Conference Examines Opportunities and Challenges to Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights in North America

Geneva, September 10, 2007

Questions such as how authors, composers and artists receive payment for use of their work in the digital economy and new opportunities for managing creators’ rights electronically will be the focus of discussions at a conference organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) from October 17 to 19, 2007, at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America. Key issues such as the impact of new services and business models – file-sharing, pod casting, streaming and Internet video services – future technological trends, licensing techniques, fee structures and distribution and measures to combat illegal downloading, will all be addressed by participants at the Conference on Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights in North America, which is open to the public.

 The event is being organized in cooperation with Vanderbilt University and the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), with the assistance of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and SESAC Inc. It will provide a forum for the discussion of developments and responses to the opportunities and challenges generated by recent development in digital technology, specifically within the North American context and in relation to the management of creators’ rights.

Collective management societies administer the rights of authors, musicians and other creators that belong to them. One of their main responsibilities is the collection and distribution of royalties. The interlinked technological environment in which creators operate today has presented collective copyright organizations with a number of challenges, not least in terms of how to track usage of their members’ works. The different solutions that have emerged in response to these challenges have forged new opportunities and mechanisms for managing creators’ rights and for ensuring public access to data relating to the ownership of works. 

The conference will provide a forum for key players to discuss and analyze the merits of emerging business models and their compatibility with existing collective management systems which remain the best current means of serving the social, cultural and economic interests of creators. Participants will include government officials and representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, collective management organizations, academia, the copyright industries, content and services providers, developers of digital technology, lawyers, attorneys, law enforcement officials, judges, prosecutors, and students.

The conference will be in English. Registration details are available at

Journalists requiring further information or wishing to attend this event are requested to contact the WIPO Media Relations and Public Affairs Section by October 12, 2007 at: tel: +4122-338 8161, 338 95 47, fax: +4122-3388280, e-mail: or Mrs. Amy Wolf, Senior Public Affairs Officer, Vanderbilt University News Service, Tel: +1-615-343-2634/+1-615-294-4021 or email:
For more information, please contact the News and Media Division at WIPO:
  • Tel: (+41 22) 338 81 61 / 338 72 24
  • E-mail