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Polish collecting society to allow music publishers to become members

By | Published on Thursday 23 September 2021


The Polish song rights collecting society ZAiKS will now allow music publishers to join as members, it has been announced. This comes after 20 years of campaigning by the Polish music publishing sector, with support from the Independent Music Publishers International Forum.

Most song right collecting societies – especially those representing the performing rights in songs – have both songwriters and music publishers as members.

For published writers, when the society collects money, it will then pay some of the royalties directly to the writer and some to the writer’s publisher, respectively referred to as the ‘writer’s share’ and the ‘publisher’s share’. Both writers and publishers then also have a role in overseeing the governance of the society and how it distributes the monies it collects.

However, in Poland, to date, music publishers have not been able to actually join ZAiKS, which represents both the performing and mechanical rights of its members songs.

Publishers have been able to collect the publisher’s share of monies since the 1990s, but have had no role in the governance of the society, which is by far the biggest collective management organisation in Central Eastern Europe.

Thanks to the new deal – also supported by CISAC, the global grouping of song right collecting societies – publishers will now be formally represented within ZAiKS, with two seats on the society’s board and one on its audit committee.

Welcoming the move, Andreas Schubert of Schubert Music – also Chair of Polish music publishing trade organisation PSWM – says: “Music publishers have not had membership or representation at ZAiKS since the early 1950s. It has taken years of work to right that wrong. Only with the help of our colleagues at IMPF and great support from CISAC could we finally change the situation”.

“Now music publishers are back at ZAiKS and ready to work alongside other members. We will add our different business perspective and approach to continue the success story of this powerful collection society, helping ZAiKS to adapt to the future market and changing legislative environment”.

Another publisher who campaigned for this change, Paulina Golba of Golba Music, adds: “This is a huge day for the whole publishing community. This achievement wouldn’t be possible without the engagement of many colleagues both here at PSWM and internationally. I especially value the support of CISAC and IMPF and hope that publishers’ presence at ZAiKS can open a new chapter in the relation between societies and publishers in Poland, benefiting all composers and authors”.

Also welcoming the change at ZAiKS, IMPF President Annette Barrett says: “We are really pleased that this long overdue moment has arrived. It was great to have worked so successfully with CISAC; our strategic alignment and excellent relationship allowed us to jointly help get this through. IMPF actively supported its members on this historic issue and was able to bring strong political and advocacy resources to the table. We are delighted for our members, colleagues, and friends in Poland”.