Cases in which music authors that are EAÜ members can practice self administration

EAÜ's lawyer, Anne-Ly Hussar answers

Authors who have signed a contract with EAÜ and become members (or clients) of EAÜ must take into account that during the term of the contract with EAÜ they cannot exercise their economic rights themselves. EAÜ does that for them. This means that once the author has signed a contract with EAÜ, obtaining licenses and paying fees for the use of the musical works created by the author takes place through EAÜ. In fact, the contract that the author concludes with EAÜ includes all the musical works created by him/her (except music drama works).The same applies to the successors of authors and music publishers who have concluded a contract with EAÜ.

However, in some cases, a person who has become a member of EAÜ has the right to exercise his/her own economic rights. Listed below are cases in which the author (or his/her successor or publisher) who has entered into such general agreement with EAÜ may license the use of the work himself/herself.

Music drama works

As stated above, music drama works are not covered by the general agreement concluded between EAÜ and the author. The reason being that collective management organizations don't generally  deal with 'grand rights'. By 'grand rights' we mean the rights to use music drama works (such as opera, operetta, musical, ballet). Thus, in the case of a music drama work, the author who created the music is entitled to grant licenses himself for the purpose of making the music drama work available to the public.

If the author wishes, EAÜ may enter into a corresponding agreement with the theater for him/her, but in that case the author must conclude a separate agreement with EAÜ, by which he/she grants EAÜ the right to represent him/her in the case of this particular music drama.

However, authors of music drama works should be aware that if they have entered into the aforementioned general agreement with EAÜ, EAÜ is still entitled to grant licenses for them in the following cases:

  1. when a fragment of the music drama work is used. For example, collective management organizations, and thus EAÜ, have the power to license and charge television and radio service providers for transmitting fragments of music drama works that last less than 20 minutes (on television) or 25 minutes (on radio), except when said fragment is in the form of a consolidated version or a full length act.
  2. when individual works contained in the music drama work are used separately. For example, a song from a music drama work is performed at a concert or broadcast on the radio; 3.
  3. when it's a concert version of a music drama work.


Advertising is a field in which every author who is a member of EAÜ must have the right to decide for him/herself whether he/she wishes to associate the work he/she has created with an advertisement produced for the purpose of providing a service or increasing sales or promoting an event. If the author decides to grant license to the producer (or subscriber) of the advertisement, he/she must also agree on the amount of the fee for the use of the work. If desired, the author may also contact EAÜ and ask EAÜ to represent him/her and take charge of all dealings with the producer of said advertisement.

Sheet music and lyrics

 If it is wished to use sheet music or lyrics individually, then obtaining these rights does not happen through EAÜ, but the author or his/her rightholder of the economic rights (successor, music publisher) has the right to say whether he/she authorizes the publication (reproduction) of sheet music or lyrics and under what conditions.


Use of existing musical works in both spoken and music performances can only take place with a license from EAÜ. Only, if the musical work was specially created for this particular performance may the author who is a member of EAÜ agree directly with the theater on the terms of public performance of his/her work. The theater is obliged to inform EAÜ that it has entered into an agreement directly with the author or his/her successor when accepting such performance into their program.

Television and radio

In the case of signature music specially created for a particular program, EAÜ allows authors who are its members to enter into direct agreements with television and radio service providers. Signature music is music that is used repeatedly during and/or at the beginning and/or end of a show or program as a signature and/or differentiate it from other shows or programs. If the subscriber and author have concluded an agreement according to which the subscriber has paid the author not only for the creation of the signature music but also for the exercise of its economic rights, the author may no longer demand royalties from EAÜ for the transmission of the signature music via radio or television.

Audiovisual works - films and television shows

Producers of films or television shows (including television service providers) must obtain a license from EAÜ to record existing musical works, and the fee for it shall also be paid only through EAÜ.

However, if it is a musical work that was created by the author at the request of a film producer or television service provider specially for a specific movie or television show, then the author him/herself may agree on the amount of the fee for the recording (ie reproduction or copying) of the musical work in question and the procedure of paying it with the producer of said movie or show. However, this only applies to the first copy of the movie or television show. Subsequent copying (additional copies of the film or show for transmission or public display or for distribution on DVDs or other video carriers) is not subject to this right, therefore for any subsequent copying of a film or television show a recording license from EAÜ must be obtained.

If the film in question is screened publicly at a cinema or other place open to the public, the right to publicly perform the music in the film shall only be obtained through EAÜ, this also applies to the musical works specifically created for that film. . The same applies to the broadcasting of a film or television show on television where the license granted by  EAÜ to the television service providers and the fees paid for it by the television service provider to EAÜ cover both musical works specifically created for that film or television show and already existing musical works.