Collecting societies are subject to government supervision since they have a monopoly position and hold rights in trust. The German Patent and Trade Mark Office acts as the supervisory authority on the basis of the Copyright Administration Law.
Collecting societies are associations of authors and owners of related rights, organised under private law (such as composers, writers, authors, artists, photographers, film performers, producers of sound recordings, film producers). The rightholders assign their user and licensing rights relating to the copyrighted works as well as their claims to remuneration to the relevant collecting society.
In the age of mass use of copyrighted works it would be nearly impossible for authors or owners of related rights to enforce their claims to remuneration individually. They require the assistance of a collecting society in order to get the remuneration, to which they are entitled, and to prevent illegal use of their works or performances.
At present, 13 collecting societies have the authorisation to conduct business, granted by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office in agreement with the Federal cartel office. The German Patent and Trade Mark Office regularly supervises the business of these societies.
© 2013 Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt | Last updated 22/05/13