Copyright and Collecting Societies

Copyright focuses on a “work”, in music this will mainly be a “work of music“, defined as sequences of notes which constitute a “unique intellectual creation“. In addition to works of music, there are also “works of literature” in music, in other words a text to accompany a music composition.

In 2017 AKM reported 21,449 creators, 15% of whom are women, 1,582 copyright sucessor owners and 711 publishers.6  The Leistungsschutzgesellschaft LSG, as of 2017, has a membership of 18,412 interpreters and around 4,373 producers.7

Collecting societies are private institutions which manage copyrights or related rights on behalf of a large number of creators or owners of related rights with a view to joint exploitation.

They grant licences for the exploitation of works, levy royalty fees and distribute revenue according to fixed rules among the creators and other rights holders. In Austria, as in the European Union, collecting societies hold a monopoly (this not being the case e.g. in the U.S.);  there is, therefore,  a collecting society for each form of exploitation within a work category.

The collecting societies have concluded reciprocal agreements, so that the Austrian collecting societies can grant licences in Austria for nearly the worldwide repertoire, and vice versa, the Austrian repertoire can be licenced almost world-wide.

Info page on copyright and collecting societies:

Collecting societies:

AKM/Austro Mechana

Staatlich genehmigte Gesellschaft der Autoren, Komponisten und Musikverleger (AKM) registrierte Genossenschaft mit beschränkter Haftung & Tochtergesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung mechanisch-musikalischer Urheberrechte Gesellschaft m.b.H. (austro mechana)


Wahrnehmung von Leistungsschutzrechten Gesellschaft m.b.H. 


Verwertungsgesellschaft für audiovisuelle Medien GmbH


Verwertungsgesellschaft Rundfunk GmbH

6 AKM yearly report 2017 S.13

7 LSG business and transparency report S.2