When implementing advocacy activities, ECSA pursues the following objectives:

  • join the efforts of European music authors to ensure their voice is heard by policy-makers;
  • protect and defend music creators’ rights;
  • reinforce the perception of the cultural and economic value of music;
  • inspire policy-makers to encourage the creation of music;
  • actively support the development of authors’ right and copyright and defend the collective management of authors’ rights;
  • create fair commercial conditions for all music creators.

For detailed information on our positions on specific policy issues, please check the EU Policy Issues webpage.

Advocacy activities implemented by ECSA include:

  • organizing meetings with decision-makers;
  • drafting and disseminating position papers;
  • liaising with other right holders and user representative organisations;
  • representing music creators in external forums and cultural events;
  • organizing events to promote the awareness of the value of music.

Concrete examples of ECSA’s advocacy activities:

Authors’ Group

ECSA collaborates closely with its sister associations that are the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Writers’ Council (EWC), the Federation of European Film Directors (FERA) and the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE). The Authors’ Group is thus the largest European authors’ network representing more than 500 000 authors, including writers, literary translators, composers, songwriters, journalists, screenwriters, film and TV directors in Europe.

The Authors’ Group is advocating for a stable and fair European copyright framework for the benefit of authors achieving fair remuneration for authors and fighting unfair contracts. This framework shall diminish the value gaps between authors and publishers, producers and broadcasters, and stimulate the creative process bringing transparency in authors’ remuneration schemes.

Dan Clifton (FERA), Mogens Blicher Bjerregard (EFJ), Martin Schulz (EP President), Alfons Karabuda (ECSA), Sveinbjorn Baldvinsson (FSE) and Nick Yapp (EWC) © ECSA

From the left: Dan Clifton (FERA), Mogens Blicher Bjerregard (EFJ), Martin Schulz (EP President), Alfons Karabuda (ECSA), Sveinbjorn Baldvinsson (FSE) and Nick Yapp (EWC) © ECSA

Find the Authors’ Group statements in full length here:

Authors’ Group open letter in support of the Copyright Directive – January 2019

Authors’ Group declaration “Towards a modern, more European copyright framework and the necessity of fair contracts for creators” – May 2016

Authors’ Group statement on EC Communication ‘Towards a modern, more European copyright framework’ – December 2015

Creators’ Roundtable

As a result of the failure of the GRD (Global Repertoire Database), ECSA initiated a cross-industry dialogue among music writer groups from North America and Europe in order to continue exercising pressure on the music industry to work on more connected and accurate databases of the respective repertoire hubs. The dialogue was launched at a Creators’ Roundtable, organized by ECSA in New York on 20 November 2015, aiming at addressing crucial questions related to the failure of the GRD.

Another Roundtable taking place in Washington DC two days before, on 18 November 2015, focused on legislative issues including discussions on the copyright law in light of the digital environment and on the GRD and the CisNet project, its results and collaborations of collective societies.

Relevant outcome of the Roundtables was the introduction of the Creators’ Network, a network whose goal is to focus on legislative issues and discussions on how to ensure fair remuneration in the digital environment.

Photo credits: ECSA

A further Roundtable discussion with international creator and YouTube representatives was organised by ECSA in Berlin on 25 October 2016. The exchange of views in rapid changing times of the music business focussed on how to empower music writers in the digital future. Among the issues addressed were rights management, content ID and transparency.


From the left: Francisca Aas, Helienne Lindvall, Sonia Khan, Niels Mosumgaard, Kiki Ganzemueller, Alfons Karabuda, Victoria Campoamor, Markus Nordenstreng, Dennis Dreith, Marten Karlsson, Bernard Grimaldi and Patrick Ager, 25 October 2016, Berlin (photo credit: Stefan Riedel)

On 1 December 2020, ECSA organized an online Creators’ Roundtable event on Music Streaming. MEP hosts Alexis Georgoulis (GUE/NGL) and Niklas Nienaß (Greens/EFA) along with artists and streaming services’ representatives discussed the workings of the music value chain in the time of digital streaming and its impact on songwriters and composers – as well as shared concerns and information on what could be done to ensure artists are proportionally remunerated.

From the left: Alicja Swierczek, Michelle Leonard, Naomi Pohl, Alfons Karabuda,Anton Gourman, Chris Cooke, Niklas Nienass, Alexis Georgoulis (photo credit: ECSA)

Transatlantic Dialogue for Sustainable Music

In order to keep the momentum of the Creators’ Roundtables, ESCA will continue further developing the collaboration with the North American fellows and music industry representatives. This Transatlantic Dialogue for Sustainable Music shall offer the platform for capacity building, exchanging information and advocacy among North American and European music creator groups, as well as establishing a dialogue with key consumer organisations and music service providers in order to elaborate common views for a more sustainable market for online music.

In the framework of the Berlin Roundtable in October 2016, ECSA and the AFM & SAG-AFTRA IPR Distribution Fund agreed to partner up for intensifying the collaboration of music creators in Europe and the United States of America.

In a Memorandum of Understanding, both parties agreed to exchange privileged information regarding creators’ rights and music industry developments in the US and in the EU, as well as to represent each other on specific occasions.


Dennis Dreith, Executive Director of AFM & SAG-AFTRA IPR Distribution Fund (left) and ECSA President Alfons Karabuda (right) sign the Memorandum of Understanding in Berlin on 25 October 2016 (photo credit: ECSA)

Picture Credit: Jennifer Harmon 

On 13th March 2019, the Creators’ Roundtable took place in LA, hosted by The Society of Composers an Lyricists and ECSA. The event provided an opportunity for reciprocal updates on relevant political and legal developments in the EU and US for composers and songwriters. 

For detailed information about our recent advocacy initiatives, please check the ECSA Journal webpage.

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