COVID-19: Sacem launches a plan to take urgent measures to help its members, authors, composers and publishers of music

March 27, 2020

Faced with the gravity of the health crisis and its dramatic consequences for authors, composers and publishers of music, Sacem is launching a plan for emergency measures aimed at ensuring a first round of aid for its members who need it most. Sacem, along with all of its teams, has been completely mobilized since the beginning of this crisis to remain operational and support its members during this unprecedented emergency.

A plan for emergency measures

The Sacem board of directors met on Thursday, March 26 and decided to put into place a plan for emergency measures to help authors, composers and publishers of music.

The plan is built around three aid mechanisms:

- A €6 million rescue fund

This rescue fund is for the people who are most in distress and can no longer meet their own basic needs. Grants will amount to €1500, €3000 or €5000, depending on the situation. The rescue fund will be managed jointly by the Sacem members’ Comité du Coeur and by the social affairs department at Sacem.  

- Exceptional royalty advances. Sacem members will be hit doubly hard by this crisis.

The immediate impact is the cessation of activities of every kind, which makes it impossible for them to work and so has an immediate effect on revenue.

The impact will be even harder in the medium term. While the economic recovery will have started, because the current collapse of economic activity is causing a loss of royalties collected, there will be a sharp drop in royalties paid out, notably starting in January 2021.

Indeed, unlike most other forms of artistic remuneration, royalties are only paid after the works have been made available and disseminated.

If all the eligible members take advantage of the proposed advances, the total amount paid out could reach €36 million. 

- Reinforcement of our support program for publishers

The existing aid programme run by Sacem’s cultural action team and earmarked for music publishers will get additional funding of €1 million and will broaden its criteria in an effort to see them through the crisis period and support their recovery.

The operational arrangements for the emergency fund will be active as soon as Thursday, April 2. Sacem members can access them via their membership area on The first support payments will be able to be made the following week.

Because these are exceptional advances of royalty payments, they can be requested over a year, and their reimbursement will be deferred beyond 2021 and may be spread out over a maximum of 5 years.

A historic commitment  

From its origins, authors, composers and publishers of music have inscribed mutual aid and solidarity in the DNA of their society. Sacem incorporates a solid social dimension of solidarity  among its members so that author’s right is not just a pay cheque in the moment, but something that protects the people who have dedicated their lives to art and creation as professionals. 

Mindful of the difficulties that creators of music may encounter over their careers, Sacem members created in 1951 an association for mutual aid among peers: The Comité du Coeur, or Committee of the Heart, of Sacem members. Throughout the year, Sacem members can get aid, legal advice from our teams and rely on the Comité for personalized guidance provided by the social assistance service.

This crisis is bound to weaken our sector over a long period, so Sacem is taking action for the long term and will be able to take new supportive measures as the situation evolves.  To reach its goals and to get a measure of the impact of the crisis on its members, Sacem will soon carry out an in-depth study co-created with the professional organizations that represent authors, composers and publishers of music.

Bruno Lion, Chairman of the Sacem Board: “Solidarity is an the heart of Sacem’s values. Since its founding, Sacem has been with its members at every stage of their lives, not only in distributing the royalties it collects, but also through its cultural action and solidarity networks. In these difficult times, the meaning of this commitment shines through. We can be proud of our collective strength in the service of creation, authors, composers and their publishers. More than ever, in times of crisis, our purpose is: Together, let’s make music live!”

Jean-Noël Tronc, Chief Executive Officer of Sacem: “Sacem is totally mobilized for its members. Our business continuity plan, thanks to all of our teams’ working from home, is allowing us to remain available remotely. The April 6 distribution of royalties will happen on schedule. Today, we are taking a series of strong, urgent measures to help our members as best we can in a situation of unprecedented gravity. We are also calling on public authorities to take into account, in the measures they are putting into place, the specific nature of the professions of authors and composers, who are not salaried employees and should be able to benefit from the kinds of measures the self-employed are getting, and of the music publishers as well, who usually are classified as Very Small Enterprises (TPE in French), but whose economic model does not correspond to the programmes already announced.”

For more information on the measures put in place for our members, click here.

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+33 1 47 15 45 92

Anthony Rival
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Published the March 27 2020