FAQ Agents – performing arts

The role of SACD

SACD is a collective management society whose mission is to collect and distribute royalties. As such, SACD is not an agency.

What are the advantages of registering with SACD rather than representing the author ourselves?
SACD has been identified as the authorised representative for a large number of French and foreign authors and accordingly receives performing authorisation requests directly from theatres and live show producers.
Thanks to its presence with offices in Paris and across the French territory, SACD has the contact points needed to be informed of box office receipts, collect precisely the royalties due and make any necessary verification.  SACD also has offices in Belgium and Canada.
To benefit from SACD’s services an author must be a member.
According to the author’s or right holder’s wishes, SACD will interact with whoever has been appointed as his/her representative: French agency, foreign agency, solicitor or any other third party… For this purpose, a « mandate to be exercised through SACD » should be completed and signed by both parties and addressed to SACD.

Who can register with, or become a member of SACD?
At SACD, only natural persons (authors, composers, heirs, legatees…) may join as members.

Is it compulsory to join as a member for the whole world?
In theory, membership is for the whole world.  Under the statutes, however, it is provided that membership may be restricted to two groups of territories:

  • either limited to France, Belgium, French-speaking Canada, Luxemburg and Monaco
  • or the above countries plus those with which SACD has signed a reciprocal treaty (c.f. list on website).

Authors who are not citizens of an E.U. member state or coming from outside the European Economic space, may confine their membership to France.

Where (when?) an author is registered with SACD, does SACD have automatic control over that author’s rights?
No. SACD will not deliver any authorisation without first referring the matter to and receiving approval from the author or his/her authorised representative.

What is the procedure with regard to negotiation of the terms of a stage licence and approval of such terms?
SACD will send the rights holder an authorisation request with all the information it has at its disposal about the project and the terms it intends to apply for royalties collection (as defined by the board of directors of the society representing the authors’ community).  The rights holder may demand that better terms be applied than those offered but not anything lower. S/he may also request further information and make all artistic or financial comments s/he deems fit.  SACD will not deliver any authorisation without receiving prior consent in writing from the rights holder for all of the terms.

Are amateur stage productions processed differently by SACD from professional stage productions?
Authors may also entrust SACD to represent them in delivering authorisations to amateur troupes. The terms applicable to royalties collected for amateur productions are different from those of professional ones.

Collection of Royalties

Is the amount or percentage due to the author negotiable, or is it fixed? If it is fixed what are the rates?
SACD sets minimum remuneration rates. Authors, however, are free to demand higher remunerations.
For performances staged in France by professional theatres not subject to specific covenants, the royalties are calculated for all of the authors, translators and adapters:

  • In Paris, a rate of 12% of box office receipts (ex. tax) is applicable, or if no ticketing, 12% of the proceeds earned by the producer for the performances (sales price, lump sum, minimum guaranteed receipts);
  • Outside Paris, a rate of 10.5% of box office receipts (ex. tax) is applicable, or same rate on price at which the show was sold (ex. tax), whichever is most favourable to the author.

Royalties Distribution

When are the royalties distributed? What are the management fees deducted by SACD?
Royalties are distributed every 14th of the month after they have been cashed in, provided SACD can avail itself of the required tax exemption.
As for its management fees, SACD deducts 9% of the royalties when performances are held in Paris and 13% when outside Paris.

Translation

Is there a difference between how much an author who writes in the French language will be entitled to in SACD payments and the amounts due to an author writing in another language.
For performances in the French language, a French-speaking author will receive all of the royalties pertaining to the text.  An author whose work is originally written in another language and translated for performing into French language will share his/her royalties with the translator of said work.
The breakdown is jointly agreed between the author and translator on a 100% basis; a declaration form is signed by the authors or rights holders and the translators.

What is the procedure if a producer comes to SACD to ask for permission to use a translation? Are both the translator and the owner of the rights in the underlying work consulted regarding use of the translation?
Yes. Information concerning the translation which the producers wish to use is forwarded within the authorisation request that is sent to every one of the authors and translators.
No authorisation will be delivered without the written consent of all parties concerned.

If a writer is registered as a member of SACD and he translates a play from a foreign language, under the SACD contracts who will own the copyright and other rights in that translation? Are there restrictions on the exploitation of that translation by either the translator or the owner of the underlying play?
See “Author’s rights and Copyright” tab?
Contracts drafted by SACD do not provide for the rights of the original author and those of the adapter to be merged together.  The author chooses to grant or not exclusive rights for the translation – in general, translations are not subject to exclusive rights agreements.

Other collecting agencies or societies

Who are SACD’s partner agencies overseas? Should authors become a member of every one of these societies to be represented in their respective territories or does it suffice to be a member of SACD?
Outside France, SACD has signed a number of reciprocal contracts or agency agreements with authors’ societies or agencies to ensure that its members be represented in their respective territories. Services include: forwarding of authorisation requests, drafting of authorisations and contracts, collection of respective royalties… See list of treaties (99 Ko): SACD members can be automatically covered by reciprocal treaties and agency agreements without any other formality needed, except special territorial restrictions.