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Jacek Bromski's letter to the CISAC Board regarding Ukraine
ZAPA   5.04.2022

President of the Polish Filmmakers Association sent an official letter to the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers CISAC, calling for immediate action against the Russian organizations.

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Gadi Oron, Director General
Members of the Board of CISAC

20 - 26 Boulevard du Parc
92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine France

Dear Gadi and Members of the Board,

As per last mailing between ZAPA’s and CISAC’s Directors, please accept this letter as an official expression of our strong disagreement to CISAC’s position in relation to Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, the language used in communication to the CISAC members referring to this war and unwillingness to suspend Russian members of CISAC followed by far wrong excuses.

Following the Russian attack, dozens of the biggest companies pulled back from Russia. This concerns many different sectors. To us, CISAC’s voice as that of a representative of the  creative sector is highly desired now. Other prominent people of the world of science, culture, media, entertainment and industry made clear statements protesting against the invasion. Some organisations suspended their business with Russian partners. Such actions were taken, among others, by UK collecting society PRS, which announced that it was suspending its reciprocal relationships with RAO. Also, such organizations as music publishing company Kobalt or collecting society AMRA suspended their relationships with the Russian cmo. This makes CISAC’s reluctance to name things as they are and to halt co-operation with Russian members more incomprehensible.

Such action would be especially required because prominent representatives of RUR and RAO officially support Putin's politics, which should certainly disqualify them from participating in the international family claiming to protect freedom, human rights, cultural diversity and intellectual property. Has CISAC forgotten its own values thoroughly enumerated in the organisation by-laws? “The purposes of the organization are: defend the interests of the creative community and of the creative community’s intellectual property; promote respect for the economic, legal and moral interests of the Creator; promote respect for the economic, legal and moral interests of the Creator and engage in any activity which is designed to increase solidarity between Societies”.

The membership of cmos from Russia raises controversies also in relation to last developments in the Russian Federation aiming at a complete suspension of intellectual property rights. For the moment, recent governmental Decree No. 299 allows for unpunished and free of charge copying of proprietary designs and inventions of "hostile" countries.

We also believe that language used by CISAC in official correspondence, with phrases such as “situation”, “crisis”, “unsettled international context”, is highly inappropriate and indicates at least lack of empathy. This is an unprovoked war which has already claimed thousands of lives and forced millions to leave their homes.
All things considered, Russia’s brutal aggression on Ukraine must be condemned with all severity and it must entail concrete actions against Russian CISAC member organizations. We would expect at least the temporary suspension of their CISAC membership and their representatives in all internal CISAC bodies, as well as the freezing of the royalty flowing to Russia from abroad. Such steps are, in our opinion, necessary to be in line with the values declared by CISAC.

We are concerned that the lack of significant actions of CISAC may bring huge disappointment among organization members or even the resignation of some members from the confederation. I imagine you realize how much of its political position  has been lost by CISAC during the last 10 years, especially in the context of complete failure to prevent European Union from accepting regulations directed against the best interests of the authors.  This time the reluctance to take a firm position against internationally acknowledged war criminals will result in the complete loss of CISAC reputation and will also be extremely difficult for our Ukrainian partners to understand. We as ZAPA cannot imagine attending meetings hand in hand with representatives of Russian organizations. The argument that CISAC has remained neutral during World War II sounds like a bad joke. Do you mean by that you have been paying royalties to Adolf Hitler for distribution of Mein Kampf during the war?

We are awaiting CISAC’s clear and fair position on this issue before this terrible war finally ends. We are looking forward to coming back to past normal co-operation between societies. In the meantime, however, it is essential to avoid hypocrisy and to demonstrate our support for the people of Ukraine.

Sincerely Yours,

Jacek Bromski

Jacek Bromski's letter to the CISAC Board regarding Ukraine