African development committee meeting, an Asian-Pacific committee session, a legal issues forum, a roundtable event on developing and emerging European RROs, a working group on newspapers and periodicals, a meeting of the committee for Latin America and the Caribbean membership, and a public lending rights forum.
Panel discussions featured focal sessions on technology and copyright in the Global South; artificial intelligence and publishing; blockchain and the cultural industries; artificial intelligence and copyright; and a look at the impact of scientific research and data in developing markets.
Cara Duckworth Moves from RIAA to AAP
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has reached into the music industry for its new communications second, hiring Cara Duckworth from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). As vice-president for communications, Duckworth will report to AAP’s John McKay, senior vice-president.
Duckworth was with RIAA for 12 years, working with record labels and policy makers. At that organization, she was in the senior position and handled media relations, social media, data, research, and managing the Gold & Platinum awards program.
AAP media messaging also points to her work with RIAA in the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act. That’s the bill passed by the US House of Representatives in April 2018 and the Senate in September 2018. As described by RIAA at the time, the bill “improves both how, and how much, songwriters are paid.
“The bill reforms Section 115 of the US Copyright Act to create a single licensing entity that administers the mechanical reproduction rights for digital uses of musical compositions such as those used in interactive streaming models offered by Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, Google and others. It also repeals Section 114(i) and, consistent with most federal litigation, utilizes random assignment of judges to decide ASCAP and BMI rate-setting cases – two provisions that will enable fairer outcomes for songwriters and composers.”
On Thursday (November 14), Dan Rys at Billboard reported that the Music Modernization Act’s latest effect is the creation of a central database ” that will allow for the matching of song recordings to rights holders so that songwriters and publishers can get paid for the use of their copyrighted works.” The digital services are to bear the cost of the startup and first-year operating budget of a Mechanical Licensing Collective, which must, by law, be operative by January 1, 2021.
Reflective of the major role that public policy work is playing in the AAP’s advocacy efforts for publishing, Duckworth also has a background of work with US Senate, as press secretary for the Senate Budget Committee and deputy press secretary for the assistant majority leader Don Nickles, respectively.
And she spent two years directing communications for the Motion Picture Association of America.
In prepared comments about Duckworth’s move to the publishers’ association, AAP president and CEO Maria A. Pallante is quoted, saying, “Cara has a tremendous skill set in communications strategy, content policy, creative design, and special projects.”
McKay is quoted, saying, “With her extensive background at two leading trade groups and on Capitol Hill, Cara brings experience, execution, and enthusiasm to the AAP.”
And as for moving to books from film and music, Duckworth is quoted making all the right noises, saying, “Published works are the bedrock of culture, education, and scientific progress. As an avid reader, I’m proud and excited to join AAP and help showcase the many innovative ways the modern publishing industry enhances our daily lives.”