France's Sacem Ends Royalties Dispute With Vivendi-Owned Canal Plus

12Oct - by EvelynSutherland21

Authors' rights society Sacem has ended its legal action against leading French film and television studio and distributor Canal Plus over the non-payment royalties and agreed to a global deal for the use its members' repertoire.

Sacem had recently begun legal proceedings against Canal Plus, which is owned by Universal Music parent company Vivendi, after it stopped paying the collection society royalties for music broadcast on its TV networks in late 2016.

That dispute has continued throughout this year and was only resolved this month when the two parties signed a deal over the payment royalties for the use Sacem works across all the broadcaster's channels and satellite services.

Under the terms the agreement, Canal Plus will pay Sacem “all sums due for 2017” and submit details the works used so that collections “can be distributed as soon as possible to the creators and publishers concerned.”

In return, Sacem is dropping all pending legal proceedings and has also entered into a new agreement with Canal Plus that carries a minimum duration two years, beginning January 1 2018.   

“Once again, Sacem has demonstrated the importance the collective management model in defending the rights creators,” said CEO Jean-Noël Tronc in a statement.  

“We hope that the strategic repositioning Canal Plus Group will allow it to successfully re-establish itself to the benefit the entire creative ecosystem,” he went on to say.

“With this agreement, our group renews its commitment to the financing creation and support authors in France,” added Jean-Christophe Thiery, chairman the Canal Plus Group Management Board.

The benefits the deal also extend beyond France with just under 20,000 Sacem's 161,000 members coming from outside the country. In 2016, the organization — which represents over 118 million works and some the world's most successful songwriters — generated record revenues  €1.37 billion ($1.5 billion) and paid out €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) to members and affiliate neighbouring rights organizations (up 2 percent on 2015).