European collection societies are often notorious bulldogs, but they also seem to bite everyone. Groups like PRS for Music in the UK and GEMA in Germany often impose strict exclusivity clauses over artists, while making cross-border licensing a multi-year, bankrupt-inducing headache. And don’t even get started on licensing crackdowns…
All of which brings us to the Cultural Commons Collecting Society, or C3S, a crowd-funded, alternative society designed to offer greater flexibility to artists, services, and establishments alike. That includes supporting Creative Commons, and allowing artists to sign their own rights deals when they want.
CS3 was first conceived in 2010, and the ‘cooperative’ is now aiming to expand beyond Germany and into the rest of Europe. But they need your help; here’s a pre-launch announcement from the group.
The Cultural Commons Collecting Society (C3S) wants to change this situation. Last Sunday, a crowdfunding initiative was started in order to enable concerted investment in a fair alternative to the GEMA.
The date for the founding has been set: September 25th, during the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg.
Digitalization has transformed the needs of both consumers and artists. For a long time, people have waited for an adaption to the circumstances and a restructuring. But neither the GEMA itself, nor politics, or the German Patent and Trademark Office are able to alter the current situation.
“This is why the C3S (Cultural Commons Collecting Society) was created as an initiative for founding a new, alternative collecting society. A community, acting in a social, open and democratic way.”
In the run-up to the crowdfunding, 770 people have declared that they want to immediately become supporters and members of the C3S. A music sampler, curated by a team at C3S and containing GEMA-free music under Creative Commons licenses, was downloaded 16,000 times within 60 hours. Meanwhile, GEMA-free platforms like Jamendo.com list up to 40,000 artists.
The demand for a new, European collecting society is obvious. m.eik michalke, spokesperson for cultural politics of the C3S, explains: “Our goal is a collecting society that supports conventional licensing models as well as the promotion of new, user-friendly models like Creative Commons.”
“As a European cooperative association, the C3S wants to crowdsource a minimum of 50,000 Euros in order to be able to continue its work.”
The core objective, however, is the founding of a cooperative with 3,000 members, and startup financing the start with ca. 200,000 Euros – a concerted effort of investing in the future of music.
Tino Kreßner, CFO and founder of Startnext, says: “Crowdfunding and cooperative associations share a fundamental characteristic: it is all about joining forces to support an idea. For Startnext, the financing of the cooperative association of the C3S is an important milestone, because it is our goal to especially support the founding of cooperatives and social businesses.”
Musicians and music lovers, individuals, companies and organizations – everybody can participate by registering on the Startnext platform and participating in the crowdfunding, or by becoming a member by purchasing at least one 50 Euro share.