If a work is co-authored with a foreign author, the two parties shall agree on which party’s home society the work will be registered in.
If the foreign author (there may be more than one) is affiliated with a music publishing agency, the EAÜ recommends registering the work with the foreign author’s home society. In this case, it is essential that you provide the registrant with your IPI (interested party information) number. You can find your IPI numer in authors portal.
If you register a work abroad, you could inform the EAÜ by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we can keep an eye on registrations in international databases.
When registering a work with the EAÜ, be sure to ask for the IPI number of all co-authors. This makes it easier to find the right person.
- In the case of rights of use for dramatic-musical works (e.g. opera, operetta, musical, ballet), the so-called grand rights
However, if an author wishes to have the EAÜ enter into an agreement with a theatre on his/her behalf, a separate contract shall be concluded with the EAÜ for the dramatic work.
- Use in advertising
It is up to the author to decide whether or not to associate his or her work with a promoted item, service, or event. If the author decides to grant permission, he/she shall enter into an agreement with the advertiser to receive payment. If the author wishes, he or she can also ask the EAÜ to take over all the administration and representation.
- Using sheet music and song lyrics
The author or his/her heir has the right to decide whether, and under what conditions, he/she wishes to authorise the distribution or publication (reproduction) of his/her sheet music or lyrics.
- Composition created specifically for a theatrical production
If an author creates a new musical work for a particular production, he or she can agree on the conditions for its public performance with the theatre. However, for use of a musical work that already exists, theatres shall seek permission from the EAÜ.
- Theme music for radio or television
The author may enter into direct agreements with television and radio broadcasters with relation to theme music created for a specific broadcast or programme. (I- punktina lisada:” Tunnusmuusika on muusika, mida kasutatakse korduvalt saate või programmi ajal (näiteks saate alguses või lõpus), et eristada saadet või programmi teistest saadetest või programmidest.)”
If the person who orders and the author of the theme music have entered into an agreement pursuant to which the person who orders has paid the author for both the creation and use of the proprietary rights of the theme music, the author is no longer entitled to claim any payment through the EAÜ for the use of that work on radio or television.
- Use in audiovisual works (films and series)
The author may enter into an agreement directly with a film producer or television service provider in the case of a musical work created for a specific film or series, and the agreed remuneration and payment arrangements apply only to the first copy. Subsequent copying (additional copies for the purpose of transmission, public performance or distribution on DVD, or other video media) is not covered by the right to enter into a direct agreement and the recording of the musical work shall be authorised by the EAÜ.
If a film is shown in public in a cinema, another place open to the public, or on television, the right to the public performance of the music used in the film can only be obtained through the EAÜ. The same applies to music created specifically for a movie.
Translating or arranging the text of a musical work protected by copyright requires the consent of the author of the original work. Copyright is valid during the lifetime of the author and for 70 years after his or her death.
Permission is not required for translating and arranging folk songs, as copyright law does not apply to compositions using works of folklore.
How do I get permission?
The arranger/translator shall contact the author, heir, or publisher for signed permission. Contact details of the persons concerned can be obtained from the EAÜ. We can be particularly helpful if the person you are looking for is a member of the EAÜ. If the person is a member of another society, we will provide the applicant with the contact details of that society.
The author or the representative of his/her rights (heir, publisher) will agree with the arranger/translator whether the latter will receive remuneration for his/her arrangement/translation and, if so, the percentage of remuneration.
The author of the original work shall register the work with the EAÜ.
Arrangers and translators cannot fill in the registration form themselves (i.e. they cannot present themselves as translators or arrangers of the work), the heir and publisher shall forward to the EAÜ the permission to register the work.
For translations or arrangements where permission has not been sought or obtained but which are nevertheless distributed, neither the translator nor the arranger shall acquire any right of authorship. This means that they do not have the right to publicly present themselves as the author of a translation or arrangement.
The work shall clearly indicate the person who owns the copyright in the work. The © sign has lost its former significance and there is no longer any obligation or need to use it under Estonian copyright law. The © sign is used purely out of habit.
Copyright can be expressed, for example, in the following manner: ‘Copyright: Jüri Kass, 2021’, which could be supplemented by ‘All rights reserved’.
This person has two roles: he or she is both the performer and the author. As a performer, he or she may agree on the fee and other conditions with the organiser of the event. However, as an author – if he or she is a member of the EAÜ – he or she must obtain permission from the EAÜ to make his or her work public, i.e. enter into a licence agreement with the EAÜ and pay royalties through the EAÜ.
Even if the author-performer is not a member of the EAÜ, not all the works he or she performs are necessarily his or her own. For example, the author of a melody may not be a member of the EAÜ, but the author of the lyrics is. Therefore, he or she still has to enter into an agreement with the EAÜ.
- Public performance
We are surrounded by music everywhere: in cafés and restaurants, clubs and concert halls, shops, and other public spaces. When music is performed in public, it must be remembered that every piece of music is considered a work of authorship, which is subject to copyright. Consequently, the person organising the public performance of a work must obtain prior permission (a licence) from the author or the organisation representing the author, i.e. the authors’ society. Permission must also be sought in advance if the work is to be publicly performed by any technical means (such as a CD player) or if the work is to be broadcast via radio, television, or cable. Permission is also needed if the work is to be performed in such a way that people can listen to it at a place and time of their choosing.
Under copyright law, public performance means playing, singing, or otherwise performing a work, either directly or by any technical means or process, in a place open to the public, or in a place not open to the public but in which an indefinite number of persons outside the family and immediate circle of acquaintances are present. It does not matter whether the public perceives the work or not, or whether anyone notices that the music is playing. The technical means used for the performance are also irrelevant.
It should be emphasised that the notion that no fee is payable for the presentation of a radio programme (e.g. when radio music is played in the background in a shop) because the radio service provider has already paid for the use of the works performed is false. In actuality, only the radio broadcaster has paid royalties for the right to broadcast the work. However, if someone wants to use the same radio programme as background music in their business premises, it constitutes a public performance of the work and a separate fee must be paid. Also, if you’ve bought a CD or created a Spotify account, you can use the music associated with them for personal purposes, but not commercial purposes such as setting the mood in a restaurant or bar.
EAÜ represents the rights of over 4 million authors and music publishers. Entering into an agreement with EAÜ is a quick and easy way for event organisers, businesses, and other interested parties to legally use works by authors represented by the society.
- Transmission of musical works
Under the Copyright Act, the author has the exclusive right to authorise the communication of his or her works by radio, television, cable, satellite, and other technical devices.
ERR broadcasts more than 230,000 musical works in one year. As it would be cumbersome to apply for individual licences from each author and music publisher, it has become common practice around the world to obtain the necessary licences for the distribution of musical works through authors’ societies.
Therefore, radio and television organisations, cable operators, and anyone else who broadcasts programmes (including films) shall obtain a licence from an authors’ society (in Estonia- EAÜ) to broadcast musical works included in those programmes. In other words, they have to enter into an agreement with the society.
Pursuant to the Copyright Act, it makes no difference whether a musical work is transmitted for the first time or is retransmitted. Thus, for example, cable TV companies that broadcast programmes from other TV stations shall obtain a permission from both the TV station to show its programme and from the EAÜ to use musical works included in that programme.
- Recording (reproduction) of musical works
The author has the exclusive right to authorise the reproduction of his or her work, i.e. to make a copy of it. For making a copy, the music is stored on a storage medium (such as a CD, computer hard disk, USB stick, or other storage device).
If you want to record a piece of music for use in advertising, or if you want to modify the work (for example, to make an arrangement or to replace the foreign-language lyrics with Estonian), you need to obtain permission directly from the author or publisher of the musical work. EAÜ can help you find the contact details.
Recording a musical work from an existing audio carrier to another audio carrier also requires permission from the producer of that audio carrier and the performers of the musical work.
Without permission, recordings (for example, radio broadcasts) may be made only for private use (for example for research, teaching).
EAÜ’s permission is not required in the following cases:
1. for the recording of musical works where all the authors (composer, lyricist, arranger) died more than 70 years ago;
2. for the recording of works of folklore (if they are not arrangements);
3. for recording works by authors who are not members of EAÜ or other organisations representing authors; permission must be sought directly from such authors.
Therefore, you should always check with EAÜ’s recording and online use department before making an audio or video carrier, whether the use of the work is free of charge and whether the authors of the work are represented by EAÜ.
- Online use of musical works
Online use of works includes the use of streaming services (e.g. Spotify, YouTube) and download services (e.g. iTunes).
EAÜ can give a permission to make the musical works of its members available to the public in the following ways:
- downloading the works;
- listening to the works via a streaming service;
- making the works available to the public for the purpose of public performance (for example playing background music in a shop);
- making the musical works used in audiovisual works available to the public (e.g. digital video rental).