IFRRO CODE OF CONDUCT - REPRODUCTION RIGHTS ORGANISATIONS

Revised by the IFRRO Board 20 September 2007

Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs) are collective management organisations which act as intermediaries/facilitators between rightsholders* and users in the fields of reprographic reproduction and certain digital uses.

The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) links together Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs) around the world.

RROs provide valuable services to rightsholders and copyright users. They promote the creation and dissemination of copyright material, act in the interests of rightsholders and facilitate legal access to copyright material.

IFRRO's Code of Conduct (the Code) sets out the standards of service that rightsholders and users can expect to receive when dealing with RROs. The Code promotes awareness of and access to information about copyright and the role and function of RROs in administering copyright on behalf of rightsholders.

The objective of the Code is to develop confidence about and to promote best practice in the operations of RROs. To facilitate this, IFRRO encourages RROs to develop fair and effective procedures for handling complaints and resolving disputes.

While adherence to the Code is voluntary, it embodies the principles and values which IFRRO believes all RROs should achieve and uphold. RROs that adopt this code have in place the necessary mechanism or systems to comply with the standards of behaviour set out in the code.

* The term "rightsholders" refers to authors and publishers

Values  

RROs:
• maintain fair, equitable, impartial, honest, and non-discriminatory relationships with rightsholders, users and other parties;
• respect copyright, contracts and applicable national and international laws;
• act with integrity in the collection and distribution of funds received;
• minimise their costs while providing efficient services to rightsholders and users of copyright.

In order to give effect to these values, each RRO aspires to:

• be responsive to the needs of its rightsholders and licensees;
• achieve efficiency in the process of allocating and distributing payments, and
• be accountable, ensure transparency and strive for best practice in the conduct of its operations.

Scope

The operation of the Code and the extent to which it can be adopted by a RRO is dependent upon national laws which may provide legal and regulatory mechanisms for RROs.

1. General

RROs

1.1 act according to their governing rules and constitution as well as applicable national and international law;
1.2 provide information about their operations that is clear and easy to understand;
1.3 educate and train their staff to meet the standards of this Code;
1.4 work to maintain, protect and value copyright laws where required and appropriate;
1.5 organise and publicise appropriate procedures to manage complaints and resolve disputes;
1.6 deal with confidential information appropriately, respecting agreements and applicable laws while respecting privacy rights of rightsholders and users;
1.7 administer rights efficiently, including where they involve other organisations, so as to minimise total administrative costs that are being deducted. 

2. Representation of Rightsholders

2.1 RROs:
2.1.1 have open representation for all eligible rightsholders in accordance with applicable national and supranational laws, including competition law;
2.1.2 ensure that their dealings with their constituents are transparent by publicising and explaining their operations, practices and procedures.

3. Relationships with Rightsholders

3.1 RROs:
3.1.1 manage their relationships with rightsholders efficiently, equitably and impartially;
3.1.2 treat all rightsholders in accordance with applicable statutes and national laws;
3.1.3 collect and distribute remuneration in a diligent, efficient and transparent manner; and
3.1.4 explain clearly and regularly the basis of their operations.

4. Relationships with Copyright Users

4.1 RROs:
4.1.1 manage their relations with copyright users and their representatives efficiently and equitably;
4.1.2 collect payments in a diligent, efficient and transparent manner;
4.1.3 explain clearly the source and content of their repertoire.

5. Distribution Policy

5.1 RROs distribute remuneration received to rightsholders
5.1.1 efficiently and expeditiously;
5.1.2 approximating actual use as far as possible;
5.1.3 transparently, by publicising distribution plans which explain the manner and frequency of payments with sufficient detail;
5.1.4 in accordance with applicable national and international laws.

5.2 RROs clearly explain the management of funds not yet distributed.

5.3. RROs deduct from collections amounts of which they inform rightsholders as appropriate for their expenses and operating costs which:
5.3.1. are proper and reasonable and in proportion to their actual efforts and services delivered; 
5.3.2. accord with and are authorised by applicable statutes and by national laws.

5.4 RROs observe the principles that:
5.4.1 charging and deduction practices are transparent and, as far as possible, based on choices and options;
5.4.2 equivalent transactions are subject to equivalent charges. 

5.5 RROs deduct from collections, if authorised by national law and/or their statutes and/or distribution plan rules so to do, allocations for social and/or cultural purposes; and whenever they do so, the authorisation for, as well as the amount and nature of the allocation, is clearly explained to the rightsholders concerned. RROs avoid discrimination on grounds of nationality or otherwise.

5.6 RROs endeavour to ensure that the total of the amounts deducted by organisations involved from sums collected is reasonable and reflects the service delivered.

See also the document "Relationship between RROs".