The new law on joint administration of copyright came into effect on 1 January 2017

The new law on joint administration of copyright was passed by the Finnish Parliament on 8 December 2016. The law came into force on 1 January 2017. In practice it regulates all the commercial activity of copyright organisations, that is, joint administrative organisations, in particular the dealings between beneficiaries and the organisations.

The Finnish Composers' Copyright Society Teosto can still operate in accordance with the Associations Act as a non-profit organisation. However, the joint administration of copyright act will affect some matters at Teosto, including the requirements for ordinary membership and decision making. The activities of Teosto and other copyright organisations will be overseen by the National Board of Patents and Registration of Trademarks and on the part of competition law by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority.

The joint administration of copyright act contains detailed regulations on, amongst other things, distribution processes, distribution deadlines, the information to be provided to members, and administrative expenses and other deductions. The act also requires that rights surrendered to an organisation by client contract are divided into classes of rights, which the member can also choose to separate from the organisation’s administration.

Implementation of the new act got underway at Teosto from autumn 2014 onwards. The work was done by a task force that included executive directors of member organisations of Teosto and representatives of Teosto itself. The main focus of the task force’s work was on the changes to Teosto’s rules that were made necessary by the act, and by its requirement of a new classification of rights in Teosto’s client contract. The preparatory work is now in the final stretch, and the classification of rights will be put up for approval at a general meeting of Teosto’s ordinary members to be held in spring 2017.

Further and more detailed information on the matter will be given during spring 2017 to all Teosto members.