Estonian Authors` Society visited neighbour society AKKA/LAA

Last week Estonian Authors` Society visited Latvian Authors` Society AKKA/LAA. The aim was to gain insights into the operations of other Baltic countries’ societies, share experiences regarding the effective work of societies and with the kind of IT solutions that are in use.

It was exciting to see how AKKA/LAA uses the IT solution AVIS, which is developed by AKKA/LAA itself. This program is for authors and users of music that gathers the information of different authors, their repertoires and users of their works into one system. We also discussed cooperation opportunities with other partners such as ICE, PRS, Mint, STIM and others.

The representatives of the Lithuanian Authors’ Society LATGA joined us for dinner, unfortunately they could not make it to the daytime seminar due to a flight cancellation. However, discussions continued at the dinner table regarding the involvement of authors and the use of music, so we also briefly learned about the focus topics of the Lithuanian society. For example, LATGA recently organized the “Cultural Night” event with a focus on authors. Lithuanian capital city Vilnius celebrated its 700th birthday and for the event, LATGA built a temporary “house of authors” without a roof and walls, where more than 40 authors presented their creations.

“Although we are separate societies with our own specificities and cultural spaces, we are all open to cooperation. The experience of Nordic societies shows that cooperation and information exchange helps to make the work of small societies more effective.” says Estonian Authors` Society CEO Mati Kaalep.

From left: Lithuanian Authors` Society CEO Laura Baškevičienė, Estonian Authors` Society CEO Mati Kaalep, Latvian Authors` Society CEO Inese Paklone

Latvian Authors` Society CEO Inese Paklone says: “It was great to see everybody in flesh – a rare chance for us, LATGA and EAÜ! As to AKKA/LAA, we were happy to have our Ieva’s presentation too – most departments use just their respective and specific “chambers” of AVIS (joint information system of AKKA/LAA), and here it suddenly was in all its glory. Also, we did appreciate the value of live conversation and exchange of experience. Must repeat that.”

“It is always a pleasure to meet with our colleagues from sister societies, AKKA/LAA and EAÜ. It’s very important for us to keep in touch, since we all go through same obstacles, regarding licensing and distribution. We value our long-lasting relationships and appreciate every opportunity to meet and learn from each other,” added Lithuanian Authors` Society CEO Laura Baškevičienė from her side.

Latvian Authors` Society AKKA/LAA represents the authors of music, literature, art and audiovisual works and the use of these works. AKKA/LAA also collects private copying fees and distributes them to the owners of related rights. In addition, Latvian Authors` Society distributes fees for the public rental of literary works and manages the resale of works of art. AKKA/LAA has 5950 members. In 2022 the society collected 8,5 million euros in royalties (including private copying fees). AKKA/LAA has 31 employees.

Lithuanian Authors` Society LATGA also represents the authors of musical, literary, visual, drama and audiovisual works and the use of these works. As of the end of 2022, 6181 members belong to LATGA. In 2022, the society collected 9  million euros in royalties. LATGA has 37 employees.