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Intellectual Property Bulletin

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COLOMBIA

COLOMBIAN COPYRIGHTS AUTHORITY DECIDED A COMPLAINT REGARDING WITH THE MANDATE CONTRACTS OF THE COPYRIGHT COLLECTIVE MANAGEMENT SOCIETIES

Colombian Copyrights Authority (DNDA) decided a case in which a music publisher (or publishing company) sued the only music copyrights collective society in Colombia. The complainant interest was to revoke a mandate previously given to SAYCO Y ACINPRO, the only copyright collective management society in Colombia.

 

In the music industry, a music publisher (or publishing company) is responsible for ensuring the songwriters and composers receive payment when their compositions are used commercially. Through an agreement called a publishing contract, a songwriter or composer “assigns” the copyright of their composition to a publishing company. In return, the company licenses compositions, helps monitor where compositions are used, collects royalties and distributes them to the composers.

In the decision, DNDA stablish that mandate contracts are regulated by the Colombian Commerce Code’s Article 1279 and for that reason it cannot be revoked without just cause. Nevertheless, it was clarified that the holders of copyright may individually manage their rights provided that they have not delegated that capacity to a collecting society by means of a mandate contract.