La Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD)
The prolific 18th century French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais, whose oeuvre includes the dramas The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, was a central figure in the founding of SACD (Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers). The membership-based organization was established with the aim of the protection of writers’ and composers’ rights and interests. Today the SACD has expanded its scope to the fields of film, dance, circuses, among others, and has an approximate membership of 56,000 (as of 2019).
The SACD’s stated mission is to “Defense (defending the rights of its members),” “Protection (ensure the working conditions of members),” “Upholding and Providing,” and “Support.” To accomplish these ends the SACD performs a myriad of roles, from educational programs and lobbying on behalf of writers’ rights, to managing copyright and the collection of copyright revenue, providing legal support, providing social services such as social security schemes, and maintaining facilities for the use of its members.
The amount of royalties and other fees collected by the SACD in 2019 came to a total of approximately 228.6 million Euros (27,432,000,000 Yen, calculated at ¥120/€). Of this, film, audiovisual works, and internet productions constituted 69.7%, and the performing arts made up 30.1%). Furthermore, the SACD provides aid for the creation and performance / presentation of new works through a budget amounting to 25% of copyright fee or royalties (in 2019, the budget was approximately € 6.4 million, or approximately ¥768 million).
Cultural establishments in France were forced to shut down for an extended period of time due to the outbreak of, and subsequent lockdown on account of, COVID 19 in March of 2020. Under these circumstances, France’s Ministry of Culture took preliminary measures for the affected arts and culture sector by establishing relief funds through organizational bodies and professional guilds in the various fields including music, the performing and the audiovisual arts. Of these, the SACD supported artists by serving as the contact office relief funding for authors / creators in the performing arts sector and the audiovisual arts (in the case of the audiovisual arts, responsibility for the relief fund was shared with the National Centre for Cinema [CNC]).
A questionnaire survey regarding the losses incurred by the performing arts industry as whole due to cancelled and postponed performances and events was also conducted in the autumn of 2020, the results of which were released along with a broad-reaching request for support and understanding for members of the performing arts community. At the same time, information was provided to people involved in the performing arts concerning support from the public sector, as well as advice on ways to apply for support and other forms of consultation.
Guidelines for the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus were formulated and released at an early stage based on the current state of performance venues and studios for those wishing to resume performances and rehearsals. When the government announced a state of emergency for Tokyo and its 3 neighboring prefectures (later expanded to include Tokyo and 10 prefectures) in January of 2021, a call was once again sent out throughout the performing arts industry to ensure protective measures to reduce the risk of infections and the implementation of thorough measures to provide an environment where audiences could attend performances with a sense of safety and assurance.
Furthermore, in collaboration with Warehouse TERRADA, the Agency for Cultural Affairs enacted a Program to Strengthen the Profitability of Arts and Culture, and with the cooperation of related or-ganizations, an Emergency Performing Arts Archive + Digital theatre (EPAD) was initiated. This also led to the launch of such resources as the Japan Digital Theatre Archives consisting of stage perfor-mance film records compiled and preserved by the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University and the Playtext Digital Archives of play scripts compiled by the Japan Playwrights Asso-ciation.
- Responsibilities and Activities of SACD
- - Political lobbying, and the providing of educational programs for the protection of authors’ rights, as well as how to properly use copyrighted material.
- Legal support, including the provision of sample contracts, by an author’s work or genre of creative endeavor, and providing counsel in contract negotiations.
- Maintaining a web-based system for managing copyrighted material, and the collection of royalties based on an extensive network with overseas copyright management agencies.
- Mediating the use of copyrighted material and in licensing out such material, as well as representing the amateur in their use of copyrighted material.
- Tax consultation.
- Support including needs-based direct financial assistance, support in taking advantage of state- sponsored benefits, support with social security upon retirement.
- Providing member facility spaces (in Paris) for café screening or reading events and the like, coworking spaces, studio space for filming or editing.
- Providing grants to support for creative activities or performances/screening of new works, and for industry groups, festivals, theaters, etc.