The field of collective management of music authors’ rights in Greece is currently experiencing a series of ongoing developments regarding the establishment and operation of collecting societies representing music authors in the country, with the situation still remaining uncertain as to how the landscape will look like in a few months’ time.

It is noted that currently, two Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) are representing music authors in Greece: “EYED” and “AUTODIA”.

“EYED” (meaning “Special Service of Emergency Rights Management”) was set up in June 2018 by virtue of a legislative act, it operates as a service of the Hellenic Copyright Organization, and it is meant to cease its operation in June 2020. This is because this CMO was created for the special purpose to manage authors’ rights temporarily (for two years), following the revocation, in May 2018, of the operating license of “AEPI”, which used to be the largest collecting society for authors in music in Greece, due to mismanagement and breach of lawful obligations that showed, as per the Ministry’s decision, the lack of AEPI’s viability and its inability to effectively manage authors’ rights.

The law provides that the CMO which will become the successor of “EYED” shall be chosen by the General Assembly of the members of “EYED”. On 25/11/2019, the General Assembly of EYED decided that the association of authors “EDEM” shall be its successor CMO. However, the, self-managed by its members-authors, “EDEM” has not yet received an operating license by the Ministry of Culture, as the Ministry has asked for a “business plan” that would prove the CMO’s viability to operate. Thus, “EDEM”, which has filed its application to receive the license since last summer, cannot yet legally operate as a CMO in Greece and cannot yet replace “EYED”. A number of authors have recently voiced their concerns about the issue, and, indicatively, artists-members of “EDEM” held a press conference on 22/01/2020 demanding that the Ministry issues the CMO’s operating license.

On the other hand, “AUTODIA”, which is self-managed by its members-authors, is the other Greek CMO for authors in music which is currently operating – along with “EYED”. Very recently, a decision of the Greek Minister of Culture, published on 27/11/2019, ordered for the temporary revocation of AUTODIA’s operating license, for a period two months, as a sanction for unlawful mismanagement by the CMO, according to the decision, following the results of an audit performed by Ernst & Young and submitted to the Hellenic Copyright Organization in the summer of 2019. However, on 23/12/2019, by virtue of a provisional order granted by the Supreme Administrative Court, the above Ministerial Decision was suspended until the decision of the Suspension Committee of the same Court, and thus “AUTODIA” may currently operate normally. What is more, with regards to the current general developments in the field, in press releases on 15/01/2020 and on 22/01/2020, the members of “AUTODIA” expressed their opposition to the operation of a second CMO in relation to music authors’ rights in Greece (i.e. “EDEM”), after “EYED” ceases to exist.

At the same time, in January 2020, it was made public the company “IP Hub S.A.”, has notified the Hellenic Copyright Organization its will to begin operations as the first Independent Management Entity (IME) established in Greece, and the Ministry of Culture has issued the relevant act certifying the IME’s notification. A number of artists have voiced concerns about the entry of this new and unexpected player, in the form of an IME, in the field of collective music management. On the other hand, on 20/01/2020, “IP Hub” addressed a letter to “EYED” and “EDEM”, calling for cooperation and expressing the will to provide financing and technical support for the operation of a viable collective management plan.

It follows of course from all the above, that the situation regarding collective management for music authors’ rights in Greece remains quite uncertain, and it still developing towards a landscape that is difficult to predict. Time will only tell if any of the developments that are still to come may, hopefully, bring better and more stable days for music authors.

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